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ianmcrawford

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Reply with quote  #1 
An interesting observation.  On one of Mike Close's recent free afternoon webcasts (not watching these, subscribe to his newsletter!) Mike mentioned that one way of selecting new material from books is to look for tricks that have no pictures or illustrations.  I suspect like most of us Magician's are drawn to illustrations. It's just easier.  [wink]  And then I realized the trick I'm working on right now, has no  illustrations associated with it. In fact I only stumbled upon it when I was re-reading the previous trick in the book.  So I am guilty as charged.  And now, taking greater care to read EVERYTHING

The trick is called My Dream of Mind Reading, from John Lovick's book.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmcrawford
An interesting observation.  On one of Mike Close's recent free afternoon webcasts (not watching these, subscribe to his newsletter!) Mike mentioned that one way of selecting new material from books is to look for tricks that have no pictures or illustrations.  I suspect like most of us Magician's are drawn to illustrations. It's just easier.  [wink]  And then I realized the trick I'm working on right now, has no  illustrations associated with it. In fact I only stumbled upon it when I was re-reading the previous trick in the book.  So I am guilty as charged.  And now, taking greater care to read EVERYTHING

The trick is called My Dream of Mind Reading, from John Lovick's book.


Yes, I saw that video on his facebook page.  I don't know about others, but in my case, I probably do one trick out of every book I own.  On average that is, some I don't do any and some I do more than one.

I can easily see folks moving past tricks that have no photos or illustrations.  Perhaps they feel if it didn't warrant visual aids, how good could it be?

Then there are the tricks that read like duds but if you could see them in action, would cause you to want to learn them.
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X

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Reply with quote  #3 
sometimes the writing/description is impossible to actually follow [wink]



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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #4 
Illustrations definitely draw the eye and after we've given a new book the once-over, no-pictures items become just one, or several, more pages of text. Easy to skim and skip.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #5 
There is no doubt that some authors are better than others at describing effects and the methodology.  It isn't as easy as one might think.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #6 
In my earlier books I used a minimum of illustrations. I felt that one of my fortes was describing things in words. However, in my latest book I went in the other direction. As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Try describing how to tie your shoes only using words. Could someone who doesn't already know the process actually master the technique without seeing some pictures? Not likely.

It's really nice to see an illustration or photo that shows a key position. Then you know you're on the right track. But I think that many of the current books and magazines e.g. Genii overdo the photos. John Bannon's column in Genii often has many more photos than I think were actually needed. But better too many than too few. The "extras" don't hurt anything. 

Also, what's with these giant photos that take up so much real estate in some of the books? I think it's just to bump up the page count.

M
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #7 
I’m definitely one who struggles with ‘word-only’ explanations. Whether the problem is with the writer being less than clear or the reader who suffers from undeveloped comprehension skills, words and pictures help both to hit the target. Even a Word-Meister like Harry L uses the best of photos and drawings to get the message across, when necessary. What this post has done for me is to challenge me to look over my books again, and make sure I find a few hidden nuggets cleverly disguised in mere print.
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Tom Kracker

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Reply with quote  #8 
Sometimes I like to look for routines that have no pictures because I get too hung up on getting my finger/hands in the exact position shown in the pictures. It might be necessary at times, but other times, if I can figure it out from the words, it will feel more natural to me. However when I'm learning a brand new move that I'm not familiar with, the pictures are helpful. They are also good for checking the status at each step while learning a new routine.

What do you think of the "I Dream of Mind Reading"? I like how Josh Jay presents it on a TV show (can't recall which one at the moment). He talks about doing a card trick for a blind person and the steps in that routine are how they would freely choose a card.

Tom

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #9 
Tom - good point about the lack of a picture forcing you to find your own finger positions. It can be beneficial if you're willing to think and work a bit.

M
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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #10 
A friend got me with Steve Bargatze's similar effect, completely fooled me. Good trick, I have read the Lovick version.

Mike great point last post.
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Tom Kracker

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth
A friend got me with Steve Bargatze's similar effect, completely fooled me. Good trick, I have read the Lovick version.

Mike great point last post.


Steve taught me and a handful of other people his routine at Michigan Magic Day in 2001. It is one of my all time favorite routines. Recently I was asking him about the origin of it and he told me his is the original. I told him that I use one card in there that says "Not Your Card". He liked the idea.

Tom

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