2012 Global Ebook Award Finalist! Based on the Irish tale of “The Fate of the Children of Lir,” SwanSongis the story of a jealous half-Tslyddi woman who curses her four Wolleni stepchildren to 900 years as swans. But the curse goes awry and the children are only partially transformed. Worse, they must spend 900 years in their new shapes, in ever more wild and isolated places — and they have no guarantee they will ever be normal again. SwanSong tells how Neeve, Kennet, Corwin and Kyl cope with their transformed bodies in a land where magic is dying.
In case you missed it, last Wednesday the 22nd of August, Author Chris James was interviewed on The Author Show.
It was a riveting fourteen minute interview in which Chris spills all sorts of secrets about being a science fiction writer, and how that relates to cute puppies. There is a distinct possibility he said something about you. Or maybe not. I recommend you find out though.
If you haven’t seen the film, it’s worth looking up “The Prestige” with Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, and Scarlett Johansson. But this isn’t a film review: I mention it because the title comes from a “three part structure” of magic tricks that I think is worth serious attention from writers, one of those rare, simple skeleton keys that can actually help you conceive your stories better. And like the other tips I’ve offered here, it’s a bit global and “Zen”. Please bear with me.
Here’s the breakdown of every great magic trick, according to top pro magicians as well as ancient tradition: three discrete and vital “acts”. The first part is called “The Pledge”. This might be seen as analogous to the “normal world” of fantasy story structure: you are shown a deck of cards, a canary, a woman lying on a table. Then comes “The Turn”. Now things become less normal, which is what magic is all about: the card is mysteriously known to the magician, the canary disappears, the woman levitates. Then comes “The Prestige”, in which abnormal reality steps out and kicks your butt: the card appears in your wallet, the canary flies in the window, the woman dissolves into a flock of doves. Continue reading “The Prestige”
For the sake of simplicity, let’s agree that authors who write fiction draw freely from their imaginations. Nonfiction writers are expected to deliver verifiable truths. We do not invent characters, events or dialog. Our task is to spill hard, cold, often ugly facts onto the page, framed in captivating paragraphs. Like novelists, we are storytellers engaged in a similar creative process, and what we write is filtered through our subjective perceptions.
Passion is the emotional component that drives the research. How we interpret information cannot be objective, no matter how hard we try to restrain influences that sway our points of view. Deeply held convictions influence the way our sentences are constructed, determine which resources will be brought forward to support our opinions, while at the same time we strive to keep the third person narrative consistently detached and trustworthy. After scouring every other author’s tome on our topic, we must remain convinced that we have something utterly new to offer our readers. Otherwise, why bother to retell the story? Continue reading “The Challenges of Publishing Indie Nonfiction Books by Marcia Quinn Noren”