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November 20, 2019

This has nothing to do with writing about magic, or magick, or about the fantasy genre. This has to do about a subject near and dear to my heart. This is something I’ve covered many times here at Fred Central.
This is when the book is close to (or is) perfectly written.
That’s right.
This is when the writing does not get in the way of the story.
This is when what’s on the printed page is merely an avenue in which you’re grabbed, and you never let go until THE END.
When you sit down to read, before you know it, you’re absorbed into the story. You never get jerked away, are never stalled, never hesitate, nor have to flip back to re-read something. You never have to slow down to slog through a spot, or skip something. You never have to dread coming across “one of those spots again.”
You read a scene or chapter, get to the end, and cannot wait to start the next chapter to find out what happens next.
This is called writing magic, and maybe it’s not a common term, but it’s mine, at least for today.
There’s no experimentation with voices. There’s no endless narrative. There are no long passages of italics.
The story doesn’t bog down with backstory.
The author doesn’t foretell.
The point of view is solid, and doesn’t jump around every sentence or paragraph.
No matter how fascinating a story might be, if not done right, the writing can get in the way. Clunky writing is a story killer.
There’s always the “artiste,” out to throw their values on the unsuspecting world. I suppose they need to be out there as a counterbalance for those that want to actually sell a book, or those that just want to get people to actually read them. These artistes will garner fans in the intellectual crowd, but for the general masses, well…
Do you want to grab your reader?
I know that as a reader myself, that’s what I seek in every book I pick up. I read a lot, and when I fork out the bucks for a book, and invest the time to sit down and read it, I expect that author to grab me and take me away to another world. Most of the time, it beats television. The reason I read in the first place is to escape.
You won’t see me reading much non-fiction. That’s just not my thing, and it’s not an escape. I see enough reality in the world as it is. I DO keep informed. When I read, I read for pleasure, therefore, I expect the author to present it to me in the best and most efficient way possible.
I’d expect most people are the same way. Not all, but most.
I also know some people’s tolerances for bullshit are different than mine.
I’ve had over sixty years to experience and analyze what does and doesn’t work best. I KNOW it doesn’t fit everyone, but I also know by sales numbers that I’m right a good bit of the time.
The books that possess that writing magic always do well because they grab you. Period.
There are plenty of books out there that grab you by subject matter, yet the writing has no magic at all. The writing is pure crap. Unfortunately, because the subject matter becomes so popular, other imitators copy the writing style and more crap churns out.
In other words, there’s even less magic out there inadvertently, because of a hot subject matter. It’s written like crap, but the style becomes popular because people are not only imitating the subject matter, but the horrific writing.
Happens all the time.
There are no absolutes.
Oh well…life goes on.
Happy writing!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2019 4:18 pm

    Thank you, Fred. A good book really is magic. We put it down to go to bed and are almost surprised to find ourselves in the easy chair. When it’s over we REALLY miss those people we met.

  2. November 23, 2019 1:46 pm


    Absolutely! Thanks so much for the wonderful response! All the best.

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