The Magic of Words


I’ve been reading Emily Croy Barker’s “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic” at the moment and something in the way that she describes her heroine’s pursuit of magical abilities got me thinking about honing my own craft: writing.  In
a lot of ways, hunched over my favourite novels time and again feels like learning from master wizards.

Like Barker’s protagonist, Nora, who spends days hunched over old magical textbooks and rejoices in her abilities to mend a broken pot, I feel like the process of crafting a good story is equally as slow, but just as rewarding as if any real magic has been produced.

The delight of creating a phrase that conveys just the right emotion feels like pure magic.  A scene that translates words into experience is alchemy.  Apart from allowing the critical part of the brain to take some control during edits, I like to think that there is some magic to learning just the right turn of phrase.

Here is a list of my current five favourite writing resource books, in case you are in need of inspiration on your quest for your own literary magic:

Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg

Naming the Worldedited by Bret Anthony Johnston

Reading Like a Writerby Francine Prose

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craftby Janet Burroway

The Trickster’s Hatby Nick Bantock


Happy writing!

What are some of your favourite writing books or resources?


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