Writing | Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Artistic Integrity and The Pressure to Be Other Than We Are

Most people think of the word integrity as ‘adherence to moral and ethical principles,’ but there is another definition equally important to understanding the word: ‘the state of being whole, entire or undiminished.’ The two meanings of integrity are integral to each other. When one exhibits moral character, he is whole; when he displays unethical. . . Read More


Author Q&A and a Plea to Aspiring Writers

To my readers: please know how much I appreciate your emails, mentions and comments! Recently, many of you have written to me asking similar questions. I thought it would be best to answer all of you here on my blog in order to give your questions adequate address. I’ve lumped your questions together into these three: “What inspired you to. . . Read More


Writing Kingdom Blades (PSOL Book 4)

Many of you have been asking when book four in A Pattern of Shadow & Light will be released. All I can tell you right now is that I’ll have Kingdom Blades to you at some point in 2016 (the Muse willing). For comparison, each book in this series runs around 300,000 words, and the first. . . Read More


Breaking Up With Your Novel

Last week I finished penning the third book in my epic fantasy series and sent it off to beta readers. Paths of Alir was two years in the planning/writing, and the final clocked in around 300,000 words. (It is an epic fantasy. Providing a series is well-crafted, anything short of 250k and epic fantasy fans somewhat. . . Read More


The Use of Emotion in Storytelling

  I was recently in dialogue with a reader about the use of homoeroticism in my novels. She asked if I had intentionally created a correlation between two homosexual characters (Sandrine du Préc in Cephrael’s Hand and the Prophet Bethamin in Dagger of Adendigaeth) and unethical conduct. In short, I had not. However, I found. . . Read More


Overcoming Writer’s Block – 5 Unconventional Ideas

As writers, we innately tend to know when our story is working and when it isn’t. I like to describe this awareness as a sort of resonance, but it could just as easily be compared to an engine with all pistons firing. A skilled mechanic can tell just by listening when an engine isn’t purring. . . Read More


Speculative fiction is the motor of progress (why everyone should read fantasy, part 2)

  “A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”  –Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The importance of imagination in our lives cannot be underestimated. Imagination fuels the wheels of progress along every avenue—from Apple to the Curiosity Rover, and in each technological. . . Read More


The Lie

I was reading an article recently by Sherrinda Ketchersid on The Writers Alley Blog, where she introduces the concept of The Lie. Sherrinda wrote: “Character development hinges on The Lie. You see, your hero needs to overcome something in his life. There needs to be some lie he believes that taints every part of his belief system, every action, and. . . Read More