Hey there, writers.
I have a quest for you, if you choose to take it.
Post 100 (or fewer) words of your WIP (work in progress) in the comments below, and I will offer you editorial advice on it!
The advice I offer will be heavily grammatical and mechanical, but I will also give advice on word choice, pacing, character, clarity, etc. as appropriate.
Also, feel free to comment on your fellow writers’ work.
Now, show me what you’ve got!
Many of you are preparing for DragonCon, a lovely place where you are bound to catch all kinds of ideas for new stories and new character developments. Then, in a few weeks or months, you may have a first draft of a shiny new novel or short story. You’ll do all the things you need to do: shut it away in a drawer, revise it, ask someone to read it, revise it, threaten to throw it in the trash, etc. But, soon, you will be ready for the first editing step.
That step is developmental editing. For many years, I wanted to be a developmental editor for YA fiction. I’ve learned since working as an editor that I much prefer the small details over the big picture. That said, all editing is really fun. Many editors really enjoy the developmental editing stage, though. At that point, your story […]
Continue reading Developmental or Content Editing
My friend Mary Robinette Kowal has hosted me on her website several times for a feature she calls “My Favorite Bit.” This is a chance for authors to win over potential readers by writing about their absolute favorite part of their new work — a character they love, a plot twist that makes them all warm and fuzzy inside . . . You get the idea. I’ve written several of these for Mary in the past; I didn’t want to trouble her for yet another spot on her blog this summer, but I thought I would borrow her idea (with attribution, obviously) for today’s post.
His Father’s Eyes, the second book in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, has been out now for a bit over two weeks. If you have purchased a copy, thank you. If you have not, please do. It’s a really good book. Seriously, I love […]
Continue reading David B. Coe: Creating a Nemesis For Our Protagonist
Yep, it’s Thursday! I’m baaaaaack!
And yes — Dark Heir is out and doing well.
If our main characters are to blossom, then they have to have a function and the weapons to accomplish the goal you, the writer, sets for them. Function: Jane is necessary to stem the vamp war with the European Vampires, a war she knows nothing of when the series starts. Weapons: She has the desire, developing skill sets and the family she is building to fight evil. When she realizes that her friends and godchildren are potentially threatened, she also has the desire to fight.
So if look at characterization from the standpoint of strengths and weaknesses, we can easily take a character—any character—and show them developing by simply letting the plot points challenge the character’s weaknesses.
Last week we looked at Jane Yellowrock’s traits, so this week let’s look at them again, […]
Continue reading Character Development – Show Me – Jane and Beast — PART TWO
Hey Everyone! Long Time No POST!
Back in (gasp) January 2009, I wrote about character development and how I created and developed Thorn St. Croix for the Rogue Mage series. (That was about the novels BloodRing, Seraphs, and Host ) But I can’t find where I ever did a post on how I created Jane and Beast in the Jane Yellowrock series. New book, DARK HEIR, coming out April 7th, By the way.
If you’ve ever heard me on a panel or teaching a seminar on character and character development, you’ve heard me say (probably ad nauseam) Your character has one great strength and one great weakness. The weakness makes the conflict worse, the strength and developing strengths saves the character and resolves the plot’s conflict. This is called the marriage of character development and conflict.
There are specific, identifiable parts to strength and weakness Characterization…. These are called […]
Continue reading Character Development – Show Me – Jane and Beast
Spell Blind, the first book in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, has been out for a week now, and it seems to be doing pretty well. If you have read the book, regardless of whether you liked it or not, please do feel free to review it on Amazon.com. The more reviews a book gets the more attention Amazon gives it. Of course, if you feel compelled to give it a five-star review, you should feel free to do that, too . . .
In my first post about the book, as I chronicled the twisted history of the novel and my reworking of it, I mentioned that in the face of my frustration with the book and the rejections it received, it was my love of the characters kept me going and made me determined to see it in print. Today, I’d like to focus on those characters […]
Continue reading David B. Coe: Characters and Character Relationships
I wish I had some really interesting, profound statement to make about the process of creating characters in fiction. I’ve read lots of well-written and well-considered pieces about finding out who your characters are and their motivations and how all those things can make your story better and more interesting.
I’d genuinely like to write one of those pieces for you. I’d like to tell you that I did this writing exercise or that I carefully craft each character and have background histories for all them even if all of that information doesn’t make it into the story.
Unfortunately, my writing process might kindly be termed “intuitive” and less kindly be called “half-assed”.
Take Madeline Black. The heroine of my BLACK WINGS series just appeared in my head one day. Well, I probably shouldn’t say “appeared”. That implies that I saw her, and I didn’t see her. I heard her. […]
Continue reading Christina Henry — Talking to Characters