There's that old saying: "nobody notices a clean floor," which highlights the idea that we take for granted the things that work seamlessly with their environment. A dirty floor sticks out and will get attention, but a clean floor does its duty without any recognition. I think this idea holds true in Magic: "nobody notices a good card name". What's more is that names and flavor texts aren't credited anywhere, and so we tend to forget that writers actually have to craft these elements only to be anonymouslyappreciated, or insulted, by players on the receiving end of a new set.
Today, I'm discussing the writing process for card names and flavor texts with Ant Tessitore, a long time player of Magic turned creative writer for the game. Ant's working analogy, that all aspects of a Magic card can be imagined as music, serves as his guidelines when staring down nameless new cards in the writing file. We discuss how a good name, like a solid bass line, should set the tone of the card, the flavor text should deliver a driving drum beat, and the art should melt faces like a high-flying guitar solo in a sold-out stadium.
Listen and enjoy:
If you'd like to get in contact with Ant, check out his socials here:
Names and Flavor Texts by set attributed to Ant
He also co-hosts his own podcast, Snack Time, of which I've been a fan for a number of years. Tune in: you'll dig it.