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What about the Marvelous Real? As a form with rich metaphorical possibilities, magical realism lends itself well to themes and ideas — that is, abstract levels larger than the surface level of character and plot. Thematically, it can function in different ways, from the psychological to the social and political. If you write magical realism, your work need not be entirely in this vein; you can employ an element or two of magical realism. Certainly this is not what we would expect in standard literary realism.

Yet the issue Wells focuses on is not a medical one. His novel turns on the provocative image of a bluefin tuna containing a human body. If the fish, why not the human? What gives a human, and not a fish, moral consideration in terms of not being viewed as a commodity only? None of these words show up in the story itself. A flower bulb might experience life without these words but not, science tells us today, without emotion and language.

Flowers experience friendship, daughterhood, and separation. This is a very political story for me. Other Editions 9. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Writing Magic , please sign up. Is this a book for writing magic, or for magically writing?

Allison Tebo Neither, really! It's about how to make your writing better - how to find your 'pixie dust'. See 1 question about Writing Magic…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. When I was eleven and read this book for the first time, I was desperate for help: I could not control my drive to write, but knew that everything I wrote was garbage, and was caught in a constant cycle of hand-cramped creativity and furious rage over how incapable I was.

I wanted to be able to improve, and although no book could ever be a magical fix, this one offered some helpful advice and got me thi I'm pretty sure I owe Gail Carson Levine my soul for convincing me to save everything I wrote. I wanted to be able to improve, and although no book could ever be a magical fix, this one offered some helpful advice and got me thinking about writing in a more analytic, matter-of-fact way.

I owe a lot to this book, because even though I developed some bad habits from inaccurately following suggestions I took as rules, for the most part, this book did nothing but help my writing slowly develop.

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In the following years, I have read lots of other good books on how to write, but this was the one that began it for me, and gave direction to my uncontrollable creative urges. It and my memory of that age are inextricable. This was a huge part of my life, and became a significant part of my approach to writing of any kind.


  1. Writing Magic;
  2. Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly?
  3. Love & the Aliens.

I was just now sorting through piles of papers, delighting in the heaps of old notebook paper stories I found. Back when I wrote them, I was keenly embarrassed and knew how bad they were, but now that I am years older, I see them through a different perspective. Technically, they are horrible, but because I was so young when I was writing them, the prose, vocabulary, and basic attempts are actually rather impressive.

This is encouraging, and it's an experience I could only have had in a limited sense without Gail Carson Levine urging young writers to save everything they ever wrote, no matter how bad they thought it was. I have almost completely taken her advice, since it's not my fault that a computer crash in robbed me of a couple year's of stories. I've never gotten over it. And if you're reading this review in , this statement will still be true, because I never will get over that loss. But thankfully, I wrote on both the laptop and notebook paper, so I still have many stories from that period of my life; thanks to this author's urging, I never threw them away.

Weirdly enough, I'm eighteen now, and lots of time has passed since I first read this book and since I wrote those old stories. My perspective has changed, and just like she promised, I now see great value in everything I wrote, because it captures a frame of mind and a time that is now history. It's hard to believe that I'm really old enough to be having this experience, but skimming through piles of old stories made me stop and think about how deeply, powerfully grateful I am that I wrote, and that I saved all these stories diligently, no matter what I thought of them.

Feeling that surge of gratitude, I knew I had to go dig up my Goodreads rating of this book and add a review. View 1 comment. May 13, Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it Shelves: trt-posted-reviews , read-personally-by-moi.


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  3. Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly by Gail Carson Levine, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®.
  4. 1. Cut out clichés in your fantasy worldbuilding.

Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo. Creating stories is hard work. It takes practice, discipline, and dedication.

Storyworld Building: Types of Magic | Go Teen Writers

It would be nice to think that writing a book simply means sitting down and typing up words, but, alas, it really doesn't work that way. Filled with tons of wonderful tips about becoming a great writer who creates even greater stories, there are also writing exercises to get those creative juices flowing. Section three, Plowing Through, includes Stuck! From the simple writing brief character descriptions to the more advanced writing convincing dialogue , this book is a great tool for anyone.

If you've ever wondered how to get started writing a story, ever questioned how to get that great book idea down on paper, this is the guide for you. Levine's words to heart, and you're guaranteed to write anything--story, e-mail message, diary entry--with an easier flow and style. Oct 08, Evie rated it it was amazing Shelves: amazing-epic-and-awesome , books-i-own. I'm sixteen years old and have had this book for s couple of years now and let me just say that no book has ever communicated such a deep appreciation and love of the art and whimsical power of writing as Gail Carson Levine did in this book.

I've written stories for as long as I van remember and this book has been a true treasure to me! I recently finished an almost page book that sparked from one of the story openers in this book! My story change over time and went from the intended 20 page I'm sixteen years old and have had this book for s couple of years now and let me just say that no book has ever communicated such a deep appreciation and love of the art and whimsical power of writing as Gail Carson Levine did in this book.

My story change over time and went from the intended 20 pages to much longer and I did end up changing the beginning but this book is what sparked my imagination for my tale and I know that the things I learned on this book will be things I always treasure and use. Awesome book! Five gazillion stars!

Jan 28, Courtnee rated it really liked it. Gail Carson Levine is a quirky author. I hate to say it, but I've yet to read "Ella Enchanted" or "Dave at Night" or any of her princess books. I have heard of "Ella" but I just never really thought of picking it up. I might after reading this book. Heck, I'll go ahead and say it, I didn't even know who the author was until she mentioned "Ella Enchanted". It's sad, I know It is a very helpful book.

I like the way she presented things and how she offered more than one way to do everything, bein Gail Carson Levine is a quirky author. I like the way she presented things and how she offered more than one way to do everything, being considerate of people who like to do things differently. Though I didn't get to do all of the writing exercises, I really think they could be helpful. I intend to go back and do them sometime I have more time. This was very good. I really liked reading it and it has given me many ideas and inspirations for writing. Thank you, Gail Carson Levine!

Jul 23, Thomas J. Benedict rated it really liked it. Cool little book. I always learn something new and important reading these. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I hate reading books on writing.


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  • They're all either dry, give bland advice, or they repeat what they say over and over again, and it feels like reading one of the countless OTHER books out there on writing. This book doesn't feel that way for me. I've adored Gail Carson Levine since I was a child. Ella Enchanted was one of the books that made me who I am today, steered my interests towards fractured fairy tales. I've read many of her books, and she is so Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I hate reading books on writing. I've read many of her books, and she is somebody I recommend to nearly everybody who asks.

    I hadn't realized she wrote two books on writing, so I was thrilled to find they were both only 3 dollars on Amazon!

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    Levine doesn't go into much detail as to bore a reader, but the small details she gives makes an impact. She related her chapters to actual parts of her own life: she talks about how it was a struggle to finally get published, how peers have helped her, how shes used some of the actual prompts in this book to help her get through tough times. Many books on writing do the same, but Levine kept me interested. It's great but scary reading about how one of the favorite authors of my childhood struggled with the same things I've struggled with.

    She kept the style of this book personal and easy to follow, without force. My eyes usually begin to glaze over in other books on writing I've read, but that never happened here. I also enjoyed many of the prompts in this book. Sep 15, Giselle Bradley rated it really liked it Shelves: on-tbr-longest , 4-star-reads , tbr-all-as-of This was very much writing for children and young adults. I enjoyed it but it wasn't groundbreaking. I more so enjoyed this book for seeing behind the scenes of Gail's books and seeing her specific writing process.

    This is a great, sweet, straightforward craft book, and I wish I'd had it when I was in sixth grade. Jun 14, Samantha Stambaugh rated it it was amazing Shelves: childrens , self-learning , non-fiction , writing , middle-grade , young-adult. Great resource. Review to come! Negation- The ability to mute the powers of another person.

    Sensing — The ability to sense or recognize magical powers. Sourcing — The ability to draw power from energy sources. One could change their size, make their bones stab out like spears, stretch their body, or change arms into legs. Light — The ability to create, manipulate, or absorb particles of light.

    Mass — The ability to increase or decrease mass in an object or person.

    How to start a fantasy story and avoid common mistakes

    Merge — The ability to merge two beings into one. Regeneration — The ability to regenerate. There are many different types of shapeshifting. One could take on the form of an animal or plant, turn to liquid or gas, or turn into the substance they are touching. Possession — The ability to occupy, dominate, or control another person from within. Memory manipulation — The ability to erase or change the memories of another person.