James R. Tuck
As a writer and as a human I must admit, I am a bit of an egotist. Occasionally I swerve over to arrogant assdom, but mostly I reel it in and keep it entertaining.
But often, like the slip of the drunk cousin at the church social, my ego shows in my writing for the world to see.
You see, all my stories are set in the same universe, some more obviously than others, but all of them there. I don’t have a name for it, though I’m leaning toward the Spiralverse.
The Spiralverse is a universe built on the concept that major events cause a resonance that splits reality into a new timeline placed on a new earth. They are all interconnected and separate at the same time. Now this isn’t anything new. It’s been done a hundred million ways. Almost every comic book publisher has one shared universe for [...]
Continue reading CREATING A UNIVERSE (it takes a lot more than seven days)
John G. Hartness
I want to talk a little today about jealousy, and surrounding yourself with people that are better than you at your chosen profession, avocation, whatever. Some of this comes from seeing that Jim Butcher has been added to the guest list at Dragon*Con, and I’m super-excited about hopefully getting the chance to meet the guy who inspired a lot of The Black Knight Chronicles, and heavily influenced my writing style. I’m also a little nervous, because not just is Butcher responsible for a large chunk of the urban fantasy genre, but he’s also responsible for putting a lot of the snark that I love into the format as well.
Obviously I’m a fan of Butcher’s work, not just The DresdenFiles, but the Codex Alera stuff as well. And I’m also jealous as hell of his talent. You see, Butcher can do something that I have a very difficult time doing [...]
Continue reading A little jealousy – a good thing?
Early in February of this year, I posted to the MW site the opening paragraphs from my WIP, City of Shades, which will be the third Thieftaker book. (It should be out in the summer of 2014; Thieves’ Quarry, the second book in the sequence, will be out on July 2 of this year, as will the paperback edition of Thieftaker. Just sayin’.)
Today, I want to revisit that passage and show you the revised version. First, here is the original:
Ethan Kaille knew that he had been followed. Even as he pursued Peter Salter, who had stolen a pair of ivory-handled dueling pistols from a wealthy attorney in the South End, he himself was pursued. Like a fox running before hounds, he could almost feel Sephira Pryce’s toughs bearing down on him, snarling like curs, determined to take what he had claimed for himself.
Salter had led him [...]
Continue reading Your Critique of My Work Revisited
I gave up trying to write a regular blog today. My mind was too filled with anger and images of the injured at the Boston Marathon Massacre. So I pulled an unused post from long ago, one that reminds of a more innocent time in my own life.
It’s been days now since I heard that my idol Anne McCaffrey died. My first reaction upon reading of her passing was a silent, internal wail, wordless, frightened, and maybe a little superstitious. The world was not supposed to end until December 2012, not now! But it must be ending. So much is going wrong, and now the Dragon Lady is gone.
My second reaction was an intense, almost visceral memory of her books. Hers were the novels I reached for first when I raced in to my favorite Waldenbooks, back in the good old days when [...]
I am staring down the barrel of several guns—all shotguns, all loaded, all with buckshot. And I am fine with it. Now please understand that I have panic attacks. Last year this time I was in the same boat and panicking. This year, no panic. I find this odd behavior on my part. It differs from the character building, it differs from past actions, it does not fit the pattern. Not at all. So I am musing on the changes that I see in me. Not ranting, mind you. Just … pondering my way through it.
If I was a character in one of my books, I—the writer—would have to deal with this deviation from the norm. I’d have to find a way for the character changes to make sense or I’d have to do a lot of rewriting and reinsert the panic attacks. Fortunately, I am not a character [...]
Continue reading The Shotgun Barrell of the Writing Life
Misty and I had a lovely exchange yesterday on her post about ethics and characters doing stupid things. If you missed it, take a look back. I commented to her post (which was great, BTW) about a reviewer who had been attacking me and my character Jane Yellowrock, calling her (her decisions, her religious choices, her sex life, her…everything) and me, stupid and much worse
That post and exchange made me realize how important a review is to a book and a writer, and that some simple how-to-review-a-book rules might be helpful. Also, I hope you’ll offer some more suggestions in the comment area to round out the list.
Do: 1. Find something nice to say about a book. 2. Finish any book you review. Otherwise you are not giving *your* readers a fair shake. 3. Review the book you read, not the book you wish it was. 4. [...]
Continue reading Dos and Don’ts of Reviewing
Here at Magical Words, we often talk about the importance of perseverance — BICHOK (Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard, for any newcomers reading this), writing through the doubt, making time day after week after month after year until the novel is finally finished. I’m a *huge* believer in discipline, with regard to my writing. I got far in the professional work-world of law firms by making commitments to my employers and keeping those commitments. I’d be a fool to be less dedicated to my own writing career.
But every once in a while, everyone needs to stray from the path.
That’s what I did, yesterday afternoon.
For those who haven’t been following along, I’ve been on a very tight writing timetable. I’ve been doing final edits on one novel (DARKBEAST REBELLION), which will be in stores in September. I’ve been putting the finishing touches on another novel (***Name Deleted [...]
Continue reading Expect the Unexpected