I didn't think my little rant about three books would generate that much discussion. I am surprised. But guys, don't get me wrong. The fact that I don't see the genius in the Professor doesn't mean I think there is none. It just hasn't clicked yet. And I am afraid it never will.
Personally it is not a joy to read Vernon's material. It's rather painful. This maybe due to Lewis Ganson's writing style. I am sorry, but Jon Racherbaumer, Richard Kaufman, Roberto Giobbi and even Harry Lorayne are so much better writers. Hell even Marlo was much more enjoyable to read than Ganson.
But this whole thing led me to compile a short list of thing to watch out for when writing up magic.
- Don't start with the history of a trick. Start with the effect (as briefly as possible, cutting out all that will be clear anyway in the cause of the routine.)
- Go directly into the method. Explaining the setup first.
- Include the patter in the method section, but make sure to "tell it apart from the rest"
- No variations in the "method" section.
- No credits in the method section (you can put a tiny number on it, doing the credits either on the bottom of the page or on a separate page.)
- Explain the purpose of a move if it is rather complex. If you need to do an "Underground Elmsley" twice at least write that it only serves the purpose of making sure all the card remain in the same order, while hiding the face up card under the pretext of counting them again for the audience.
- If you have four coins in your hand but the audience thinks it three coins. Write it like this: "Place the three(4) coins into the right hand." That way I know to add the palmed coin. The same goes for card magic. "Show the Four of Clubs, turn the double face down and place the Four of Clubs(QD) face down on the table."
- After the technical part you may go into the history aspects, explaining even further little things and variations.
- Always remember that people read the technical part of a routine usually with card, coin or whatever in their hands. So make sure that when they need to turn the page at least one hand is free. Again, during that phase you don't wanna go into long theoretical discussions about the purpose of the moves. People got stuff in their hands.
- Add situation checks along the way.
That's all I got, if you got more, or if you disagree you know where to put it!