May the magic be with you - but get your terms right!
The good first: I was reminded of certain
terminology that continues to be misused and abused frequently – especially on
TV – which always bothered me. (Of course it only bothers you once you know the
difference, so this book certainly helps to enlighten). I also had fun browsing
through chapters of spell-creation in countless areas of the needy. These kept
me entertained and showed the writer’s own great imagination, as well as her
own extensive research in matters of the arcane.
But from all in the Writer’s Craft Series so
far, this Book probably disappointed me the most - but then I didn’t expect
much new information and was served right. Having said that, the book covers
the basics of a variety of “real” and “known” magical systems and some even in
detail. It also – as mentioned already - does it cover wide selection of
situations in which magic might play a part (as well as tool, timing, ...)
writer new to magic – or the use of it in novels – may find little kicks that –
as even the writer suggests – go and research other places in depth. While the author is without doubt extremely knowledgeable, she can only give an introduction to a huge field - and does it well and in depth. The book can help you get an idea before you go and search for your special magic.
is music itself. Therefore besides a touch of “Black and White” I am left with
my own devices.
While most of the traditional systems
described don’t work for me, I was intrigued by some elements and went “to the
beyond” called Google myself to check up on things – which usually brings you
to more books – or to reading how others did it.
What bugged me the most in this book though
was – and this is just my opinion and might work well for others – are the “blunders
to avoid”. While some I can accept others (especially in early chapters) I
found a touch presumptuous. After all who knows what is possible in a world we
create, or on a planet we discover for our story? Maybe I would have slept
easier on those would they have been named “think about it” lol
As my own magical system doesn’t fit in
either category and gained little from reading, I believe I will move on the
next book in the series and leave this to the not-yet-initiated:
I was curious
about this book as I had heard before
that sometimes my characters
– when actually
didn’t sound real. Right.
After listening to countless conversations.
ok, get myself a book about dialogue.
I mean how much can you you write about
Turns out a
That was the
longest book by Rayne Hall I read so far
– and to be honest: I raced through it
in a day (which is something you can only do if you skip the assignments
spread throughout as usual. Guilty. I integrate them while actually
putting things to the test during my revisions!)
author mentions that the book is not targeting novice writers – which I
understand by the sheer amount of suggestions and insights – new writers WILL
find useful stuff as well: They might never threaten a readers sanity (or the
other character waiting to have a go) by lengthy constructions to get to the
point. They might – well write those tight, sizzling dialogues with punch-lines
from the start instead of boring to death. In my case I assume the character listening
in my case had often no clue what the other was talking about – neither did the
having lost midway what he meant to say.
insight only came after sometimes incredibly easy fixes like framing questions
and understanding rituals between a variety of characters to make it work –
Rival Alphas was a new one to me but immediately added spice to scenes I had in
There is so
much helpful stuff in this book that it’s hard to put it all in a review, it
even includes examples of how kids different ages react to a certain question –
doesn’t TELL you how to write dialogues, she presents you with a huge
collection of useful tips to take it to the next level and still make them
examples of how to make characters look more intelligent, how to inform without
the dreaded info-dumping, how to talk and react to a boss or how to frame flirty
Not to forget how to create a great argument.
interesting to me – as a bilingual writer - was probably how to work in foreign
languages. Here I decided to do it my own way – but that’s exactly what Rayne
Hall suggests throughout
– keep tricks in mind and then follow your gut.
Yes, there are
some old-timers we have heard and discussed before like tags, format – but that
just rounds it up nicely. And to be honest: The chapters about
and “White space” were a great reminder...
Read – keep it
as a reference next to you for the time when Beta’s yawn – and give them
something to follow open mouthed the next version!
Ok, this book took me by surprise. I confess I had
never heard about Euphonics, but since music plays a huge part in my writing I
was curious how specific sounds could improve the message I wanted to deliver
by touching the subconscious.
(I wondered how many times this has
been used in speech lol)
The first part is basically a Thesaurus explaining
which letters create which feeling if used in a certain way. It was a continuous
string of “AHA” experiences and I kept jogging down on index cards while
playing and juggling with sounds.
It was fun and I would recommend the book
for this alone.
The second part left me a bit breathless
involves more background, insights and generally needs more concentration.
kept reading out examples and rolled words and phrases over my tongue
understand what was going on.
That took more time which partly may have to do with the fact that I’m bilingual
and my mind tends to jumble a variety of meanings and syntax if puzzled.
when understanding dawned was rewarding though,
especially when I realized that gut
feeling probably already had me use the techniques at times,
while at other
times the wish to find the best word or phrase took me away from the emotion
could have transmitted.
This book is a valuable tool for both new and “Ancient”
writers as it forces you to read beyond and play with sounds, words and