#amwriting | Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

Posts Tagged ‘#amwriting’

Book Five is (almost) in the oven

Okay, I’m starting to feel the quarterly pressure. The questions are pouring in, asking in polite, dulcet tones, “Oh please, madam, might you tell us where stands the progress of booketh number five?” Progress is being made, people. Daily. Hourly. Minute by minute by sentence finished with a period to prove its completion. Lots of. . . Read More


Yes, I Am Still Writing Book Five

  Dearest readers: I have emerged from the singularity called Alorin to discover that six months have passed since I last updated you on the progress of book five (a fact which more than many of you have recently pointed out). I guess it’s time for an update. First, let me assure you that I. . . Read More


A Pattern of Shadow and Light Book Five Update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated everyone, and I’m fielding a ton of questions, so I think an update is probably due. Here’s what I can tell you: book five is in the works. I’m about 270 pages in and I’ve written Ean and Tanis’s threads up to the end of part one, along. . . Read More


How I Create Characters

Many of you have been asking about my process for creating characters—how I came up with certain characters, and more generally, how I make my characters seem real. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have read one of my earlier posts on organic writing. For those of you who are. . . Read More


How to Stay Inspired (and an Update on Kingdom Blades)

Inspiration is one of those elusive words, like “muse” and “success.” It evades us, confounds and confuses us, bewitches when it visits and devastates upon its departure. It’s that girl glimpsed across the subway terminal, or that place in a dream that you just can’t get to. I receive a lot of questions from readers. . . Read More


Immortality and Gods in Fantasy

It’s interesting to me how many novels, plays, poems (and even, dare I say, religions) deal with immortality without really dealing with immortality, i.e. immortality is automatically assumed, more understood than explored. In our concept, gods are immortal. In fact, immortality is usually a qualifying aspect to being considered a god. In my experience, even. . . Read More


Ultimate Epic Fantasy Writer’s Playlist

“Two boys arrived yesterday with a pebble they said was the head of a dog until I pointed out that it was really a typewriter.” ~Pablo Picasso Inspiration comes in many forms. There are as many sources of inspiration as there are artists to be inspired. A simple turn of a woman’s face might become the basis of a. . . Read More


4 Steps to Writing Organically, Part II – Viewpoints, Mimicry and Imagination

Think of writing like sailing a massive ship. There are an enormous number of mechanical actions that synergistically combine to keep the ship plowing forward through the waves. It behooves you, as the captain of the vessel, to have an understanding of all of those mechanical workings. Yet if a ship’s captain spent all of. . . Read More


Pantser or Plotter: 4 Steps to Writing Organically (and the Science Behind Why You Should) – Part 1

After my last blog post on the four things you must know before starting a novel, in which I suggested not inventing a character, kingdom or creature until the story calls for it, a number of readers wrote in to ask, should nothing be planned? My answer is absolutely plan the four points on the list I gave. . . Read More


How to Avoid Cliches (or The 4 Things You MUST Know Before Starting A Novel)

A reader recently wrote to me and asked, how do you write a novel when every time you start (oh, so many times!) you get a few chapters in and suddenly become deluged with doubts? And how, when you’re so well-read in the genre that you’ve read it all and seen it all a hundred. . . Read More