Another “How To Write Magical Words” Update

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I had hoped to be done with this book by now, but as I mentioned a few weeks ago, it’s turned out to be a much bigger project than expected. Having said that, I am happy to report that I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The book is now broken into (lucky) seven sections, which will appear in this order:

In The Beginning

Character, Dialogue and Point of View

Butt In Chair (since that’s the MW mantra, there had to be one section named that)

On Writing Fantasy

Self-Editing

The Business

A Writer’s Life

I’ve put all seven sections together (barring some last minute shuffling (which I just indulged in not half an hour ago), and copy-edited/trimmed/proofed six of the seven sections. What was originally a 155,000 word draft is now looking like it will be a 120,000 word finished product (pending the publisher’s approval). The last remaining section is ‘Butt In Chair,’ which is the longest section. I’ll have it done by day’s end this coming Monday. Stuart Jaffe has graciously served as my first reader, catching typos I missed and periodically challenging me on larger issues. His help has been immeasurable.

Once I get the last section done, there are a few other bits of housekeeping to perform. I’ll need to write an introduction, explaining a few things about the book and how to get the most out of it. I’ll also be pestering the original three here on MW (Misty, Faith, and David) to write a short foreword about how MW was born and what it’s long-term goals are. And I’ll need to contact those of you whose comments and/or questions have been selected for inclusion in the book. At this point it’s looking like there will be somewhere between 30 and 40 or you. You should start thinking now about whether you’d prefer to use you real name in the book or your username. Either way is fine by me.

When all those odds and ends have been assembled and finalized, I’ll be sending the whole manuscript to the rest of the MW gang so they can read through it. This will be their speak-now-or-forever-hold-your-peace reading, because once they send it back to me, the next stop is the publisher. I don’t know yet when the book will be officially published (much of that will depend on how quickly we can get the last bits and pieces together and turned in to the publisher; they can’t do much until we actually give them the MS, now can they?).

So that’s where things currently stand. It’s been educational in so many ways. When the How-To book is completed, I will happily turn my full attention to my own WIP. Hopefully I can complete the first draft by the end of January, because that’s around the time I expect to be getting the ball rolling on the MW anthology.

But that’s a project for another day.



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