Free Association

Posted in Making Magic on February 5, 2004

By Mark Rosewater

Working in R&D since '95, Mark became Magic head designer in '03. His hobbies: spending time with family, writing about Magic in all mediums, and creating short bios.

One of the aspects I enjoy most about “Making Magic” is that I have the ability as a writer to stretch creatively. Here is a rough collection of the different types of articles I write:

Design Stories – These are usually very straight-forward columns where I explain the genesis of some card, mechanic, set or theme. The tone of these is usually pretty light with a significant amount of humor.

Explanatory – These are the columns where I explain “why” about some hot topic. Sometimes I explain R&D philosophy. In others I talk about the reasons behind a certain decision. These columns are typically very serious, with lots of examples, but very little humor.

Fun With R&D – These are columns where I talk about the people that make Magic and what its like to work at Wizards of the Coast. These columns are usually very light and full of funny stories.

Goofy – These columns are usually when I have a silly topic. These columns are usually written as almost comedy routines where I'm trying to be as funny as I can be. The actual content is usually light but it makes up for it in sheer entertainment value.

Editorial – These are columns where I explain my take on an issue. I'm not talking for Wizards but more for myself. These columns have many examples and are usually pretty serious.

Creative Storytelling – These columns are usually about a subject light on content where I tell the tale in a very offbeat and creative way. Most often this has an element of fiction to it as I make up characters to represent concepts I want to hit upon. These columns are usually very silly.

Mailbag – These columns are where I answer my mail. The columns are usually chockfull of information and are the most direct ones I write.

History – This is a column where I spend most of my time explaining how something came to be. They are similar to my design story columns but are usually about a bigger issue than a simple card and spend more time explaining the context of the history. These columns are usually a little lighter on the humor.

Thought Experiments – These are columns where I'm trying to explain some concept by showing some extreme. These columns are traditionally light on humor but heavy on data.

Offbeat – These columns are like today, where I just try something way out in left field. They often end up longer than my normal columns.

So, I'm curious about what kind of columns all of you like. Which of the above are your favorites? Which ones don't you like? Are there ones that you feel could be improved? Are there ones that you wish I would never do again? Is there any style of article I haven't done that you would like to see? Please, my inquiring mind wants to know. (I'm dead serious. It's feedback like this that will shape the future of my column.)

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