Archive for February, 2011

The Skill List Project: Reading Judiciously

This is another post in The Skill List Project: an attempt to list all the skills involved in writing and selling fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy. Last time around, we talked about Reading Voraciously. This time around, we’ll look at reading judiciously: the skill of reading in order to learn from other writers. Reading […]

A Conversation About Outlining and Worldbuilding

My friend Tim Rohr, a talented young writer, emailed me recently with a series of questions about worldbuilding and outlining, and the intersection of those elements of my prep work for writing a novel or series. His questions grew out of a post on outlining that I wrote for the Magical Words blogsite, and out […]

Narrative at group rates

When I was in high school and college, I played French horn. (Bear with me; I am going somewhere relevant with this.) I had also played piano for a number of years, through elementary school and into junior high. Piano is nice enough; it’s much better suited to noodling around and figuring out how to […]

Simple Writing Tricks

Some writers, when they start a new book, write pages and pages of description about the major (and some of the minor) characters.  This might include entire biographies, lists of jobs the characters have held, relationships they’ve had, triumphs and failures, their favorite colors and foods.  Most of what they write they never include in […]

The E-Book Revolution

OK.  We’ve all been hearing about the e-book revolution for a few years now.  According to some, print books will cease to exist within a year or two; everyone will read on electronic devices, and paper is dead, dead, dead. I own a Kindle.  I also own an iPhone, outfitted with a number of e-reader […]

Author Information

James Alan Gardner

James Alan Gardner got his M.Math from the University of Waterloo with a thesis on black holes...and then he immediately started writing science fiction instead. He's been a finalist for the Hugo and Nebula awards, and has won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award as well as the Aurora award (twice). He's published seven novels (beginning with "Expendable"), plus a short story collection and (for street cred) a Lara Croft book. He cares deeply about words and sentences, and is working his way up to paragraphs. Visit site.

David B. Coe

David B. Coe ( is the Crawford award-winning author of the LonTobyn Chronicle, the Winds of the Forelands quintet, the Blood of the Southlands trilogy, and a number of short stories. Writing as D.B. Jackson (, he is the author of the Thieftaker Chronicles, a blend of urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. David is also part of the Magical Words group blog (, and co-author of How To Write Magical Words: A Writer’s Companion. In 2010 he wrote the novelization of director Ridley Scott’s movie, Robin Hood. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Visit site.

Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan is the author of more than forty short stories and seven novels, the most recent of which is the urban fantasy Lies and Prophecy. Visit site.

S.C. Butler

Butler is the author of The Stoneways Trilogy from Tor Books: Reiffen's Choice, Queen Ferris, and The Magician's Daughter. Find out what Reiffen does with magic, and what magic does with him... Visit site.

Mindy Klasky

Mindy Klasky is the author of eleven novels, including WHEN GOOD WISHES GO BAD and HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH in the As You Wish Series. She also wrote GIRL'S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT, SORCERY AND THE SINGLE GIRL, and MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL, about a librarian who finds out she's a witch. Mindy also wrote the award-winning, best-selling Glasswrights series and the stand-alone fantasy novel, SEASON OF SACRIFICE. Visit site.



Browse our archives: