All Beginnings Great and Small
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I’m fascinated by beginnings. That is, the first words that fall into a reader’s brain when she opens up a book. Not all stories have evocative openings. I was bemused to find that some of my favorite novelists do not, … Continue reading

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MacGuffin or Grail #2: Your Own Devices
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In the first part of MacGuffin or Grail, I suggested a set of criteria for judging whether your particular plot device was one or the other. Having given my protagonists in THE ANTIQUITIES HUNTER a panoply of grails, my question … Continue reading

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MacGuffin or Grail #1: Is there a Difference?
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According to Webster’s dictionary, a MacGuffin (McGuffin or maguffin, as you prefer) is: ”an object, event, or character in a film or story that serves to set and keep the plot in motion despite usually lacking intrinsic importance.” (emphasis mine) … Continue reading

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Maya Bohnhoff on Writing Mary: a Shadow Conspiracy Confession
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Back when we released the first of our Shadow Conspiracy anthologies, we ran a spoof April Fool’s Day sendup, Zombie View News. It included a blurb about my genesis story, “The Accumulating Man” . It read, in part: “I have … Continue reading

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Writing Life: Deconstructing the World

I’ve got a writing exercise for ya.’ I’m hopeful it will put ideas into your head. It requires reverse engineering something, in this case, greeting cards.  Those new any occasion cards with blank interiors are the best for this. Here’s … Continue reading

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TA-DA! It’s Book One of the Archangel Series!
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Superheroes! Steampunk! High-stakes adventure! Cool characters fighting implacable enemies for the fate of the world while they’re battling their own demons! If you like any or all of those things in your reading, Archangel: Ascensionhas it all. I was very … Continue reading

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Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff Signs at B&N Grand Opening
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Dutifully and cheerfully answering the call from Mystery Writers of America (NorCal Chapter) I will be among the authors signing and chatting at the Grand Opening of the brand new and very shiny Barnes & Noble at The Veranda shopping … Continue reading

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The Name of the Prose, Part 3: You Are Here
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A sense of place plays a critical role in determining whether a reader “gets into” a story or not. Good place names can lend an aura of reality to even the most fictional of places. Conversely, an obviously made up place name in a story that pretends at reality can make a location that seems perfectly real to the author seem perfectly ridiculous to the reader.

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Practical Magic
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Arthur C. Clarke posited long ago that any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. I’d like to turn that aphorism on its head and suggest that any significantly advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology. Simply put, the magic of … Continue reading

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