Barnes & Noble is offering 25% on preorders for the next 3 days, so if you read on Nook and want a great discount on TWISTED MAGIC, go to B&N and use PREORDER25.
This week at the SFF Seven, we’re talking how to find inspiration when the story won’t come to you.
Did you know the word “inspiration” comes from the Latin inspirare, which means “to breathe into”? Same root as the English word for respiration and other, similar, breathing-related words. It refers to the sense of the divine breathing life into us.
The way creatives use “inspiration,” we usually mean it the way this topic is phrased – that we’re waiting for that divine breath, waiting for that story to come to us.
As a creative, YOU are the divine and the story is your creation. Did the gods wait for lifeless clay creatures to somehow totter up to them, requesting the breath of life?
Similarly, those stories are not going to come to you. You must reach out and seize the clay, shape it into what you want it to be, and then for YOU to be the inspiration, to breathe life into the new work.
I know this isn’t the advice you wanted to hear. This isn’t easy. But then, being a Creator never is.
I’m back to regular (mostly) podcasting, catching you all up on my activities, talking a bit about voice – how to recognize it and what it means – and asking for input on this midwinter holiday fantasy romance novella.
Why I don’t believe in muses and how conflating the experience of writing – joyful or otherwise – with the experience of reading is counterproductive, and how writing turns out the same whether it was fun to write or not.
SHADOW WIZARD releases tomorrow!! Preorder price of $4.99 will be good into tomorrow, then it goes up. (Along with my grocery bill, alas!) The audiobook is being recorded now and should be available in about 2 weeks.
This week at the SFF Seven, we’re asking: Do you have an iconic scene that inspires your writing?
I think most of my stories arise from certain pivotal images. For most every book I’ve written, I can almost certainly identify what the core image was. It’s more than visual, however, and feels more like a snippet of a moment: a character in a situation. For a long time I have had an iconic scene. I started drawing it when was a little girl and it’s found its way into any number of stories over the years. I’ve never quite felt like I fully wrote the story of it, though it’s haunted me less recently, so maybe I’ve come close enough for it to leave me alone.
A woman stands on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Waves rise in whitecaps, dashing themselves against the rocks below. A wind off the water blows back her hair and gown. She’s waiting… Perhaps for an enemy to arrive on her shores? That’s my usual feeling. Sometimes a large wolfhound is with her. Sometimes I think she’s a sorceress, other times a queen.
If you’ve read a lot of my books, you’ll probably recognize ways that this scene appears in various forms. I might’ve finally worked it out of my system with the Forgotten Empires trilogy, although it still didn’t feel precisely like that iconic scene. Maybe I’ll wend my way back to it someday!
For the time-being, however, I’ve been in the marshes and woodlands with the denizens of the Renegades of Magic world. SHADOW WIZARD takes us to a new high house (if you’re familiar with the Bonds of Magic trilogy), and increasingly wild adventures. In this book, this snippet of a scene is one of my favorites:
She flung herself against him, embracing him with fierce tenacity, face buried against his neck, her chin digging rather sharply against his collarbone. For a slender, barely-there wraith, Seliah possessed a surprising amount of tensile strength. And she smelled of water in the moonlight, her tough, tense, thin little body vibrating with spiky silver magic, her breasts surprisingly—and distractingly—soft and full pressed against his chest. He couldn’t help a tiny fantasy of how it would feel to be buried inside that intensity, to have that passionate body surging against his, embracing and engulfing.
It’s never going to happen, he told himself firmly.
Are you sure? part of him whispered back slyly.
Yes. Ruthlessly banishing the image, he refused to touch her any more than he already had. Holding his hands out, even more awkward than ever, he kind of waved them around as he waited for the hug to end.
It didn’t. Instead she held on, a buzzing bundle of intoxicating magic and tempting woman. Jadren tried patting her back, thinking maybe that would satisfy her enough to encourage her to go away, but she only purred, snuggling closer, like a cat who’d found the one cat-hater in the room and had no greater goal in life than encamping on his lap forever.