Diana Pharaoh Francis
I want to talk about endings. I just wrote a book. Most of it I wrote in six weeks. Then it took me just about a month to write the ending. Now I’ll admit, I had no idea what the ending was, and that time coincided with some time off I intended to take, and a family emergency I did not plan on. I finished the book two days ago. I was in the very last chapter and I finished that chapter, and then started the next very last chapter, and then I was within a paragraph or two of finished, then several pages later I was within a paragraph or two of finishing, and then a few pages later I was within a sentence or two of finishing, and then pages later . . . .
Well, you get the idea. I call this ending creep. It happens [...]
Continue reading The Creeping Ending
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 recently had dinner with several writers who were attending a week long writing workshop, and the conversation turned to what each of them felt they needed to work on. One of the writers brought up that she was struggling with “deep POV” and several of the other writers mentioned struggling with that as well. A few mentioned having felt like they’d “gotten it” only to have crit partners tell them they hadn’t gone far enough.
So they asked me: how do you deepen POV? I asked them for examples of what they meant by deep POV, and they mentioned Cut by Patricia McCormick and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Which are both intensely emotional, issue-centric, contemporary stories with very deep and personal POVs. However, the writer asking me about POV was working on a middle grade action adventure book, which means it will almost definitionally have a very different [...]
Continue reading On deep POV
James R. Tuck
I don’t know what kind of writer you are. You might be the kind who works each sentence until it’s perfect before moving on to the next one, lining up the words in exacting order for the most impact and literary explosiveness.
If so then this blog might not do you much good. lol
This advice is for the writers like me. The indulgent ones who spew words on their first drafts, who write with an abandon of language, allowing all the sentences to run amok on the page. I sling phrases and concepts around during my first draft, just acting like they are free and I can have as many as my greedy little, or not-so-little fingers can conjure.
The result, for me anyways, is a first draft bloated like Elvis on a toilet and full of sentences that I love, words I adore.
That’s all fine and [...]
Continue reading DRINK YOUR HATER-ADE (or editing)
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
Diana Pharaoh Francis
Where to begin when you want to begin a story? I can’t tell you. I won’t. Everybody’s process is different. For me, it’s a lot like getting all the ingredients out to make a dish and putting them all out on the counter, and then assembling from there. Only you get out all the ingredients you might need to make a thousand different meals and you don’t have a recipe and you don’t even know what it is you want to make. To toss more confusion in, you also have to choose pots, pans, serving dishes, and then you have to figure out if it’s going to be a meal, and how many courses it might be . . . (am I stretching this metaphor way too far yet?) Anyhow, that’s a beginning.
As a writer, you have an infinite choice of ingredients, cooking tools, and meal plans, and you [...]
Continue reading Begin at the beginning