Commiting Series: Saying Goodbye

So you’ve written a million or so words in lead-up and now you’re at the end of the series. The last book. The grand finale. You’ve spent hundreds, even thousands, of hours with these characters, plotting and twisting your way through their lives.

How the heck do you say goodbye?

More than that, even: how do you make it worthy? How do you pay off a million words of build-up, a decade of putting stories out there and (hopefully!) having people ask for more? How do you create something *satisfying* at the end of all that, something that will leave you, your characters and your readers all saying, “Yeah. Yeah, that was how it should have ended. That was right.”?

My God, it’s not easy.

For me…for me it’s generally about balance, and with the Walker Papers and Joanne, who began the story badly unbalanced, it’s *particularly* […]

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Committing Series: Writing The Walker Papers

Hello, Magical Words! It’s been a long time since I’ve visited, but I’m delighted to be back for the month of July! For those of you who have come to these halls since my time, I’m CE Murphy, author of a lot of urban fantasy, including the just-completed Walker Papers series–which is what I’ll be talking about this month. There will probably be some high-level, themeatic spoilers in these posts, but with any luck they’re the kind of thing that will enhance the reading experience rather than spoil the details.

Mechanic Joanne Walker has no use for the mystical–but the mystical has a lot of use for her. When a near-death experience leaves her the choice between life as a shaman or dying, she chooses life–and finds herself hunted by old gods as she struggles to gain control of her new powers.

That’s pretty much the elevator pitch […]

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New Site, New Me!

Hello, Magical Worders!

Well, okay, really it’s the same old me, but nearly two years after being obliged to drop off Magical Words for personal reasons, I’m back! I’ll be blogging here again twice a month, every other Thursday, and I am so very very happy to be doing so. I missed you guys!

My inaugural post, though, is mostly about what’s been going on with me the past couple years rather than being something brilliantly insightful about writing. Many of you know I’d been writing three books a year since about 2004, but last year I had a baby, and something had to give. Magical Words was one of the things that gave–and I also have made a desperate effort to cut down my writing schedule to two books a year under contract. (This is the point at which many people stare at me accusingly. I’m sorry. Two books […]

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In Anticipation of Mass Market

I’m an odd duck, in terms of publishing. I happened to step into the publication realm just when bookstores were keening for trade paperback-sized novels (unlike now, when they’re keening for mass market due to the recession), and so my debut novel and in fact every single one since then under the CE Murphy byline has been a trade paperback.

This is a wonderful thing in many ways. It means a higher percentage of royalties on a higher-priced book. It means starting out in a format that for many authors is the midway point between mass market and hardcover. It means the books are physically larger and might perhaps more easily catch the eye.

It also means people who can’t afford to drop fifteen dollars on a book are not buying anything I write.

My agent and editor were both bemused by my genuine agitation to try to have the […]

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An experiment gone right

I think I have about a chapter and a half to go on DEMON HUNTS, 5th in the Walker Papers series. It is getting ever-slower. I have reached the Novelist’s Event Horizon. I’m coming to the conclusion that the last five chapters or so of any book is my least favorite part of writing it. For years now I’ve been skipping ahead and writing the last scene, and I now suspect that this is because I just want to get it over with and have some vague (if desperately wrong) hope that if I write the last scene the rest of it will all magically fall into place.

It doesn’t, of course, but hope springs eternal.

I did something different with this book, after a discussion at here about plotting vs pantsing. It struck me that the books that have gone the most smoothly–noteably THE QUEEN’S BASTARD and THE PRETENDER’S […]

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