Release Your Inner Writer

Having grown up in Africa, it's no surprise that magic realism is by far my favorite literary genre. I am always exploring books, blogs, and writers who share my fascination with the 'mysterious' stuff of life. To my delight, I've come across a magic realism writer whose love of the concept has lead to an amazing project.

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Magic Realism vs. Magical Realms #6

An easy and clear distinction between magic realism and fantasy/science fiction is that MR is about revealing and exploring character by weaving the story through two worlds—reality and fantasy— in such a fluid manner that neither seems to intrude on the other, whereas the other two genres are about building fantastical worlds that are meant to be dissociated from the reality we know.

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Magic Realism vs. Magical Realms #5

Nowadays, despite claims of Latin American exclusivity, magic realism is considered an international commodity. Critics are even proposing a connection between magic realism and postmodernism, some of their shared characteristics being “the dissolution of character and narrative instance, the erasure of boundaries, and the destabilization of the reader.”

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Magic Realism vs. Magical Realms #4

While novelists exploring magic realism enter the spirit world via their stories, in many cultures across the globe there are intermediaries like shamans and sorcerers who use special abilities or powerful drugs to journey from the mundane into other worlds.

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Magic Realism vs. Magical Realms #3

The ‘magic’ in magic realism is brought about by the narrator shifting his here-and-now perspective to represent the unconscious. In doing so, he effortlessly morphs the story to depict bizarre phenomena or supernatural influences in fantastical settings.

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Magic Realism vs. Magical Realms #2

Ever since One Hundred Years of Solitude by García Márquez drew the world's attention, some have applauded the magic realism as a significant international literary movement while others either see it as no more than Latin America’s ‘authentic expression’ or refer to it as a postcolonial style per se.

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Magic Realism vs. Magical Realms #1

Magic realism should not be confused with fantasy and science fiction that are set in make-believe worlds—instead, the author renders a down-to-earth setting where odd characters lurk, bizarre events happen and mystical spheres are accessible.

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The Gist of a Great Blog Series

A sound premise and compelling themes are undoubtedly the hallmarks of great writing. Plus, effective book publicity relies on strong promotional messages, which are extracted from the themes contained in your writing that, collectively, make up the premise of the story.

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #17

Getting out of your comfort zone to a foreign country leads to emotional growth and change. A suburban family discovers that trading materialism for a simple life on a tropical island helps them reconnect in unexpected ways.

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #16

When Ed Gaydos discovered that the website of his old artillery regiment is littered with pleas for information about loved ones who are either dead or frozen in silence about Vietnam, he realized it was time for him “to start talking and to leave something for the next generation beyond dates on a tombstone and an old fatigue shirt.”

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #15

Most memoirists tell their own stories, often because they feel the need to vindicate themselves and other times for catharsis or self-actualization. But there are stories about people and cultures that, if they are not recorded, might be lost to the rest of the world—people who deserve to be remembered, histories that should not be sacrificed in the name of progress.

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #14

My life and experiences of those around me serve as inspiration and are my motivation for the stories I tell. What began as a healing process has turned into so much more. My stories are not your typical ‘love at first sight’ or ‘the rich hero falling in love with the everyday heroine’. 

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #13

My team experiences taught me tolerance as I learned to live with inner city blacks, gays, French and Germans.  As an educator, I applied that understanding and empathy to my teaching and coaching, as well as to my new experience as an expat in a different, more tolerant society.

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #12

Writers block hit me like a ton of bricks. I had nothing to say. My writing group allowed me to wallow for 10 minutes, then said, “Write anything. Write about what you know.” So I looked around panic-stricken and then looked down—there they were. I thought, I know about my breastsSnarky stories came spewing out of my brain.

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #11

My writing is strongly based in the culture and values of the Midwest United States. My memoir—Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl—tells the stories of growing up in the middle of the United States in the middle of the 20th Century. A time when a family could make a good living on a 160 acres. A way of live that is rapidly disappearing from the American landscape.

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #10

I joined a writing workshop four months after my son Paul’s suicide death that ended his seven-year struggle with bipolar disorder. Every week for about a year I shared my deep dark prose and poetry about Paul’s life and death and our family’s grief when my instructor and classmates began to tell me I needed to get my writing work out into the world.

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #9

In a September, 11th memoir unlike any, my psychological adventure follows the ups and downs of bipolar, and examines relationships biological and adopted. So, when my beloved uncle died in the Twin Towers and the tension that had been building exploded. While everyone proudly believed I was fulfilling my dream to dance, I insanely thought I was a spy for the evil Illuminati who had unwittingly perpetrated 9/11.

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #8

After [my husband's] death, my life was defined not just by “widowed,” but as single woman and mother. I knew I needed to write about that journey because I felt many people would identify with being on their own and wondering where to go from here.

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #7

My story is centered on my life as an adopted kid. At the time of my growing up, adoption, for many adoptees, adoptive and birth parents, was a source of embarrassment and shame. Birth mothers were often sent away to have their babies. Sometimes, adoptive parents felt shame if they had problems with conception or carrying a pregnancy.

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What is the Gist of Your Story? #6

Walls says it took her more than 25 years of agonizing over the “intensely personal” and “potentially embarrassing” childhood experiences before she managed to approach her story in a constructive way, and then it took another 3 to 4 years of rewrites before the book was ready for publication.

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