©2016 by Rayne Hall 

Love spells make great fiction, full of secrets, conflict, drama and passion

Your character can cast her own love spell, or she can seek professional help from a magician (from a witch, a ritual wizard, or other type of mage). I use the female pronoun in this article to avoid clunky ‘he or she does this to him or her’ constructions, but everything applies to mages of either gender.

FOUR Tips For Writing ABOUT  LOVE SPELLS

RITUALS

The most common ingredients used in the ritual are roses (often red or pink), something from each of the two people (usually a lock of hair, and in modern times, a photograph), red candles, a fruit (for example, an apple), a crystal (rose quartz is a favourite), herbs (such as dittany or balm of gilead), spices (especially cinnamon), red wine, and a ribbon (red or pink).
 
However, the ingredients vary between different types of magic. For example, an Enochian may use different ingredients from a Wiccan. Also, individual magicians have their own preferences.
 
The actual ritual also differs. Typically, the magician may cut the fruit in halves, insert the locks of hair, and tie the fruit back together with the pink ribbon. Or she may brew a love potion which involves red wine simmering in a cauldron with rose petals, herbs and cinnamon. If both people are present, the magician may link their hands and tie them with a ribbon or scarf. If only one person is present, the spell won't be complete until the second person has become involved, for example, by drinking the love potion.

FOUR Tips For Writing ABOUT  LOVE SPELLS

CLIENTS

Most clients are besotted with someone who doesn't requite their feelings. They are convinced that this person is the one for them, that they're meant to be together, that they will not be fulfilled and happy until that person is theirs. They also believe that the love spell is in the best interest of that person, and that the relationship will be a happy one if only the person would return their love.
 
They are desperate, can't bear the pain of their unrequited passion any longer, and are willing to pay almost any price for a love spell. Other clients are lonely and looking for love. They want a spell to help them find a mate. These include teenagers whose self-esteem is low because they don't have a boyfriend, single women whose biological clock is ticking, and men who can't get a date.
 
On rare occasions, a couple may seek a magician's help to save their crumbling marriage. In historical fiction, parents and politicians may resort to love spells to bring about an advantageous match, or to bring affection to an arranged marriage.

FOUR Tips For Writing ABOUT  LOVE SPELLS

CONFLICTS

Most modern magicians consider it unethical to interfere with a person's free will. Although they will happily help the couple who wish to strengthen their bond, and the lonely heart in search of a mate, they will refuse to force a specific person's feelings.
 
However, not all magicians have the same qualms, and in earlier period, many made good money from love potions. Even today, many magicians advertise on the internet, promising to deliver one's heart's desire.
 
Some magicians compromise by creating spells which work only if there is already some affection between the couple. For example, the desired person must drink wine from the same cup as the client, immediately after he has drunk from it - something she wouldn't do if she hated him. An ancient Egyptian love spell required the man to anoint his member with a potion before having intercourse with the woman of his desire - and for that to work, she already had to fancy him quite bit.
 
Other magicians try to dissuade the client from focussing on a specific person. Instead, they recommend a general love spell, one which will help the client find a suitable mate. For the strictly ethical magician, requests for love spells can lead to terrible dilemmas.
 
Here are some ideas you may want to play with:
 
  • What if the client is suffering terrible pain from unrequited love, and the magician wants to ease his suffering? What if the desperate client is her own sister, her best friend, her son? What if turning down the request for a love spell causes a rift between them?
 
  • What if the client won't take no for an answer? What if the client is the king, the chief inquisitor, or other powerful person? What if the client threatens to punish the magician for her refusal?
  •  
  • What if the client is rich and willing to pay a lot for a love spell? What if the magician desperately needs money to save her lover or to feed her starving child?
  •  
  • What if a ruthless magician agrees to waive his principles and grant the heroine the love spell she craves ... but only if she pays a terrible price for it?
  •  
  • What if the magician herself suffers from unrequited love? What if her ethics forbid her to manipulate someone's will, but she is convinced that it is for that person's own good? What if her need overrides her conscience?

FOUR Tips For Writing ABOUT  LOVE SPELLS

CONSEQUENCES

Love spells interfering with someone's free will can lead to disaster. Here are some plot ideas:
  • What if the love spell works at first, but wears off after the wedding? What if the person finds out that their spouse had trapped them with a love spell?
  • What if the two people love each other, but their relationship is desperately unhappy - and they can't get out of it? What if they blame the magician for their misery?
  • What if the client loses interest and wants to end the relationship - but the other person is still obsessively in love and won't let them go? What if that person stalks the client for the rest of his life?
  • What if the client regrets his action, and wants to undo the love spell - and it can't be reversed?
  • What if a paedophile uses love potions to seduce minors?
  • What if a serial killer applies magic to lure victims to their doom?
  • What if a fortune hunter tries to trick an heiress into drinking the love potion? What if she's been alerted to his intentions, and has to be constantly vigilant to thwart him?
  • What if the family hires a bodyguard or detective to protect their heiress daughter from love spell assaults?
  • What if the victim's family find out that the girl has been the victim of a love spell, and try to save her? What if they make great sacrifices to enable the spell to be undone - but she doesn't want to be saved?
  • What if the heroine discovers that her best friend's intended is a ruthless man who forced her feelings with a love potion - and the friend refuses to believe it?
  • What if the victim of the love spell is a man whom the heroine has secretly loved all her life, and now another woman has ensnared him with magic?

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The fiction potential of love spells is endless. I hope this article has inspired your creativity.

 

Do You Want To Learn More?

If you write fantasy or paranormal fiction, you may find my guide Writing About Magic helpful.

 

Crammed with information, tips, and plot ideas, it helps you create stories about magic and magicians which are believable and exciting

Rayne Hall - Writing about magic book cover

Writing About Magic: Professional Techniques for Paranormal and Fantasy Authors

Learn about power-raising, ritual, training, initiation, love spells, sex magic, costuming, equipment, correspondences, magical weapons, healing, protection, miracles, spells, amulets, talismans, curses, hexes, illusionists, charlatans, natural and ceremonial magic, witchcraft, shamanism, alchemy, necromancy, ethics, conflicts, secrecy and more. Draw up a psychological profile for your magician, invent fictional spells that work, avoid blunders, and create trouble for your characters.