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Cheryl's Musings

Cheryl's Musings: October 2011

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Tuesday Ten: Ways to Irritate an Editor

This list is compiled from years of conference-going, listening to editors and agents bemoan the tactics that writers-at-large use to gain their attention. And, in a way, these things work. You gain attention…


…just not the kind of attention you want!

Hope you enjoy :~)


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Give a Man a Hammer (or Other Cool Ability): Fifty-Seven Ways it Can Be Used

I wrote Tuesday about how to make magic, the supernatural, or paranormal abilities believable in your story. Well, I skipped one—because it doesn’t have to do with the magic system, per se, but with how your characters will respond to a world where magic—or their cool technology,  works.

You know that old saying, to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail? I’d argue that the same holds true for your characters. If they have a magical or paranormal ability, chances are that they will turn to it to solve a variety of nonmagical problems.


Take the following list of actions and ask yourself: how can my character accomplish these using his or her unique abilities?


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Tuesday Ten: How to Make Magic Real

You want to write a book with magic in it. When you imagine your story, the world is beautiful, the magic system seamless, and you’ve got all these cool twists that will make this story UNIQUE, in a big, fantastic way.


And then…you start to write. And somehow your beautifully-imagined world feels flat, the magic forced, and all those cool, unique ideas that make your story stand out? Not so much.

You need chocolate. And wine. Pronto.

If you’re anything like me, the above scenario feels a little too familiar—no matter what genre you write. It’s enough to make you crazy! How do you figure out what makes one story world complex and believable and yours…not?

My strategy? I go back to the books I love and try to figure out how those authors created magic on the page.


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