Sometimes genres feel too limiting. I've never fit well into groups or labels, and my stories suffer from the same problem. If I tell readers that Magic Inc. is a fantasy series, they often expect wild adventures and richly detailed lore. And while my ever-expanding Timeline Universe has some of both, the core of my writing is focused on characters and emotions. The magical "plot" is secondary to the main character's internal journey.
This is especially true with the Magic Inc. series. Jane's journey is more about searching for acceptance, coping with bullying, and finding her own inner strength than magical adventures. But the magic represents that inner strength she is trying to find. When she is able to connect to her truest self, she can float, fly, and dance with the wind.
A few years ago, I learned about the terms soft magic and hard magic. Hard magic has strict rules, whereas soft magic is more fluid and wild. My magic system is far more soft than hard, less about rules than emotions and a personal spirituality of sorts. But like with most things in my life, it doesn't totally fit in just one category. There are some rules, or at least likelihoods, in my magic system.
I've been writing up "concept pages" for these things, potentially for some future website if my writing ever "takes off", but mostly to keep things straight in my own head. But sometimes I'm not even sure why things happen the way they do. My magic surprises me, too. And I love that about "soft magic".
In Book Three, Jane struggles to reconnect with her powers after the events of Book Two. With a little encouragement from her Protector, she's able to stir up a bit of magic even in her depression. But regaining the trust in her own power is a several book journey. And I'm excited to share it with her, as I learn to trust my creative power again.