Quick Thoughts I Had Over The Weekend

Last night I finished reading a well-reviewed YA novel that had the coolest title ever. (Yeah, sorry, since I’m about to complain, I’m not sharing. You’ll just have to go look at YA titles and make your best guess.) The writing was good, the voice was distinct, the story was interesting and the characters were fleshed-out and individual. And when I got to the end, I wanted to throw the darned thing against the wall. (If you ever feel this way, try not to do it. I did once years ago, and left a substantial dent in the drywall.) The author didn’t finish the story. Now I understand that writing a series means you can’t tie up every loose end, answer every question. But when I’m reading, the last thing I want is to feel that the printer forgot to include another three chapters. There needs to be a conclusion […]

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Party Talk: Bad Guys!

Hey y’all, I have some exciting news…there’s a new book coming out soon, and you’re going to love it! It’s called The Big Bad II, and it’ll be released February 24. Edited by John Hartness and Emily Lavin Leverett, it’s chockful of great stories by some of the best in the business, and every single story is from the point-of-view of the villain. As soon as we have a preorder link, I’ll share it here on MW for you! In the meantime, I’ve invited the writers from The Big Bad II to come to Magical Words for a session of Party Talk. Today’s question is:

Who’s the best bad guy you’ve ever read? What made that character so enthralling?

Gail Martin: It’s a tie for me between Voldemort from Harry Potter and Denethor from Lord of the Rings. I really loved the parallels between Tom Riddle and Harry, with choice […]

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The Weird Wild West Needs Homesteaders!

Hey y’all! I hope the holidays treated everyone well, and that you were fortunate enough to spend at least some of the time with people you like who like you back!

I’m back again to talk about our Kickstarter. We’re pleased that so many folks believe in us enough to pledge a little money, and we hope that we reach our goal so that we can bring you all some incredible stories. The first volume will feature thrilling tales by R S Belcher, Tonia Brown, Diana Pharaoh Francis, John Hartness, Gail Martin, James Tuck, Jonathan Maberry and me. But we’ll also have space for some of you!

If we reach our initial funding goal, we’ll offer up four open submission spots. We’re very excited to see what you all can imagine, but it will only happen if we reach that goal. You can help us along. Pledge if you can, […]

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Misty Massey: Diving Back In

Well, hey y’all! It’s been a while, and I’m tickled to be posting today.

There are a lot of things no one tells you when you finally sell a book. They don’t tell you how long it will take for checks to come in. It takes a long, long time – it’s usually one check on contract signing, one check on manuscript delivery and the last one on release. That wonderful dollar amount you saw on the initial offer looks a little depressing when it’s broken into chunks over the course of months. They don’t tell you that you might have to completely rewrite your book once the editor has gotten a nice, close look at it. It’s called an editorial letter, but it’s really a long, sad list of all the things you didn’t know the editor didn’t like. They don’t tell you that you’ll have to handle your […]

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Magical Words Writing Workshop

Hi folks!

We hope you’ve been enjoying all the marvelous guests we’ve brought you so far in 2014. Trust me, we have even more writers and their books to introduce to you as the months move along, so you’re not allowed to be mad at us when your to-be-read stack climbs higher than your bedside table. *laughs*

Today everyone’s taking a break, so I thought I’d drop over to mention that Faith Hunter, David B Coe and I (Misty Massey) are very excited about the upcoming Magical Words Writing Workshop, which is taking place during Congregate in July. It’s an intensive two-day seminar offering detailed, specific feedback on the first 2500 words of your manuscript from all three of us. Not only that, but members of the class will be able to offer feedback to each other as well. And since we’re teamed with Congregate 2014, you have the […]

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The Plotter Goes Pantsing: The Relationship Between Process and Product

Thanks to Lyn Nichols for today’s title . . .

I hadn’t planned it this way, but this post serves as a nice follow-up to Chloe Neill’s excellent post yesterday.

I have recently started a new book, the second in my Weremyste Cycle, which will be published by Baen under my own name. And though I am now several chapters into the novel — close to 20,000 words — I have not yet completed an outline of the book.

All of you who have been reading my posts here at MW know that I am a dedicated planner, or at least have been in recent years. I have posted several times about the benefits of outlining a novel, of knowing where a story is going so that we can introduce themes, foreshadow plot points, plant the seeds of the twists and turns that will make our narratives capture the imaginations […]

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Taking a Moment to Look Back and Say Thanks

Nearly six years ago, on January 24, 2008, Misty posted the very first essay to the Magical Words blogsite. It was called “Where’d Everybody Go?” and it was a response to a show she had seen the night before on the History Channel about what Earth might be like if all human life vanished from the planet. The following day, I put up my first post — “Doing as I Say” — which was about writing short fiction to help flesh out elements of worldbuilding or character development for larger projects.

Faith’s first post followed mine, and Catie’s first came after Faith’s. By the end of that first week of Magical Words, we had all posted something; the site was up and running, and to be honest, we were all pretty excited about it. We didn’t know where the site would take us, but we knew it was something we […]

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