8 Deadly Words

Local author, Alma Alexander shared that among science fiction authors, there are Eight Deadly Words; “I don’t care what happens to those people“. These words indicate the failure to engage the reader through a lack of intersting characters. Alma then shared different stories from her personal experience of having lived in Africa and going to school in England at a recent teen fantasy writer’s workshop at the Burlington Library. She recommended that writers not get hung up on the reality of objects when writing because they can be whatever you’d like them to be.

teen writing workshop 002

                                      Participants from Teen Fantasy Writing Workshop July 2009 @ BPL

She brought all of the participants a notebook with the ABC’s of Writing that gave helpful hints for writing. One participant explained his theory of writing fantasy by saying, “Fantasy is about taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.” Alma agreed whole-heartedly. She said, “You’re exactly right, by changing the familiar into the unfamiliar allows you to go into a mind that’s not your own and play a what-if game.” 



She shared that her Worldweaver trilogy was inspired by a 2002 Young Adult Literature panel discussion in which someone brought up Harry Potter and the lack of adventure for any of the female characters. From that point on in the discussion she does not remember a single word, as she began mentally writing Worldweavers. Alma ended the workshop by saying, “Writing fantasy is the art of aiming for a goal and taking a sharp right turn.”


Check out Alma’s trilogy at the Burlington Library today!


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