Saturday, January 01, 2011

How To Write Magical Words

In June of 2010 I sat down one evening at ConCarolinas (a wonderful convention in Charlotte, NC) with a group of writers who had one particular thing in common: they are all regular contributors to a blog called Magical Words ( The blog is largely devoted to offering advice to aspiring writers, with the ultimate goal of making their journey a little easier. The core members – Faith Hunter, David B. Coe, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, and Stuart Jaffe – were brainstorming ways they could expand what they did with Magical Words, and by time the night was over the book How To Write Magical Words was born and I was editing it and contributing to it. It’s been a great treat and privilege to work with the Magical Words crew, and I’ll continue to do so as long as they’ll have me. The book is now completed and can be ordered at the publisher’s website (, or at Amazon, or you can ask your local bookstore to order it for you through their normal distributor.

The book's full description is below, including a much-appreciate blurb from Orson Scott Card. Obviously I'm biased, being as involved in this project as I have been, but this is a book I'm especially proud of, and I'm sure it will be valuable to anyone who reads it.

A Writer's Companion

Editor: Edmund R. Schubert
Contributors: David B. Coe, A.J. Hartley, Faith Hunter, Stuart Jaffe, Misty Massey, C.E. Murphy
First Edition
6"x 9" Trade Paperback; Retail $17.95
ISBN 978-1-933523-80-4
LCCN 2010941759

"This is the best idea for a writing book that I've ever seen. It's like sitting in a room full of professional writers, and after each one delivers a riff on one aspect of writing, the others weigh in to buttress, amplify, refine, or add to what was said. It's an extended conversation with writers who know what they're talking about—and what matters in writing fiction that really communicates with readers."
—Orson Scott Card

A compilation of essays originally published on, a popular writing blog with thousands of regular followers. Distilling three years worth of helpful advice into a single, portable volume, it contains nearly 100 essays covering such wide-ranging topics as:

- Getting Started . . . Again
- Creating Characters in Small Spaces
- Storytelling Tropes: Belief
- Binding Character and Narrative: Point of View
- Word Choice and Pacing
- Metaphors, Similes, and Analogies, Oh My . . .
- Writing Action Scenes
- The Beginning of the End
- Developing Your Internal Editor
- Artistic Choices and the Market
- Business Realities for the Writer

Many of these essays are accompanied by comments and questions from the blog's readers, along with the author's response, making this volume unique among how-to books on any subject.

The core members of Magical Words — David B. Coe, A.J. Hartley, Faith Hunter, Stuart Jaffe, Misty Massey, C.E. Murphy, and Edmund R. Schubert — have experience writing and editing fantasy, mysteries, thrillers, romance, science fiction, non-fiction, and more. This group is uniquely qualified to cover the full spectrum of writing-related issues. How To Write Magical Words: A Writer's Companion is a book that belongs in the library of anyone interested in the craft of writing, the business of writing, and the writing life.


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