Jennifer Estep — Plotting While Wearing Pants

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Oh, plotting. You and I aren’t the best of friends. More like casual acquaintances, if that.

When many folks talk about writing, they often talk about two kinds of writers—plotters and pansters. Now, plotters are just what the name implies. These are the folks who plot out their books, which can include everything from doing a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the book to detailed character outlines to creating storyboards of the various scenes/chapters.

And then there are pansters, or people who don’t do a lot of plotting. I am one of those folks.

Usually, when I’m thinking about an idea for a book, I’ll think about my heroine first—her personality, her strengths and weaknesses, her magic and how she can use it to defeat the bad guys. Then, I’ll think about the three big turning points of the story:

1) The first chapter that opens the book. I often think [...]

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Joshua Palmatier — Plot: Losing Control

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SHATTERING THE LEY: Plot: Losing Control

Welcome to my third guest post about my new novel, SHATTERING THE LEY (in stores now)! Again, thanks to Magical Words for inviting me.

As you may have read in my previous post about character, I’m an organic writer, sometimes also called a pantser. What this means is that I don’t have much of a plan when I sit down to write my novels. Usually I have a few “guideposts”—basically a couple of plot elements that I think are going to happen (usually something about halfway through and something at the end). But when I sit down to write, I let the characters take control. Most of the time, the characters end up in situations close to those initial guideposts. But sometimes . . . not so much.

That “not so much” happened with SHATTERING THE LEY. Almost as soon as I sat down [...]

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D.B. Jackson: Drawing Inspiration From Short Fiction

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Hello, MW! It is great to be back — I’ve missed being here. [Glances around] The place looks great — you’ve taken good care of it while I’ve been gone. And now that I’m here, I’m sticking around for a while — I’ll be posting for the next five weeks, kicking off the promotion for A Plunder of Souls, the third book in the Thieftaker Chronicles (which began with Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry). The book will be released on July 8, exactly one week from today.

So, let’s get to it . . .

You’ve heard me say it before: “Write short fiction about your characters. It will help you get a sense of their background and their voice, and it might even result in a sale.” Or, as in this case, it might lead to an entirely new novel.

A Plunder of Souls has its origins in a single [...]

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Self-publishing and why I chose this path — Lillian Archer

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Bonjour! I am Lillian Archer, and I am tres excited to be posting on Magical Words today. Merci beaucoup to the MW team, and go buy some of their books.

My book, Prodigal Spell, is a historical fantasy set in 1790s London and the Caribbean at the height of British colonial expansion. It is the story of Julia Richmond, a London society wife, who is hiding her witchcraft from her husband, her friends, and the church. She must choose between the man she loves or a heritage she detests before a demon kills her father. It is a story about severely fractured people and relationships hiding in a historical fantasy.

 

I began my publishing journey like many others- I procured an agent, and then waited for a contract from a publishing house. Not a single house wanted to purchase the book. Several houses expressed interest, and I offered [...]

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About Character, and a New Thieftaker Short Story

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Today, I have a new short story out at Tor.com, under the D.B. Jackson pseudonym. The story is called “The Price of Doing Business.” It’s set in the Thieftaker world and it tells the story of Ethan Kaille’s first encounter with Sephira Pryce, who later becomes his rival and nemesis. The artwork is by the marvelous Chris McGrath, who also has done the jacket art for the Thieftaker books. [Update, 2/19/2014, 10:00 CST: The story is now live on the Tor.com site and can be found here. And here's the updated artwork as well; I wasn't sure which image they would use. I actually like this second one better.]

Last week we talked about plotting here at MW. This week, starting with Di’s post on Monday, and continuing with Chloe Neill’s post yesterday, we are talking about character. And so the release of this short story comes at a perfect [...]

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Faith Hunter — Release Week

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Hi all. This is my second week on MagicalWords.net, under the new system. If you have been away from MW this year, and this is your first time back, you are seeing something new. MW has entered a new format, one with more guest speakers and some new emphases—on readers and the business of writing and the life of being a writer, as much as on writing tips, writing toolbox, and methodology.

One of the most important parts in the life of a writer—traditionally published or self-published—is release week. Jan. 7, Tuesday of last week, was release day for BLACK ARTS.

I have to tell you, this feels weird, but I’m game. After some thought, (and two false starts) I decided to make this a post about the business of writing, as much as a PR post about release week, weaving in book blurbs and art and working with the [...]

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The Fiction of a Writer’s Life — Alethea Kontis

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Hi All! I’m back for second week at MagicalWords.net. A few years ago, back when I worked for a major book wholesaler, I wrote up A Day in My Life for these lovely Magical Words folks.

My life has changed a LOT since then. The chaos of my schedule, however…not so much.

Being a full time writer means that I don’t have business hours anymore. There is no longer a time I “normally” get up or go to bed. I have no sense of weekdays or weekends. There is only “working” and “feeling guilty about not working.”

I travel a LOT now, so much so that I’ve started creating folders for myself with pertinent information for each trip inside. Of course, in order to do this I have to take a day or two out of my schedule and play at being my own personal assistant…but these [...]

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