I was thinking about methods, structure, effects and value... Yes, every effect has some sort of value. And value can measured. Here are the points by which magic value is measured... (the list is far from being complete yet an indicator for my thinking)
- having a practical use outside of the "entertainment/mystery/magic"-realm
- being extremly impossible or dangerous
- looks (sounds) beautiful
If something is extremely impossible it also has value. Pushing coins through a table feels more impossible than having them go from hand to hand (aka coins across) Because the more impossible or dangerous something is the more people feel drawn towards this stuff.
Also, if something looks good it has value. What else is the purpose of dance and music? That is why a slow linking rings routine is not that bad.
I think of these as some sort of options. An effect can have 3 points in each of those three categories, adding up to 9 points. Here is an example: Coins Through Table
It really has no purpose outside the magic realm (just one point) unless the patter justifies it somehow (which is rarely done.) But it is really impossible? Well some sneaky business seems possible but is not seen. (so I give it 2 points) Does it look good? Well it can! (adding 2 points)
That gives the effect a value of 5 points out of 9, which is not that bad.
Now... what can be done to make the score even higher?
Substituting the coins for something that we wish we could push through a table... or substituting the table for something we wish we could push coins through for example.
How many times did we wish to take out the coins for a piggy bank without breaking the piggy. That would give the effect a solid 3 points in the practical use category and another point in the impossible category, because it feels even harder to accomplish than the table version. (So it would be 8 out of 9 points.... which is much more valuable)
From that thinking here is the new effect:
Effect: An empty piggy bank is shown and examined. Three or more coins are put into the piggy bank via the slit on the top. The pig gets shaked and the audience hears the rattling inside. One coin at a time gets removed from the piggy bank.