Quick-Tip Tuesday: Shaking Up Our Creative Routines

As those of you who follow me on Facebook [giving the hairy eyeball to those who don’t follow me on Facebook] might have noticed, I finished the first draft of my work-in-progress this past week. It’s the first book in a new project — a time-travel, epic fantasy series about which I’m incredibly excited. The series will be called The Islevale Cycle, and the book’s title (for now at least) is Time’s Children. It came in at 140,000 words or so — 570 pages.

I’ve written here about this book a couple of times this year. I have struggled with it for a while. I couldn’t outline it and so wrote it kind of on the fly. I wrote myself into a narrative dead end at one point, and had to put it away for literally three-quarters of a year before I figured out what I’d done to foul things […]

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Making Money Mondays — a Day Late and a Dollar Investment

Yes, I know it isn’t Monday, but Misty kindly announced the *Big News* yesterday and that gave me another day to put this together. That news? The e-anthology TRIALS, to be followed soon by TRIBULATIONS, went up for pre-order on Monday.

Making money means an investment — in time, creativity, sweat equity, and sometimes an outlay of money. To invest money in the book/e-book market, you have to have a clear goal(s) in mind, a plan for recouping the outlay, the ability to put it all together, and a way to advertise. You also need the right people (writers, editors, publisher, PR person). All this has been covered by others in previous *How to Anthology* posts, so I am avoiding going over well-trod ground. Instead, I want to tell a little about my decision making process for these anthologies — the answers to why I did all this.

The Rogue […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: On Writing Every Day

One hears conflicting advice these days on the question of whether aspiring writers should try to write every day. Some will say that it’s important to write, but it’s also important to take time away from the work when we need the rest, when we’re exhausted physically or emotionally, when all that other stuff that falls under the heading of “life” gets so overwhelming that we can’t write at all. That was, in essence, the point of Tamsin’s wonderful post a couple of weeks ago.

And Tamsin, who I adore, is absolutely right.

Mostly.

I am one of those obnoxious old fart writers (I have a birthday coming up very, very soon, and yes, I’m feeling a bit like an old fart) who shakes his cane at the young’uns and says in a voice much like that of Bart Simpson’s grandfather that writers ought to write each and every day. […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: Finding Balance Between Plotting and Pantsing

Whether to outline or whether to just write the story — put another way, to plot or to pants.

This is an ongoing discussion among writers, one that we’ve discussed here in the past. It’s actually more relevant for me right now than you might know. I’m well into a novel — I’ve written more than 100,000 words on it already — that I did NOT outline. And now I find myself struggling with the plotting as the book approaches its climax.

So, I must be about to give you a sermon on the virtues of plotting and the evils of pantsing, right?

Well, not entirely. The truth is, while I’m scuffling a bit right now, writing the novel has been fun. Because I haven’t been working from an outline, the discovery of each new plot point has come as something of an epiphany. I’ve been experiencing the story as […]

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David B. Coe: Ideas and the Creative Act of Faith

This will be my last post on Magical Words for a while. My two months here for the promotion of Dead Man’s Reach and His Father’s Eyes is over, and my larger promotional campaign, my Summer-of-Two-Releases Virtual Tour, is winding down. I think all this work has paid off; I hope it has. I’d like to see some nice sales numbers for these two books I love so much.

My focus now is on my next project, which is only just beginning to take shape. I have a magic system — one I really, really like — and I have a couple of characters in mind. But I don’t yet have a plot, or a central conflict. And that’s starting to bother me.

Where do ideas come from? Can they be forced? These questions have been rattling around in my head for some time now, as I struggle to figure […]

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Character Development – Show Me – Jane and Beast — PART TWO

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, […]

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Character Development – Show Me – Jane and Beast

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 […]

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