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Writing Advice Update: Magic Systems & Finishing Book 2

This month in my Writing Advice Update, I discuss one of the most important subjects in fantasy: creating your own magic system. Along the way, I discuss working with a high-magic versus low-magic worlds, magic and technology, well-defined and ill-defined magics and the benefits of each, and what kinds of questions you need to ask yourself while you’re creating your system if you want to be rigorous.

And thanks for your patience in this slightly delayed post — as I mentioned earlier, we had a couple big posts earlier this week, and I’ve just finished the first draft of The Lightbringer Trilogy #2 yesterday! It’s called The Blinding Knife and will be out in September 2012 (ish).¬†Now I get the joy of editing for the next few months, and then Orbit begins work on production.

Hope you enjoy the writing advice update!

Writing Advice Update: Fireworks & Reading Your Novel

Happy 4th of July (early)! And for those of you not in the U.S.A. this weekend, I pity you and your lack of fireworks. ūüėČ

Here’s what I’ve got coming to my backyard…


…well, on a slightly smaller scale, perhaps.

Fireworks aside, it’s Writing Advice time again, and this month we’re addressing the most important question you may ever email me:

Can I (Brent) help you be a writer? And perhaps the second-most important question: Will I read your novel/screenplay/poem/magnum opus? Go here for my response, as well as some thoughts on Sparkly Vampires, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Main Thing.

Should Evil Ever Win?

My friend Shawn Speakman over at the huge SFF blog Suvudu sometimes poses some Big Questions to authors in the genre. This past week, he included me. I am more than happy to have been able to join Terry Brooks, C.S. Friedman, newcomer Peter Orullian, and Dave Wolverton in answering “Why do you think evil never wins at the end of a story? ¬†Wouldn’t it be refreshing if the antagonists won and the protagonists lost? ¬†Has no one ever come up with the idea or do publishers just never publish such stories?”

But rather than steal his thunder, I’ll just post the link here. Please feel free to comment!

Writing Advice: Character Building

Rightly or wrongly, my character building is often hailed as one of my greatest strengths in my writing. If you click here, I reveal ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING about how I do what I do. If you read this post, you will probably become a better writer than I am.*

*This post contains pos-alutely, absa-tively, zero percent hyperbole

Writing Advice Update: World-Building

In my continuing quest to rid the world of poor world… building… wait, does that make any sense at all?… I am posting yet another brief essay in response to your questions about, well, yeah, World Building.

So, if you care what I have to say about writing in general and world building in particular this month, please click over here. And as always, if you have more writing questions, please feel free to put them in the comments section, and I will add them to the queue. I’ll have more coming next month on character building.

Writing Advice Update: An Education

My favorite holiday is here! No, not tax day. April Fool’s Day! And that means another update for the Writing Advice page. Though I thought about not posting as an April Fool’s Day joke, I decided that might not go over well. Though I’ll be honest, this month the first snuck up on me, so the advice update is a leetle leaner than usual.

But if you want to know how you might sort out a good MFA program, what college classes you should consider taking, and what else it takes to get a good education as a writer, take a look over here. As always, feel free to post your questions in the comments section so I can update the page as we go!

Writing Advice Update: Learning the Business

As promised — and a whole day early! Amazing for a fantasy author to beat a deadline! — here is my monthly update to the ginormous Writing Advice post that I started last month. Lucky for you, February was a short month!

This month, I take on the writing business and give you my two cents. (Which, after inflation, is worth roughly one cent.) I’ve also incorporated one of the questions asked in the comments about world-building and addressed it at length. ¬†Please keep your questions coming!