On Monday, our own Mindy Klasky started a series on how she writes a synopsis, which I am dying to read because … uh … I have no idea how I do it. I mean, I do it, I write them, but I don’t know if I do it right. I know I must have my own way of constructing a synopsis because I have never read anyone else’s synopsis. Synopses. (shrugs) I’ve learned a lot from the other writers here at MagicalWords.net, and I am looking forward to her process.
Through MW, I have discovered one major way in which Mindy and David (and probably everyone else for that matter) do character research and planning in the pre-writing phase. They have their characters histories fully fleshed out, sometimes down to their childhood sports injuries, their pets’ names, the schools they went to (the characters, not the pets) and [...]
Continue reading Character Preparation … Stuff I Don’t Do
As many of you know, release day for BLOOD TRADE was yesterday. Once a book comes out, all preparation and blogging and hope and hard BIC and planning and more BIC in the world is … never enough. A writer just has to wait and see what happens. With the market changing daily, even hourly, it’s hard to say what the result and the final numbers will mean. Will Jane Yellowrock rise in the listing or fall flat on her face? I just don’t know.
When David and Misty and I started MagicalWords.net, it was with a hope and prayer that we’d find a way to draw in fans and writers and make a home for all of us. We had also hoped that we might grow the site, make friends with other writers, and make new fans for our writing. None of us have a lot of time on [...]
Continue reading Snippet Blood Trade
I wrote something today that made me happy. Happier than I have been a long, long time. Happy enough that I found the delight in the craft that I’ve been missing. Happy enough that I am ready to get up tomorrow and write some more. And just because I am so happy with it, I want to share it with you just way it came off my fingertips. It’s missing some words, it’s got some repetition I’ll fix later, because this is the rough stuff. Writing it made me happy.
The house Bobby had picked out was freshly painted, white with purple gingerbread trim, one of many that had been recently restored. It had a new cement block foundation, making it sit high off the ground, a four room square house on a tiny lot with a picket fence. And not a hint of magics about the place. Until I [...]
Continue reading Death’s Rival — Happy Writing
As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, the original idea for Thieftaker and its sequels came originally from a footnote in a history book that described the life of one particular thieftaker, London’s notorious Jonathan Wild. A footnote. In a book I was reading for reasons that had nothing whatsoever to do with writing.
Ideas are funny things. They come from everywhere. They come unbidden, and will absolutely refuse to come if I TRY to force them. They can come in any form: characters, plot points, magic systems, worlds that present themselves to me, etc. They all begin with “What if?”, but from there they take on lives of their own, becoming as individual as children. Often they come at the worst possible times; they are particularly likely to show up when I’m in the middle of working on something else, most likely the last book of [...]
Continue reading On Creativity and Writing: Making the Most of Ideas, part I
We talk about character a lot here at Magical Words. And I mean A LOT. I’ve written about the ABCs of character, befriending characters, character development, creating minor characters, and character descriptions. Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about characters we love and hate. That’s half a dozen character posts, and those are just from me.
There’s a reason for this, of course. Character, as any professional fiction writer will tell you, is the key to good storytelling. A story with poorly drawn characters is simply doomed to fail; a story with weak plotting or worldbuilding can often be rescued, at least partially, by stellar character work. Character development is an author’s bread and butter.
The problem with all of the stuff I’ve written about character is that it fails to take the next step, and that’s what I want to write about today. This may seem so [...]
Continue reading On Writing: Character Dynamics
I’ve been asked quite often why I never went back to write more books in my first series, the LonTobyn Chronicle. There are several reasons — I had other things I wanted to write, I had completed the story I set out to tell, I felt that I outgrew the worldbuilding — but probably the main reason is that I got bored with my lead characters, Jaryd and Alayna. They were both so . . . nice (and I say that with as much of a sneer as I can manage) that after a while I just wanted to slap them both. They were virtuous and kind, generous and wise beyond their years. Their faults were superficial, their magical powers the stuff of future legend. They were, in short, just the sort of people I would wind up hating in real life. By the end of the series, they seemed [...]
Continue reading On Writing: Characters to Love, Characters to Hate
Zombies are hot these days. Whether they’re the moaning, shambling kind from Night of the Living Dead, the fast-moving Rage types or the Walking Dead zombies that fall a little in between, people think zombies are cool. There are zombie walks at cons and classes on doing zombie makeup. For three years in a row there was an online zombie blogalypse called Blog Like It’s The End Of The World, in which everyone wrote entries to their blogs on a designated day as if the zombie apocalypse was occurring. There’s even a zombie marathon (and let me tell you, if I lived closer, I would SO join in. As a zombie, naturally – I can’t run well enough for a road race. I shamble much more effectively.) And, of course, there are zombie novels… World War Z, Feed, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and [...]
Continue reading You Should Write About Zombies!