What makes a magical academy enjoyable to read about?

TheMangaGod

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What a coincidence that this comes just as my novel is starting my school life arc... Also seriously have lessons cause so many just skip over that.
 

Temple

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Dumbledore is the greatest magician of all times, the movie got it wrong, he cannot die, so your comment was nullified
I was talking about important scenes happening on the rooftop. I haven't watched the later Harry Potter movies. I recall he died in the book. Did something different in the rooftop scene? Or are you making a joke? I'm not really well-versed in harry potter world to get it
 

TypeAxiom

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Dunno. I myselfaelf find the magical academy thing overblown because in every story you read about these academies, it's never about the academy. Someone dies every year, they spend most of the year running around fighting or solving crimes or whatnot and normally either being late for classes or not even attending anyway so they can save world or something from some percieved threat.

Very little of the magical academy experience ends up being about the academy. The outside world inevitably outshows the actual academy.

Best example, Harry Potter. Most of each book was about the fighting he would eventually do for his next round of fisticuffs with Voldemort. Evey book built up the next clash between the two at the end of each book. People died. And then Harry didn't even attend his last year. Pretty damn dangerous for a supposed school.

Magical academy stories aren't even about the school, the academy itself just becomes a placeholder. That's why I dislike the term "magical academy stories". They are always relegated to a setting. Nothing more.
So in your opinion is there an actual magical academy novel?
 

Discount_Blade

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So in your opinion is there an actual magical academy novel?
No. Just a setting. It can be a majorly important plot point, but I do not accept the idea of it being a genre. An arc? Yeah sure that's much more feasible obviously but never an entire genre.
 

BenJepheneT

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No. Just a setting. It can be a majorly important plot point, but I do not accept the idea of it being a genre. An arc? Yeah sure that's much more feasible obviously but never an entire genre.
So if I were to put a proverbial gun against your head and tell you to write a TRUE Magic Academy novel what would you write?

Or you'd rather I pull the trigger and be done with it.
 
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i prefer my magical academy to be an online class.

and there'd be one guy with 'reconnecting...' as the username every single time.

what's enjoyable about magical academy is, only if they allow you to learn from home because you're too lazy to go outside.
 

Discount_Blade

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So if I were to put a proverbial gun against your head and tell you to write a TRUE Magic Academy novel what would you write?

Or you'd rather I pull the trigger and be done with it.
Pull it. It ain't happening. J.K. Rowling couldnt do it and I doubt I'm topping her anytime soon. Might as well save us both the time and shoot.
 

BenJepheneT

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i prefer my magical academy to be an online class.

and there'd be one guy with 'reconnecting...' as the username every single time.

what's enjoyable about magical academy is, only if they allow you to learn from home because you're too lazy to go outside.
what if a lazy prodigy would just use his magic to skip class and laze out everytime

like his magic isn't good enough to defeat the demon lord but he's skilled enough to perpetually evade the fucker
 
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what if a lazy prodigy would just use his magic to skip class and laze out everytime

like his magic isn't good enough to defeat the demon lord but he's skilled enough to perpetually evade the fucker

maybe something like kagebunshin no jutsu, and instead of defeating demon lord, he picked her to become his personal maid or something.

so during the online class he'd have her cleaning his ears while lying on her lap, while picking his nose and eating dried persimmons.
 

TypeAxiom

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maybe something like kagebunshin no jutsu, and instead of defeating demon lord, he picked her to become his personal maid or something.

so during the online class he'd have her cleaning his ears while lying on her lap, while picking his nose and eating dried persimmons.
But the demon lord was stronger than he thought and after deciding that he's the one, she changes him into a girl in front of his whole online class.
 

BenJepheneT

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But the demon lord was stronger than he thought and after deciding that he's the one, she changes him into a girl in front of his whole online class.
Alas, he never was in the online class in the first place. The demon lord only turned the mirage gay
 

Maple-Leaf

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Meaningless conflict. It's an easy way to spawn a bunch of cannon fodder mobs that can be killed off without much effort (storyline wise) and it's a way to flaunt the protagonist by giving him a place to show off without having to deal with convoluted enemy backstories.
 

flucket

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I find magic academy arcs specifically super fucking tedious and boring because usually, it's just kind of a weakly exploited framing device to allow for Hot Teen Angst And Drama™. Like, it may as well not really be magic academy specifically you might as well just call it a high school AU because that's all that happens!

This is a rant, do not take this personally, my hot original take is always "follow your kokoro write what makes you happy", but I feel like the most overlooked advantage of Magic Academy Fiction that's also (to me) the only thing interesting about it as a narrative trope is that it's essentially a baked in framing device for expositing information about a foreign world to the audience in a way that is natural.

Nobody takes advantage of this in webfiction. The Harry Potter books are uuuuuh something in restrospect, but they take full advantage of the fact that Harry is not only a complete foreigner to this world making him the most archetypal audience stand-in, but that he is literally situated in a setting wherein information about this new world is spoken directly to the camera. Most fantasy fiction, except for something like isekai, should have protagonists who are already familiar with the world they're inhabiting so there's no naturalistic way to say "and this is how this foreign fantasy concept works". Nobody explains to a 20-year-old adult how a car functions, because we grew up in a world where cars are such a normalised facet of our society we just take for granted that they're there. Yet in high school, they literally got my entire year level out onto the school parking lot and gave us a walkthrough on car engines. Because it's school. It's where you teach things, even things that should be presumed knowledge.

So it's really frustrating for me to be reading webnovels where characters are literally at a school, but then relevant knowledge about the world is explained in "oh, by the way"s outside of the classroom setting. "By the way, there's these things called sacred beasts, and I'm only telling you now because the OP MC is about to make a contract with one." Huh? Do you not have like, religious education classes where this kind of lore could be explained???

Anyway, it gives me the shits. If you're gonna do a magic academy, take advantage of it as the incredibly lazy and convenient device to exposit information to the audience it is, because it's right there. What do we get instead? Generic Gossip Girl teen drama. I'm not saying that's bad, I'm saying it's just befuddling to me that writers will literally have an on-call framing device for giving readers information in a natural and logical way, but then literally do not do that and instead randomly plot dump at awkward moments aaaaaaaah.

But that's just all my personal opinion other people might be interested in academy arcs specifically for the Hot Teen Angst And Drama™ and that's fine too. YMMV. I just have, what the kids call, a pet peeve.

Also what Partysan said about maturation. I second it 200%. It's not even just that it's an academy setting, the age group of these characters mean they're still developing human beings. I feel some authors, myself included at times to be fully fair, tend to be kind of precious about their characters and don't give them the chance to be immature and flawed and say/do stupid things. The teenage years are the prime years for becoming radically different people over a comparatively small span of time. Having peer groups the same age as you and learning information about the larger world outside of your own existence, like a school would, would just complement that kind of growth.
 

TheMangaGod

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I find magic academy arcs specifically super fucking tedious and boring because usually, it's just kind of a weakly exploited framing device to allow for Hot Teen Angst And Drama™. Like, it may as well not really be magic academy specifically you might as well just call it a high school AU because that's all that happens!

This is a rant, do not take this personally, my hot original take is always "follow your kokoro write what makes you happy", but I feel like the most overlooked advantage of Magic Academy Fiction that's also (to me) the only thing interesting about it as a narrative trope is that it's essentially a baked in framing device for expositing information about a foreign world to the audience in a way that is natural.

Nobody takes advantage of this in webfiction. The Harry Potter books are uuuuuh something in restrospect, but they take full advantage of the fact that Harry is not only a complete foreigner to this world making him the most archetypal audience stand-in, but that he is literally situated in a setting wherein information about this new world is spoken directly to the camera. Most fantasy fiction, except for something like isekai, should have protagonists who are already familiar with the world they're inhabiting so there's no naturalistic way to say "and this is how this foreign fantasy concept works". Nobody explains to a 20-year-old adult how a car functions, because we grew up in a world where cars are such a normalised facet of our society we just take for granted that they're there. Yet in high school, they literally got my entire year level out onto the school parking lot and gave us a walkthrough on car engines. Because it's school. It's where you teach things, even things that should be presumed knowledge.

So it's really frustrating for me to be reading webnovels where characters are literally at a school, but then relevant knowledge about the world is explained in "oh, by the way"s outside of the classroom setting. "By the way, there's these things called sacred beasts, and I'm only telling you now because the OP MC is about to make a contract with one." Huh? Do you not have like, religious education classes where this kind of lore could be explained???

Anyway, it gives me the shits. If you're gonna do a magic academy, take advantage of it as the incredibly lazy and convenient device to exposit information to the audience it is, because it's right there. What do we get instead? Generic Gossip Girl teen drama. I'm not saying that's bad, I'm saying it's just befuddling to me that writers will literally have an on-call framing device for giving readers information in a natural and logical way, but then literally do not do that and instead randomly plot dump at awkward moments aaaaaaaah.

But that's just all my personal opinion other people might be interested in academy arcs specifically for the Hot Teen Angst And Drama™ and that's fine too. YMMV. I just have, what the kids call, a pet peeve.

Also what Partysan said about maturation. I second it 200%. It's not even just that it's an academy setting, the age group of these characters mean they're still developing human beings. I feel some authors, myself included at times to be fully fair, tend to be kind of precious about their characters and don't give them the chance to be immature and flawed and say/do stupid things. The teenage years are the prime years for becoming radically different people over a comparatively small span of time. Having peer groups the same age as you and learning information about the larger world outside of your own existence, like a school would, would just complement that kind of growth.
YES! Literally this! I mean classes are literally designed for info dump sessions so have at it!
 
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