Fiction Magic

Fiction Magic card “tricks” help writers raise the stakes in their writing with phrases like “Alienate an Ally” and “Remove the Moral Compass.” The guidebook provides possible interpretations for each of the 54 cards, followed by creativity coaching “tips” to help writers apply the cards’ messages to their writing lives. It’s like having two decks in one!  

For years, one of my teaching tools was a funky homemade deck of cards with prompts that worked for any part of a manuscript from beginning to end, or from idea generation to revision. I wore out that set with writers of all ages at conferences, classes, retreats, and workshops. The many requests for copies of those cards became a 54-card deck and booklet that has been a hit with writers, teachers, and agents.

Here are a few responses from the very first Fiction Magic workshop…

“In the first five minutes of your presentation, I had solved the issues in my novel.”  

“Anyone who does NaNoWriMo needs this deck!”

“When I read a book on writing, it takes about 200 pages before I learn anything I can apply to my writing. I can use your cards instantly.”  

And from an agent: “I want all my writers to have these cards!”

I’ve heard so many stories from grateful Fiction Magic writers since then, but from my perspective, it’s the writers who do all the work themselves. All these cards can do is trigger ideas, insights, solutions, or directions. I think what really happens is the tricks and tips keep them writing. One writer said, “Fiction Magic cards are like having a writing buddy and coach in your pocket.”

FICTION MAGIC: Card Tricks & Tips for Writers

Fiction writers are troublemakers. We create characters and get them in trouble. We’re also magicians. We pull rabbits out of hats, heroes from certain death, and stories out of thin air. We make magic by making trouble. Fiction Magic.

The Fiction Magic guidebook has a page of notes for each card prompt. The “tricks” section of each entry helps you with your manuscript as the creativity coaching “tips” support you in your writing life. In other words, the tricks help add tension in your writing as the tips reduce it in you.

Here’s a sample card trick and tip:

Your characters’ dreams or longings mean everything in the world to them. What would shake them up enough to risk their dreams? For whom or what would your characters take big risks? This is where ethics, values, pride, or safety could come into play. Game-changers come along, and characters have to think twice, or maybe several times, before continuing on their journeys. Or maybe risking it all is what initially sets their journeys in motion. At some point, an all-or-nothing risk is taken.

How long have you waited to realize your dreams? What would you risk to make them come true? Risk even more. List all the reasons to not try, and then determine how many are based on fear. Take the risk. To not try is to fail. Try.

Risk it All

And so I will…

How about you?














The wonderful Fiction Magic artwork is by the amazing Denice Lewis.

Fiction Magic