Confession time: There are times when I will find myself ignoring advice that I have given here on Magical Words, or in other teaching situations. For whatever reason — convenience, time, laziness, the sense, right or wrong, that I’ve “outgrown” some of the things I believe writers with less experience ought to do — I will cut a corner here or there. I’m not proud of this, but it’s true. For instance, despite what I’ve said here recently about self-editing being most effective when I separate myself from the writing experience in all ways, including reading from a paper copy of my manuscript, I don’t always do this. Paper and ink are expensive. Printing out a book-length manuscript is time consuming. Sometimes — most time, if I’m being honest — I will simply edit on the screen.
But this past week I took my own advice in a couple of […]
Continue reading Quick-Tip Tuesday: Fixing a Broken Manuscript
I’m finally home after ConCarolinas and the Roaring Writers Retreat, where I taught and led critique sessions for a fun, productive, wonderful week. (Thanks for inviting me, folks — it was fantastic!) My third night home — last night — I attended a meeting of the writer’s group of which I’m a part here in my town. And, of course, I’m posting this to MW, which has been the foundation of my writing family for eight and a half years.
So, I thought today I should post about community and its importance to writers of all levels.
Writing can be a lonely profession. We often work on our own, toiling alone for hours at a time, sending our work into what can feel like a marketplace vacuum, and waiting for feedback that can be hurtful, even brutal. It’s hard, and our solitude makes it harder. Yes, we have loved ones […]
Continue reading Quick-Tip Tuesday: Finding A Writing Community
We’ve recently learned that our younger daughter is gluten-intolerant. (Yes, this is relevant. I promise. Bear with me.) And in discovering this, we have learned we can’t always assume we know what’s in the food we’ve been eating. It’s not that apples suddenly have gluten in them, but rather that lots of processed foods have hidden fillers, and these fillers often include gluten-rich ingredients.
As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m in the process of editing my first series, the LonTobyn Chronicle (Children of Amarid, The Outlanders, Eagle-Sage) for reissue later this year. Children of Amarid is already in production and on schedule for a July release, and I’m most of the way through The Outlanders right now.
I’ve noticed an incredible amount of extra verbiage in my early books — filler, if you will: superfluous words that add little to the storytelling, but clutter up my prose. For the wordiness-intolerant, […]
Continue reading Quick-Tip Tuesday: Cutting Out the Filler
The Patron and Kickstarter method of funding life and projects.
More and more we are seeing writers and others in arts and science go to the public for assistance for everything from funding a film, to producing an anthology, to creating a comic book, to producing a new battery to run cars, to making a watch, which surely must contain a genie who has magical flatulence to support the cost required by the startup money needed. Some projects are so successful that they fund hundreds to millions of dollars over the startup capital needed to produce the … whatever it is.
I’ve used this method myself, using Kickstarter to fund the Rogue Mage Role Playing Game. We were successful. We finished the project. It was grueling and I’ll never do it again because it was the “Project from Hell,” which I’ve written about here and won’t bore you with it […]
Continue reading Making Money Mondays — Patron and Kickstarter
We are writers. No matter what we write, we are writing about life, about living, about the things that matter to us, about the pain and joy and music and poetry of living. We are writing about the insecurity and excitement of romance, a mystery that needs to be solved, a life decision that needs to be made, a loss that has been suffered, a battle or war that needs to be fought.
We write, and as we write, we incorporate and use every good and wonderful and easy thing that has happened to us, as well as every difficult and painful and dreadful thing that has happened to us in the past. All that we are, all that we have survived, is part of our characters and our plotlines and the landscapes of our writing. The feel of water from a cold shower can be interpreted and twisted into […]
Continue reading When Life Gets In The Way – And It Will
The other night, my wife and I were watching old episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (we own the whole series on disk). We’re on season 5 right now, and we came to one of our favorite episodes: the first episode with Bajoran Starfleet Ensign Ro Laren (played by Michelle Forbes). Ro was an amazing character — and this is a terrific episode — because she was everything a Starfleet officer wasn’t supposed to be: rebellious and disdainful of authority, prickly and opinionated, and more devoted to her own people than to the principles on which Starfleet was founded. Adding her to the cast shook things up a bit, and freshened the series at a time when it might otherwise have started to grow stale.
As I watched, it occurred to me that other shows of which I’m a fan had done very similar things with their casts. […]
Continue reading Quick-Tip Tuesday: What We Can Learn From Ro Laren
I owe an apology to all of you.
To every person I have critiqued at a Live Action Slush, to every student whose manuscript I’ve marked up, to every aspiring writer I’ve advised with arrogant confidence, I am truly sorry.
For what, you ask.
For failing to realize just how fortunate I am, and have been, to have the career I’ve had.
What has brought this on?
Well, I am editing Children of Amarid, my very first novel. I have the rights back to the book — to the entire series, actually — and I’m planning to come out with what I call the Author’s Edit (kind of like the Director’s Cut of a movie). So I’m reading through the book, editing as I go, rediscovering the tale that kicked off my career.
And it’s awful. I mean TERRIBLE. I am mortified to realize this book has been in […]
Continue reading Quick-Tip Tuesday: Revisiting the Past, and Finding Out We Sucked