There’s a lot to be read online and offline about the system of magic in world-building.
Alright, maybe not that much, but all of it is very interesting to me. I like magic. Always did. When I was little I was always in awe of fairy godmothers and sourcerers who could change the physical universe with a wave of their wand or a smart rhyme.
The success of Harry Potter and the popularity of Gandalf in recent pop culture just shows that I’m not alone there. But coming up with a system that makes sense in itself is an artform. Do wizards just know how to do stuff or do they have to go to school? Is using magic physically exhausting? Can you buy or sell magic? Can you use some magic but not other magic? Does it require a wand or a potion, or only the right thought or word? I found it very hard to come up with a system that isn’t obviously looted from somewhere else. Maybe the fact that I read a lot of books that contain magic doesn’t help me there, as every system I came up with could be found somewhere in my library.
I’m not done with my own system yet. I think it’s okay to use something tried and tested if I’m not skilled enough to come up with something completely unique. Instead, I have spent some time thinking about how magic is organised in my world, who uses it and why (rather than the complicated how), and how it is seen or percieved by people not using magic. That was a lot of fun, and I’m still refining it.
Another fun thing to do was writing about the use of magic. I really enjoy writing scenes where someone does something magical. Everybody knows what happens when you walk down a street: you move forward. I still have to write about it if I want my character to go anywhere. But it’s not so much fun, it’s just necessary. Magic lets me go a bit crazy, as nobody knows what happens when a wizard waves his hands in the air. I can totally make it up, and it can be anything I want.