“Terry Brooks is adamant about dedicating oneself to the craft, while showing awe and humility for the creative process. . . . Every serious writer should refer to this book regularly for inspiration as well as solid crafting advice.”—Elizabeth Engstrom Cratty, Director of Maui Writers Retreat
In Sometimes the Magic Works, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks shares his secrets for creating unusual, memorable fiction. Spanning topics from the importance of daydreaming to the necessity of writing an outline, from the fine art of showing instead of merely telling to creating believable characters who make readers care what happens to them, Brooks draws upon his own experiences, hard lessons learned, and delightful discoveries made in creating the beloved Shannara and Magic Kingdom of Landover series, The Word and The Void trilogy, and the bestselling Star Wars novel The Phantom Menace.
In addition to being a writing guide, Sometimes the Magic Works is Terry Brooks’s self-portrait of the artist. “If you don’t think there is magic in writing, you probably won’t write anything magical,” says Brooks. This book offers a rare opportunity to peer into the mind of (and learn a trick or two from) one of fantasy fiction’s preeminent magicians.
Praise for Sometimes the Magic Works
“A marvelously pragmatic initiation to the art of writing.”—Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina
“[A] succinct and warmhearted autobiographical meditation on the writing life.”—Publishers Weekly
“A wise, warm-hearted book—part autobiography, part how-to-do-it manual, with some amazingly candid behind-the-scenes material . . . Fantasy fans, novice writers, and even veteran pros will learn plenty from it.”—Robert Silverberg, award-winning author of the Majipoor Chronicles
"If you don't think there is magic in writing, you probably won't write anything magical," Brooks asserts in this succinct and warmhearted autobiographical meditation on the writing life. He views his success as a miracle and credits editor Lester del Rey ("What he had given me was the kind of education young writers can only dream about") for his discovery and Tolkien for the inspiration that drove him to choose fantasy adventure as his medium. Brooks, who practiced law before becoming a full-time author, stills finds himself amazed that his The Sword of Shannara "sold in record numbers and changed the face of publishing," becoming the first fiction title to land on the New York Times trade paperback bestseller list. He still marvels that del Rey chose his first novel to prove that post-Tolkien epic fantasy could sell in vast numbers and that it launched a new generation of fantasy authors. Brooks often refers to his old mentor's sage advice ("Thinking about a book before you wrote it was as important as the writing itself") and promotes outlines ("You can either do the hard work up front or do it at the end"). He also discusses the disappointments encountered in a 30-plus-year career that has seen struggles with a novelization (Hook) and less than stellar sales for some works not connected to the Shannara empire; yet he keeps a positive attitude about the writer's never-ending quest, which requires "determination, instinct, and passion."
Customer ReviewsSee All
Thank you Terry Brooks!
I love this book! I've read it through five times now and own it in print and digital. I dream of someday writing a book and your book 'Sometimes the Magic Works' is so inspirational and honest in setting goals and expectations!