Archive for July, 2012

The Skill List Project: Dialogue Attribution

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, I said we’d look at the skill of attributing dialogue, including the abuse of said-bookisms and dangling adverbs. So let’s do it. Said-Bookisms The term said-bookism […]

A Father and Writer Looks At Violence In His Books

I’ve just returned from a signing tour for Thieftaker.  All told now, I’ve done nine signings in the nearly three weeks since the book’s release. I get a lot of questions at bookstore events — Where do I get my ideas?  What is my daily writing routine like?  Stuff like that.  But quite often I […]

Failure Is Good for You

It hurts, it sucks, and none of us want to have to deal with it, but the truth is: failure is good for you. Within reason, of course. I could write an entire post, or more than one, full of disclaimers and qualifications to that statement. There are important ways in which failure is bad […]

Details, Details

So, I recently finished The Hunger Games. There was some good stuff in it, a couple of good emotional scenes early on, and the idea itself is brilliant. What’s not to like about a reality show where the contestants actually kill each other? I expect Bravo to premier a show that does exactly that sometime […]

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.



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