David B. Coe: Taking Stock and Taking Risks


Another year, another New Year’s post. That’s not meant to sound like a complaint; I actually love to write them. I use the New Year’s holiday as an opportunity to take stock and assess my accomplishments for the year that’s ending, and also to wipe the slate clean and “start from scratch” on a new year.

This New Year’s in particular feels momentous for me in a professional sense. I have just completed the most productive writing year of my life. I wrote three complete novels in 2014, as well as two new short stories and more blog posts than I care to count. I also edited two books and proofed two others. I recently totalled it up, and I’m pretty certain that I wrote about 400,000 words this year. I had a new Thieftaker book come out (A Plunder of Souls), as well as three original short stories.


Continue reading David B. Coe: Taking Stock and Taking Risks

David B. Coe: Holiday Superlatives!


One of the problems with doing these one month appearances on the site is that those months tend to be pretty focused: a post on character, a post on plotting, a post on the writer’s life, and a promotional post on whatever book we happen to be pimping promoting at the time. One of the great things about being a Magical Words co-founder, is that I can sign on for more than one month at a time, as I have for the release of Spell Blind, the first book in the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, which comes out on January 6. I’ve been here for December, and I’m sticking around for January, too.

And that means I have time to do some fun stuff in addition to the promo. So welcome to my 2014 Holiday Post!!

We’re in the last couple of days of Hanukkah, and Christmas is the […]

Continue reading David B. Coe: Holiday Superlatives!

David B. Coe: Point of View, Voice, and the Choices We Make


I’m sure that some of you saw the title of this post and groaned. I have written about point of view on this site quite a bit. I talk about point of view on panels and in writing workshops all the time. I have said again and again that, to my mind, point of view is the single most important narrative tool we have at our disposal, because it brings together character development AND plot AND setting. How does it do this? By coloring all that our readers experience with the emotions, thoughts, perceptions, and knowledge of our point of view characters. You’ve heard all of this before, and many of you are probably sick to death of it. Sorry. But it really is important . . .

I’m not going to give you the whole “Here’s why I care so much about point of view” thing today. I’m sure […]

Continue reading David B. Coe: Point of View, Voice, and the Choices We Make

David B. Coe: Openings, Hooks, and Breaking Rules


Last week I re-introduced you to my upcoming novel, Spell Blind, which is the reincarnation of a book I wrote a long time ago, and the culmination of years of writing, reinvention, and revision. I have always loved the characters, but it wasn’t until I came up with a new plot and, more importantly, a new magic system that the novel and its sequels became all that I wanted them to be.

What I love most about all the books in the Case Files of Justis Fearsson are the characters and their interactions. And I intend to write a couple of posts about them (Spell Blind comes out January 6, so I’m going to be showing up here at Magical Words throughout December and January; we have plenty of time to cover a bunch of topics) and about other elements of the story as well. But today I want to […]

Continue reading David B. Coe: Openings, Hooks, and Breaking Rules

David B. Coe: My New Old Book


Hello again, Magical Words! Great to be back here as I begin the publicity ramp-up to another book release.

The new book is called Spell Blind, and it’s the first book in a new contemporary urban fantasy series, the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, that I’m writing for Baen Books. The hardcover of Spell Blind drops on January 6, 2015. The second book in the series, His Father’s Eyes, will be out this summer.

This is actually a series that I’ve discussed here on MW in the past. The first book, in a substantially different form, sold initially to Meisha Merlin back in 2005. Not long after, Meisha Merlin went out of business, and I was fortunate enough to get back the rights to the books before they became entangled in the company’s Chapter Eleven negotiations. But when Lucienne and I put the books back on the market we couldn’t […]

Continue reading David B. Coe: My New Old Book

Emily Lavin Leverett: It’s All In How You Say It!


So—I’m Emily Lavin Leverett. If you’ve been reading here a while, you might have seen me comment as Peafaerie. I’m a writer of short stories and novels, an editor of The Big Bad I and II with John Hartness, and an English professor. Thanks very much to Magical Words for letting me be here today to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart!

I’m here to talk about grammar.

(The sound of people clicking to something else is overwhelming, so I’ll just wait for a moment, until it passes.)

Grammar is important. I’ll put that out there first. Anyone who tells you it is not, or that if your voice or characters or story are really good, bad grammar won’t hurt, is a lying liar who is lying. Great voice, character, and story will get people past typos, but not persistent problems. Good grammar is the key […]

Continue reading Emily Lavin Leverett: It’s All In How You Say It!

D.B. Jackson: The Writing Life, part II — Living With Success and Failure


As I’ve mentioned before — and as Faith and others have mentioned as well — the release of a new book can be incredibly stressful. Of course there is satisfaction in seeing the finished product in print (or ebook format). Writing a book is a big deal. That completed volume represents a tremendous amount of work; it required a huge investment of time, and of emotional and intellectual energy. It represents as well, an admirable accomplishment, and there is nothing wrong with taking pride in that. The problem is, releases are fraught with additional significance. Right or wrong, the success of a new book is judged on a collection of external factors that have little or nothing to do with the work itself, and everything to do with how others receive that work.

Every writer, aspiring or established, knows what I’m talking about. How many of you have finished a […]

Continue reading D.B. Jackson: The Writing Life, part II — Living With Success and Failure