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Writer's Room => Kidlit Genres => Topic started by: Karen K on September 10, 2012, 04:01 PM

Title: Magic ingredients for a MG fantasy
Post by: Karen K on September 10, 2012, 04:01 PM
I'm revising a MG fantasy right now, and I need to come up with a magic potion recipe that will be used by the heroine to beat the Bad Guy (who isn't quite human). The setting is 1955 Missouri, so the ingredients can be related to that time and place, or they can be exceedingly rare to give the heroine and her friends that much more trouble in finding them.

To give you an idea, here are some of the ingredients I've used elsewhere in this story: peacock eggs, five-leafed clover, butter churned on the full moon, and a broken cat's claw.

All ideas are appreciated, and thanks in advance!

 :drinktoast:
Karen
Title: Re: Magic ingredients for a MG fantasy
Post by: J.Ro on September 10, 2012, 04:17 PM
Hair from a one-eyed hound dog, a heart shape stone found in the depths of the Mississippi, the fingernail from a spinster school teacher, a firefly's heart

How's that?
Title: Re: Magic ingredients for a MG fantasy
Post by: Artemesia on September 10, 2012, 06:13 PM
what does the potion do? Depending, they might want to have an item or hair or eyelash or nail clippings, sweat or tears (that would be hard to get) from the bad guy himself?
Title: Re: Magic ingredients for a MG fantasy
Post by: JennaWren on September 10, 2012, 06:39 PM
I'm also imagining that there are some kind of local insects whose parts could be harvested (under the full/blue moon at night, of course!)....

What about local plant life?
Title: Re: Magic ingredients for a MG fantasy
Post by: Ruth Donnelly on September 10, 2012, 08:17 PM
JRo's ideas are awesome!

As a kid raised in Missouri in the 50s - 60s, I feel like I ought to be able to come up with some authentic show-me state stuff. Is it rural Missouri? Wild pawpaws. A sycamore puffball. Sassafras root. A dogwood twig (dogwood became the state tree in 1955). Uh... how about a chunk of limestone from a quarry? Or a crinoid (the state's official fossil). Or a bluebird feather (state bird). Water from the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

If it's urban, maybe toasted ravioli (popular in St Louis from the late 40s to present). A piece of gooey butter cake (supposedly invented in the 1930s or early 40s by a St. Louis baker who who accidentally reversed the proportions of sugar and flour in his cake batter). Provel cheese. (I must be hungry; everything I think of is food.)

Whatever you decide, I'd love to read a book set in 1955 Missouri!
Title: Re: Magic ingredients for a MG fantasy
Post by: David Wright on September 10, 2012, 08:20 PM
A blind cicada :)
Title: Re: Magic ingredients for a MG fantasy
Post by: anningalls on September 11, 2012, 03:53 AM
A gust of wind from a tornado.
Title: Re: Magic ingredients for a MG fantasy
Post by: Karen K on September 11, 2012, 09:50 AM
what does the potion do? Depending, they might want to have an item or hair or eyelash or nail clippings, sweat or tears (that would be hard to get) from the bad guy himself?

The potion must grant the person who drinks it the strength to successfully banish the Bad Guy from the mortal world, since he doesn't belong there anymore. (Any more detail would be spoilery.) It might be kind of hard to get anything physical from him, though!


Hair from a one-eyed hound dog, a heart shape stone found in the depths of the Mississippi, the fingernail from a spinster school teacher, a firefly's heart

Ooo, I like the firefly's heart! Though squishing the bug might be gross. ;)


I'm also imagining that there are some kind of local insects whose parts could be harvested (under the full/blue moon at night, of course!)....
What about local plant life?

Oh yeah, good idea! I remember seeing all sorts of bizarre creepy-crawlies in Missouri when I visited. Stick insects, cicadas, katydids, spiders carrying baby spiders on their backs...

As a kid raised in Missouri in the 50s - 60s, I feel like I ought to be able to come up with some authentic show-me state stuff. Is it rural Missouri? Wild pawpaws. A sycamore puffball. Sassafras root. A dogwood twig (dogwood became the state tree in 1955). Uh... how about a chunk of limestone from a quarry? Or a crinoid (the state's official fossil). Or a bluebird feather (state bird). Water from the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

If it's urban, maybe toasted ravioli (popular in St Louis from the late 40s to present). A piece of gooey butter cake (supposedly invented in the 1930s or early 40s by a St. Louis baker who who accidentally reversed the proportions of sugar and flour in his cake batter). Provel cheese. (I must be hungry; everything I think of is food.)

Whatever you decide, I'd love to read a book set in 1955 Missouri!

These are fantastic, Ruth! I may have to pick your brain more about 1955 Missouri. If you have any more reminiscences to share, I'd love to hear them.

A blind cicada :)

A 13-year cicada certainly would be hard to find...

A gust of wind from a tornado.

I like this! Reminds me a bit of Savvy by Ingrid Law, where the grandma cans songs in jars.

Thanks for all the great ideas, guys! Keep them coming!
Karen
Title: Re: Magic ingredients for a MG fantasy
Post by: elizabethp on September 11, 2012, 10:37 AM
The croak from a tree frog...if it's anything like here, there are tons of those eerie sounds at night!
Title: Re: Magic ingredients for a MG fantasy
Post by: dewsanddamps on September 11, 2012, 12:54 PM
An agent response in August.   :tease

Okay, more seriously: first fire of a dragon, tear of an innocent man, snake's footprint, last acorn from the dying oak on Mount Ineedanapicus. (You should probably change that last name.)
Title: Re: Magic ingredients for a MG fantasy
Post by: David Wright on September 11, 2012, 05:27 PM
The skin of a scarlet snake. The northern scarlet snake is rare in Missouri, and being nocturnal it'd be hard to find. And unless you see the snake shedding it's hard to tell what snake a skin came off.