Archive for March, 2011

The Skill List Project: Reading Analytically

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 judiciously. At the end of that posting, I made the rash promise to show “judicious reading” in action: I’d pull apart […]

A Conversation About Outlining and Worldbuilding, Part II

In last month’s post, I shared the beginning of a lengthy and fruitful email correspondence I shared with a friend of mine, Tim Rohr, a talented young writer.  Our discussion focused on worldbuilding, outlining, and the other preparatory work we do as we begin a new novel or series.  This month, I present the continuation […]

Good foundations

Allow me to pretend for a moment that my recent Dragon Age 2 bender is somehow virtuous, by talking about what story-related thing the game designers have done very, very right. For those who aren’t aware, Dragon Age is a fantasy video game. Also an expansion, a sequel, two novels, a Flash game, a Facebook […]

The Proper Tools

Do you remember typewriters?  Not just electric typewriters, but the old manual machines, too.  Back at the dawn of time, I wrote my first novels on a manual typewriter (a portable red Olivetti – very stylish).  Forty words a minute, with one index finger for the letters and punctuation, and the other for the space […]

New Sponge Day

Today is New Sponge Day in our household, when I replace the kitchen sponge.  It’s also New Contact Lens day (monthly disposables…) and New Razor Blade Day (for me — daily facial shavers around here replace theirs more often.)  I used to do all of those things whenever I happened to think of them and […]

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.



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