When I think of a wizard's duel, I think of the Disney movie, THE SWORD IN THE STONE, where Merlin and Mim are taking turns throwing spells at each other and themselves. If one becomes an elephant, the other becomes a mouse which frightens the elephant, or they change the other into a mouse so they can become a cat.
Or the duel between the Death Eaters and the good wizards in HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX where the wands are used almost as swords to parry and thrust spells and counter spells.
Or the final confrontation between the hero and heroine and the dark powers in Andre Norton's WITCHWORLD fantasy novels where the viewpoint character's emotions are more clear than what is actually happening from a magical perspective, and the fight is more about emotional strength than magical spells.
The trick in creating a wizard's duel without pushing it into a caricature of those I mention above is to personalize the duel. It's not the spells that are important, but the characters themselves. At the same time, you have to give better detail than the Norton novels' duels which often made me scratch my head and reread them several times before I figured out exactly what has happened.
If you keep true to your characters, their powers, and the unique world you have created, you should be able to avoid most of the cliches and create a duel worthy of your characters and your readers.
WORKSHOPS: I now have two workshops scheduled with another TBA.
The Big Question: How to Create a Powerful Novel from a Few Ideas and One Big Question, April 11-May 8, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com
Have you ever read a story then felt dissatisfied by it as you put it down? All the story elements--plot, characters, romance, and suspense--were there, but something was missing. That something is often called depth or resonance, and it's that element that turns an ordinary story into one you couldn't put down.
How do you create a story like that? It starts with the creation of the story. I’ll show you how to take a simple plot idea, premise, or character and turn it into a novel with resonance.
Magic, Monsters and Amour: Creating a Believable Paranormal, Fantasy, or SF World. October 4-31, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com October 4-31, 2010 at SavvyAuthors.com
Are vampires, fairies, and space aliens real? If you create the right background for your paranormal romance, they will be to a reader. I'll show you how to create a fantasy or paranormal background from scratch and how to make it utterly believable.