Some of Magical Words Folks

A bunch of us will be the Cabarrus County Library, in NC, today–Saturday, 9-25.

https://www.facebook.com/events/299131873791961/

Come see us!

Faith

Quick-Tip Tuesday: Fixing a Broken Manuscript

Confession time: There are times when I will find myself ignoring advice that I have given here on Magical Words, or in other teaching situations. For whatever reason — convenience, time, laziness, the sense, right or wrong, that I’ve “outgrown” some of the things I believe writers with less experience ought to do — I will cut a corner here or there. I’m not proud of this, but it’s true. For instance, despite what I’ve said here recently about self-editing being most effective when I separate myself from the writing experience in all ways, including reading from a paper copy of my manuscript, I don’t always do this. Paper and ink are expensive. Printing out a book-length manuscript is time consuming. Sometimes — most time, if I’m being honest — I will simply edit on the screen.

But this past week I took my own advice in a couple of […]

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Making Money Mondays — Cost Vs Benefit

Morning Y’all. Or afternoon. Or night. Whenever you read this. Yes, MagicalWords.net has a new format of writers posting at most any time, but I wanted to keep to Mondays most of the time simply because I’m used to it.

Today’s post is about fan complaints about the cost of eBooks. A fan (let’s call her Sue Doe, to keep the Jane Doe Yellowrock confusion at bay) sent me a PM (private message) that she would no longer be buying my books because the eBooks cost so much more than other writer’s eBooks. She said I should, “Tell your publisher that they have to lower the costs of the books.” Her claim was that when the eBooks cost more than the paper books (mass-market) the companies are gouging.

We had a polite, long, back-and-forth PM exchange and I ended up telling her I was sorry to lose a fan, but […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: Challenge Revisited, and Setting Our Work Goals

Back in February, in a post called “A Challenge to All — Time to Take the Plunge,” I issued a challenge to readers of Magical Words. Take that novel that you’ve been working on, the one that you know is almost done, but feel needs one final tweak, and get it ready for submission to some publisher by October 1. Remember?

Well, we’re in the dog days of summer and fall begins in less than a month. So how’s it going?

Setting goals of any sort can be a tricky business. I had goals for this year, and while I’ve met many of them, I still have several more that I’ve yet to address and, frankly, I don’t know if I’ll complete all of them before year’s end. Sometimes life gets in the way, as it has this year for me. Issues come up that we can’t possibly anticipate, family […]

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The Top Ten

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Every August for over a decade, I’ve walked into a classroom full of (mostly) eager freshmen and spent the next few months teaching them to write. During that time, I’ve developed a few “tips” that I tell students to help avoid a “look-I’m-new-to-college” faux pas. I was thinking (as I was editing, of course) that many of these apply not only to the relationship between professor and student but also to the relationship between editor and writer.

When you work with someone, no matter what the capacity, you are creating an unspoken contract. It’s not legally binding, I’d imagine, but it’s one of those things sort of like the “bro code” that you really don’t want to mess up. But, often we do because we don’t know any better.

So, here are my top ten things that you might learn as a freshman in college that also apply […]

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Pop Culture References and Dating a Book

First, let’s be clear that I’m not suggesting that you take your book out to dinner and a movie and possibly a little nookie on the side. That would be oh so weird and also wtf? No, I’m talking about relevance and putting in references or language that doom your book to being considered old fashioned or out of touch after being out a few years. This isn’t usually a problem for second world fantasy, but often is a problem for SF, UF, contemporary fantasy, and most any contemporary novel. That’s because trends change, fashions change, language changes, and what’s ‘cool’ changes.

Now there are some things you’re stuck with. If you’re writing a book set in 2016 Greece and use current descriptions (which you’d have to do), ten years from now, when hopefully Greece isn’t flooded with refugees trying to escape certain death, Greece will look considerably different. What […]

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Faith Screwed Up

And yes, I can look at the title and see the play on words. But what happened was — the Hubs took me on an unplanned 4 day, 3 night trip to the mountains, so nothing (NOTHING) got done. Why? I was spazzing out about the release tomorrow. BLOOD OF THE EARTH lands Tuesday.

I was in a nail biting ruin. I needed rest. Hence the vaca and the total dropping of the ball on today’s post and the blog at my own site, and …. yeah. Faith Screwed Up. But I’m glad I waited.

Because, um, this at B&N.

Yeah. Number two. No–it never happened before. No–I didn’t expect it. No–I never expected Nell to create this much excitement. (Yes–that’s a confession.) Yes–my tummy aches. I don’t really chew my nails. But I may not sleep.

Making Money Mondays is about making money in the field of writing. Despite […]

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