Craft an Enthralling Novel with The Magic of Words

Give readers the chance to dream

Photo by Sofia on Unsplash

The first writer’s conference I attended was in 1997, and Heather Graham was the keynote speaker. She was brilliant, even if her first few words were that she didn’t have magic and could not promise to send us home to write best-selling novels. If only it was so easy. She did, however, share many magical tips that I excitedly wrote down.

The one I loved the most was about reading books and the magic of words. She shared that what she learned most in school did not come from the lessons teachers prepared but from the books she read. These books allowed her to dream. When she became a writer, what she most wanted to give her readers was also a dream. Through her books, she hoped that people had the opportunity to see things and to want to see more. She wanted people to want to learn more, touch more, have more, and to dream about possibilities.

As a yet unpublished author (the following year, at this same conference, I met the editor who would buy my first novel) I was fascinated with that part of her keynote. She spoke about being tenacious, about not comparing our career to others because everyone is going to have a different experience, about publishing, and many other things that I can’t remember since it’s been so long. But I still remember clearly the part about writing to allow readers to dream.

Maybe I loved that part of her talk so much because I had the same experience. When I was young, I loved to ride my bike to the small library in town and borrow as many books as they let me or that could fit in a bag that I strapped to my bike. My world expanded through these books. I learned about new places to visit, about love and relationships, and about fantasy creatures. I learned how to dream.

As I listened to Heather Graham’s conversation-like keynote, I told myself that I also wanted to be that type of writer — I wanted to encourage readers to dream too.

Words are magic

The crazy, wonderful thing about books is that they are filled with nothing but words. We can make people we’ve never met feel things, have experiences, and create new beliefs with just words. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.