Getting Here


<Looks around!> Wow! <Fangirl squee!> <Thud!>

What am I doing here, on this blog, with people that I admire for their strong characters, their ability to give me a vacation from life, for making me think?

Got me. I’m not famous. Not as a writer, anyhow. Now, if you are into dogs or plants, but this blog has nothing to do with any of that.

So here I am, surrounded by those I admire. And stalk. I go to their signings, I follow their pages and blogs and tweets. I want to know more about them. How do they get their ideas? Where do they work? What famous person did they model their characters after?

I want to be the one that finds out what happens in the next book before anyone else.

Boy, that IS stalkerish.

I could stalk, though, if I didn’t [...]

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THE WORST CHRISTMAS POST EVER (or: seriously don’t read this if you are prone to the holiday blues. Contains sorrow, loss, and others)

James R. Tuck

I’m a writer.

As writers go I’m not very emotional. I do not have gigantic mirths nor gigantic melancholies. I do not battle depression. I am very even-keeled and stable almost to the point of being a bit emotionless.

But the holidays occasionally make me a bit maudlin.

It happens.

In this, my final Magical Words post for 2013 I’m going to share some of that. This is an intensely personal post that really has nothing to do with the season. It’s been written for a while and I have pecked at it whenever I feel the need. But it relates to my current WIP which is not genre at all, but a literaryly-minded mainstream book. (It’s all very new so no news on it other than I’m near 10k in and it feels really special)

This is your last warning though: from here on out it might be a [...]

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Ye Olde Gut Kick

Diana Pharaoh FrancisDiana Pharaoh Francis

Ever written something you really liked only to have someone tell you it’s not right/good/perfect/delightful? yeah, that happened to me. Yesterday, in fact. It’s crushing. It always is. And it’s part of the daily world of writers. I hate that part. But the truth is, that’s why agents and editors exist–to tell you what you need to improve your writing. While it’s hard to hear, at the same time, it’s necessary to improving craft.

It’s not that the entire piece was wrong. Just most of it. Heh. Really though, the conversation was really constructive and taught me a lot about where I need to go with this project. I’m going to have to tear it down to the ground, and some things will still work as is, and some will be able able to be recycled later, but essentially it’s a complete rebuild. It’s a little daunting, but also exhilarating. [...]

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Misty’s Shelf

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot…If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Steven King

We here at MW always say there’s no one way to write your novel. If sitting on the couch writing on a laptop works for you, then that’s how you should do it. Others of us work at a desktop, or in longhand on yellow pads. Some people write only in the morning before the rest of the family rises, and others write after dark. This guy writes the scenes that come to him, filling in the rest later, and that girl never deviates from the line her story follows, writing the end only when she actually reaches that chapter. And every way is right, as [...]

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Research Treasures

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

I love doing research. I know that a metric ton of you out there also love looking stuff up, and are, at this moment, nodding your heads in solidarity. There’s something exciting about digging into the history or language or whatever in the hope of making your writing just that much more authentic. The only thing that ever makes me sad about research (besides the part where I can easily get lost in the looking-up and forget to write the damn book) is finding cool stuff that I can’t use right away. I know you know what I’m talking about – you’re busy checking the price of maple syrup Vermont in 1875, and wham! You discover this seriously interesting story about the Boston Molasses Disaster of 1919, in which a large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets pf Boston at an estimated 35 [...]

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Does This Book Make Me Look Fat?

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

When I worked in the middle school library, one of my patrons was a young girl who loved books…even though she didn’t actually read them. She would come in once every other week, check out three or four Harry Potter books, and then carry them around so that other students could see her with them. Along the way she picked up the basics of the stories, and eventually she did read them herself, but it always amused me to watch her using the books as attention-getting props.

We talk all the time about books we wouldn’t be caught dead reading in public. Twilight and its sequels, the 50 Shades books, The Da Vinci Code (well, anything by Dan Brown, really)… all of these are books that sold millions, and are regularly checked out from the library every week. Still, we insist we would never allow a copy in our [...]

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On Writing: Book Identity, and Why I Didn’t Like THE HOBBIT Movie


On Friday night, I finally saw the new(ish) movie version of The Hobbit — the Peter Jackson version that came out earlier this year. I am a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings movies, despite their flaws, and I was looking forward to seeing what Jackson did with The Hobbit. To be honest, I have been excited about this movie since I first heard that it was being made, and my excitement only increased when I learned that the marvelous Martin Freeman would be playing Bilbo Baggins.

I am sad to say that I found the movie stunningly disappointing. Let me pause here to make clear that I am not a movie purist. I was fine with many of the decisions Jackson made in his retelling of LOTR, including those that strayed from the books as written by J.R.R. Tolkien. I do not believe that a movie director [...]

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