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Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a…
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Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life

by Terry Brooks

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Sometimes it is nice to read how other writers write, but doesn't really help much in helping me develop my craft. However, it's really interesting how much luck was involved with his character. Take away I learned from this book: never get involve with writing movie adaptations. ( )
  annertan | Jul 31, 2014 |
A quick read, but a useful one for anyone interested on becoming a better fiction writer. The chapters are deceptively simple, but give you an in-depth look at Brooks' personal take on the classic questions: to outline or not to outline, what exactly does write-what-you-know mean, etc. I enjoyed ur and might give some of his fiction a try. ( )
  alsatia | May 11, 2013 |
This was a nice, quick read. It's along the lines of Stephen King's "On Writing" only much shorter and a lot lighter on the writing advice. I read it primarily for writing advice, which was good but nothing I've not heard before. I think his stance for outlining is unique among the big names of publishing. Every other big name author out there seems to take it as a point of pride that they have no plan when they sit down to write. Thank you for talking sense about this, Terry Brooks! Most of us just can't make up stuff as we go along and have it all hang together at the end.Read it if you want insight into how Brooks got his start and kept his career going. I think it will be time well spent. ( )
  autieri | Jun 20, 2012 |
I don't read much fantasy these days, but when I was younger I enjoyed many books by Terry Brooks. Even today I list The Elfstones of Shannara as one of my favorites in the genre. So when I saw that he had a book of writing advice, I thought it would be worth my time to see what the man had to say.

I did learn some interesting things. For instance, his second book was declared unsalvageable by Lester del Rey and the book he wrote afterwards - Elfstones - is the favorite of his readers. I found it encouraging that someone could rise from unpublishable to best-of-your-career. But besides that, I didn't learn anything about writing from reading this slim volume. No lightbulbs going off, no great inspiration, not even a good mantra to whip me up in writing frenzy. The magic didn't work for me this time. ( )
  VictoriaPL | Jun 7, 2012 |
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"In 1977, the New York Times Trade Paperback Bestseller list - back then the exclusive province of self-help guides, cartoon collections, and any number of cat books - played host to its very first work of fiction: The Sword of Shannara, an epic quest through a mythical land, by first-time author Terry Brooks. Twenty New York Times bestselling novels later, it would be easy enough to just say: ". . . and the rest is history." But when it comes to guests, everyone knows that getting there is half the fun. Now, Terry Brooks tells the story of how he got there - from beginner to bestselling author - and shares his secrets for creating unusual, memorable fiction." "In addition to being a writing guide, Sometimes the Magic Works is Terry Brooks's self-portrait of the artist. Here are sketches of his midwestern boyhood, when comic books, radio serials, and a vivid imagination launched a lifelong passion for weaving tales of wonder; recollections of the fateful collaboration with legendary editor Lester del Rey that changed not only the author's life but the course of publishing history; and an eye-opening look at the ups and downs of dealing with Hollywood, as a writer of official novels based on major movies by both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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