Magical Words Link Roundup 7-6-2017


One thing is true: Writers need other writers. Aside from the obvious benefits of companionship and mutual understanding, one of the reasons we need each other is that sometimes, if we’re very lucky and listen carefully, a fellow writer will offer a bit of advice that makes all the difference to our work.

George Bernard Shaw once quipped that “Hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated.” While that’s a noble maxim to cling to at family reunions, when it comes to fiction the fact is our favorite stories would be pretty dull if we rid them of their most loathsome characters.

Mention Gina Torres in a room of sci-fi and fantasy geeks, and they will swoon en masse.

There are many, many things to like about Wonder Woman—so many that we’re still talking about it weeks after the movie’s debut. One of those things was the costume design for the Amazons and Wonder Woman herself.

If you’ve heard about query letters, no doubt you’ve heard how annoying, infuriatingly difficult, and soul-sucking they are to write. And every word of that is true.

Centuries ago, mythological creatures like unicorns and mermaids were thought to be as real as horses or dolphins. Now that they’re more widely accepted as fiction, we can speculate about what inspired faith in the existence of these fantastic animals and beings.

Do you write chronologically? Or are you prone to writing whatever scene strikes your fancy? Do you skip around, hop ahead, circle back? Or are you inclined to move from scene 1 to scene 2 to 3 and beyond?

Novice writers have a tendency to think of plot and character as two separate things, and view the writing process as a kind of balancing act between the two.

We were done with True Detective. F$#king canceled. Agent Smith in The Matrix. Vince Vaughn’s career. S&#t was done, man. And then this s&$t drops? That Cottonmouth got the holster now.

Planet-hunting astronomers might be disappointed to learn that common stellar eruptions, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), could have a significant impact on whether or not newly discovered Earth-like exoplanets could in fact support life.


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