Some of you may have seen this news on Facebook, but I wanted to share it here, as well: I have recently signed a three-book contract with Baen Books for a contemporary urban fantasy. The series is called the Weremyste Cycle, and the first book, Spell Blind, will be coming out in about a year. Obviously this is big news, and I’m very excited. But the sale of this series is important to me in a number of ways and lends itself to what I hope will be an interesting post.
I first mentioned Spell Blind (or at least the book that eventually became Spell Blind) on Magical Words back in June 2008, in a post titled “The Book I Love and Can’t Sell.” At that time, the manuscript had a different title, a different magic system, a different plot, and a different conceptual core. Which I suppose begs [...]
Continue reading On Publishing and Writing: A Sale, and a Study in Perseverence
Today we welcome my friend Jodi McIsaac to Magical Words. I met Jodi this past summer while attending WhenWordsCollide out in Calgary, Alberta. In addition to being smart, charming, funny, and an excellent drinking partner, Jodi also impressed me with her passion for writing and her eagerness to talk about issues of craft and business. She is the author of the Thin Veil contemporary fantasy series. The first book, Through the Door, was a #1 Amazon bestseller. Book two, Into the Fire, comes out today. Jody grew up in New Brunswick, Canada, has been a short track speed skater, a speechwriter, and a fundraiser and marketing executive for a nonprofit. Eventually, she started a boutique copywriting agency and began writing novels in the wee hours of the morning. She currently lives with her husband and two feisty daughters in Calgary.
Please join me in welcoming to MW, Jodi McIsaac! [...]
Continue reading “Let’s Get Personal” With Special Guest Star Jodi McIsaac
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about point of view and the ways in which it could help us address nearly all the narrative problems we face when writing. In comments to the post, Donald “SagaBlessed” Kirby, mentioned that making our dialog feel natural can sometimes be difficult, which is absolutely true.
More to the point, of all the writing problems that point of view can help us address, perhaps none is better suited to a POV solution than that of contrived dialog. Frankly, I can’t believe I left it out of my previous post.
Here at MW, we’ve discussed dialog quite a bit over the years, and I’m going to do my best not to cover the same ground in this post. This is not a post about how to write dialog, or how to make the spoken words themselves sound natural. (Carrie did this very well [...]
Continue reading On Writing: Creative Intersections — Point of View and Dialog
I have written about point of view many times before. A couple of years ago I did a whole series of posts on it, and one of my “Creative Intersections” posts earlier this year dealt with POV as it related to worldbuilding.
But here I am again writing about POV, and there is a reason for this. During the course of the summer, I attended several conventions, and I also taught a writers’ workshop up in Calgary. And it seemed that at every turn I would bring one writing issue or another back to POV. It happened so often, that I began to rethink one of my own foundational beliefs about writing. I have said for years that I believe character to be the single most important element of successful storytelling. I realize now that this is not quite true. To my mind, the most important element of storytelling is [...]
Continue reading On Writing: Solving Writing Problems with Point of View
James R. Tuck
Whew to the Dragoncon.
I miss it. I miss my peeps. It is always awesome seeing my fellow magical words family although Dragoncon is SO busy we only get to spend minutes together. (Lucienne, I still owe you that drink and AJ I didn’t even SEE you) But after Faith and John ‘s excellent con reports I have decided that this will NOT be about Dragoncon.
Instead I am going to talk to you about writing. (Inspired by a panel at Dragoncon)
I know, crazy right?
Let’s talk about character. Character is story. Some of you are looking at me going: “No James, PLOT is story. Characters are the subject of story.”
You’re kinda right, but not really. You see your plot is determined by your characters decisions. Every character, from the main protagonist to the most minor walk on character can radically change your story if they make their [...]
Continue reading OMG WRITING Y’ALL (or not another con report)
As you read this, I am driving home from New York City having just dropped off my daughter at NYU. She’s a freshman this year, so all of this is pretty new to me. The last-minute shopping, the packing, the move-in day and orientation and getting settled. The bills — oh my GOD the bills. And underlying all of it, the emotions that come with seeing my eldest child go off to college: excitement on her behalf, sadness at the thought of her leaving home, happiness at the thought of her leaving home (yeah, some of these are pretty mixed), trepidation at all that she has to face in the coming years — we’ve been taking care of her for so long, and while she is bright and mature and confident, is she ready? I am more aware than I have ever been of my age, of the swiftness with [...]
Continue reading Grist For the Mill: Emotion and Creativity
Today (Sunday), my older daughter was graduated from high school. It has been an emotional weekend, full of celebration, of wistful remembrance, of joyful anticipation of adventures and journeys to come.
Throughout the various events, as I have watched my child take these first decisive steps into adulthood, even as she still smiles at me with a face that doesn’t seem to have changed at all in the past eighteen years, I have found myself thinking about many things, most of them having nothing at all to do with writing. But I have given a good deal of thought to the notion of narrative, to the ways in which we humans seek to shape a coherent story out of events and circumstances and milestones that do not necessarily lend themselves to a coherent progression of “plot points.”
It seems to me that we do this at moments like these. A [...]
Continue reading On Creativity: Narrative, Fiction, and Life