My fantasy and science fiction followers may be interested in this blog on Sometimes the Magic Works, Lessons from a Writing Life, by Terry Brooks, a repeat New York Times bestselling author.
The book caught my attention because of the idea of magic in the writing process, as well as research and lots of hard work. “If you don’t think there is magic in writing, you probably won’t write anything magical,” Brooks said. “Writing is life. Breathe deeply of it.”
As a child and adult, the author of Star Wars- Episode 1, The Phantom Menace, was accused of having his mind in a different world than his body. So, it is no surprise that the first chapter of this book, titled I Am Not All Here, is about writers living in two worlds.
Inspired by other writers and books, he said he discovered his voice through trial and error. Brooks gives three character traits essential for success in writing:
He stresses the importance of organization and thinking ahead about your point of view, story arc, characters and setting. Your writing will flow more easily if you organize chapter by chapter and then pull everything together.
Outlining forces you to think through your story. It’s a working blueprint, a picture of your story. Having your blueprint also may help prevent writer’s block.
He starts with some basic ideas, then goes through a thinking or dreaming period. Brooks has lots of ideas and writing them down encourages other ideas.
His basic formula for success is:
Read, Read, Read
Outline, Outline, Outline
Write, Write, Write
Writers, especially fantasy and science fiction writers, create new worlds. It is important that readers aree able to identify with your world, your characters and your story.
I’ve often heard “write what you know.” But Brooks goes beyond, that recommending us to at least know enough for the story and give people the idea that you know more.
The author of Sometimes the Magic Works, has written more than 20 New York Times bestselling novels. The Shannara Chronicles began showing on MTV in January 2016 and on Spike TV in 2017. The show is based on Brooks epic fantasies.
He also has authored more light-hearted fantasy in The Landover novels, and dark, contemporary fantasy in the Word & Void series. Goodreads offers a chronological listing of the Shannara books.
He also wrote Hook, a tie-in to the Robin Williams movie Hook, based on the idea of Peter Pan grown up. He felt he should write the book because, “Who better to write a sequel to Peter Pan than me, the boy who never grew up.”
I really enjoyed reading Sometimes the Magic Works, so I am ready to read more of Brook’s books.
If you want to find out more about him and his writing, check out Terrybrooks.net. He also is on Twitter and Facebook.