Books For Which I Am Thankful (An Early Thanksgiving Post)

My regular week off from MW coincides with Thanksgiving week, which is convenient, because I will be traveling with my daughter to look at colleges in NY and New England, so I wouldn’t really have time to post anyway. But that means that my Thanksgiving post comes a week early this year.

As always I am thankful for so much — I’m a very lucky man. I love my family, and they seem to love me back, which is always good thing. I enjoy my job, and have had a successful year, revolving around the release of THIEFTAKER, which has done well both commercially and critically. And I have friends and colleagues here at MW and elsewhere whom I respect and care about a great deal. Are there things I would like to improve in my life — in particular in my career? Of course. I’m not claiming that all […]

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On Writing: Characters to Love, Characters to Hate

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 […]

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The Writing Life: Fear, Want, Dissatisfaction, Defiance

First off, sorry for the delay in getting this posted. I was at Marcon this weekend, with Faith and Lucienne, and had a wonderful time. We got to see Daniel and Donald, and we met a few new people as well. Fun time. As soon as I got home, I was off to a Passover Seder at the home of a friend, so I didn’t get the chance to write this post ahead of time, as I usually do.

Second, check out the IGMS advertisement just to the right of this post. That is the artwork for “A Memory of Freedom,” by D.B. Jackson. It is the feature story for this month’s issue of Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. This is a Thieftaker story, and that figure in the ad is one artist’s rendering of Ethan Kaille, the lead character of the Thieftaker books. I hope you’ll visit the […]

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Learning to Write: The Limitations of Books About Writing

I’m mentoring a graduate student in writing right now, and together she and I have put together a course on worldbuilding. In addition to having her read several SF/Fantasy novels that demonstrate various approaches to creating worlds or embedding magic systems in our own world, I have also assigned some reading in a couple of books on writing.

No, I didn’t assign her any readings in the Magical Words How-to — it always bothered me when my college professors did that; I believe it’s unethical. Instead, I assigned her several chapters in Melissa Scott’s Conceiving the Heavens: Creating the Science Fiction Novel and Orson Scott Card’s How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. But while I didn’t have her read the Magical Words book, it did occur to me as I was working on the syllabus just how many books on writing are out there. In our genre alone, you […]

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IGMS Award Winning Stories for Free

I’m at MystiCon this weekend, which is why Misty graciously arranged for a guest to post in my place yesterday. However, I did want to take a moment to mention that the winners of the first annual InterGalactic Awards (a reader’s poll of favorite IGMS stories of the year) are available for a limited time for free. First Prize went to Peter Beagle for “Trinity County CA,” second place to Von Carr’s “Sister Jasmine Brings the Pain,” and there was a tie for third place between Bruce Worden’s “The American” and Keffy Kehrli’s “Ghost of a Girl Who never Lived.” I was going to provide more details about these stories myself, but IGMS assistant editor Scott Robert’s did it so much better than I ever could have, so the following is his announcement from over on the IGMS blog:

InterGalactic Awards—FREE STORIES

Psst. Hey. Looking for some fun? Yeah. You […]

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Hi Ho Hi Ho, It’s Off To Work I Go

How To Write Magical Words is in the homestretch: all of the interior material has been proofed and approved (which take five words to say – “has been proofed and approved,” but a LOT longer to actually accomplish); the front and back cover of the book are 99% completed (hopefully the final piece will be ready by Wed.); and the… well, actually, that’s about it. The inside of the book is done, the outside of the book is all but done, and the publisher tells me that once I’ve signed off on everything, it will take two weeks until the book is printed and ready for the world. My best guess would put that around approximately between roughly Dec. 22nd to the 24th (or so). Approximately.

The front cover has been tweaked since I last posted a link to it, and the back cover is now available for viewing […]

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How To Title Your Story – Or Not

How to write book and story titles that work. […]

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