Quick-Tip Tuesday: Do Not Fear the Scoop!

Welcome to another Quick-Tip Tuesday!

It’s not always easy to come up with a new topic for these posts. We’ve been over a lot of material here at MW throughout the years. I know that on my own I’ve written over 300 MW posts; all told we’re coming up on two thousand for the site. It sometimes seems that there is nothing new I could possibly publish in this space that wouldn’t repeat in some way material you can find in an archived post.

But of course, if one of those older articles was written by Faith, Misty, John, or someone else, then I might have some perspective on the subject matter that they didn’t. And even if it’s an issue that I covered myself, it may be that subsequent experience has changed my approach or given me fresh insights.

In short, just because a subject has been discussed […]

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The Beginning of The End, Part 2

Last month, I talked a bit about the changes present and coming to the publishing industry: the way that mass market paperbacks (the small paperbacks) are slipping away; the way that publishing houses are moving to Trade (the large paperbacks), Hard cover, and E-books; the way that bookstores are going to buy and stock fewer books altogether. A LOT less books; the way that the decreasing amount of shelf space for new books in stores will change the publishing marketplace. Worse – the way that, with fewer large pubs, there will be fewer numbers of writers published. Worst — the way that those fewer numbers of books in houses and on bookshelves means fewer editorial staff kept on hand, fewer PR staff, and all this means more adjustments for unpublished and midlist writers.

These changes have already resulted in a huge transformation in the way readers shop for books, and […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: The Power of Secrets

I’ve just started teaching an online course with the Odyssey writing program, and it should surprise no one here that the course is on “Point of View: The Intersection of Character and Plot.” As most of you know, point of view is kind of an obsession for me. I think it lies at the heart of all storytelling. You can do a Magical Words search of “Coe, point of view,” and you’ll get enough hits to keep you reading for hours . . .

In talking about point of view, I also can’t help but talk about character and the process I use to develop the characters I use, primary and secondary, in my own work.

One of the things I like to do when coming up with a character’s history and/or life circumstances, is give that person a secret of some sort. Any secret at all will do. It […]

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Making Money Mondays — The Beginning of the End (Part One)

THE BEGINNING of the END of PUBLISHING as WE KNOW IT (PART ONE)

Those of you who have been around MW for a while are rolling your eyes at my poor joke (the title), since most writers have been accusing the commercial publishing industry of dying for over 20 years. Claiming that the latest changes are just its latest feeble gasp, its final kicking of legs, as the lion of change continues to choke it to death. Out with the old, in with the new. That, more or less, is what I’ve been known to think.

Why? Because when I was first published (in the dark ages) there were over a hundred NYC publishers. After the huge Penguin Random House merger last year, now there are Five. Five.

 

Penguin Random House Simon & Schuster HarperCollins Publishers Macmillian U.S. Hachette Book Group

 

However, publishers do still exist, and today, […]

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Friday Fundamentals

Hey, Bandwagon, wait on me!

*climbs on the back of the bandwagon and takes a look around*

Hmm. Looks different around here on Fridays.

So, happy new year (as everyone else has wished you this week). It’s the basic thing to do the first week of the new year, right? So, that’s what I am going to be doing here every other Friday this year: talking basics. They’re the building blocks, the things you need to be able to function within a written piece (as a reader or a writer). Thus, we have the development of Friday Fundamentals.

If there’s a topic you’d like me to talk about, please let me know in the comments, and I will be happy to work it in or (if it’s brief), explain in the comments.

Today’s writing fundamental is the writer.

In order to have a story, you have to have a writer. […]

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Introducing Quick Tip Tuesdays!

Happy New Year, Magical Words! Great to see you all again.

I’m pleased to say that I am back at MW as a regular. I’ll be here most weeks with a new feature I’m calling “Quick-Tip Tuesdays.” Each week I’ll put up a quick writing tip on some subject relating to the craft of writing. I’ll be covering character, point of view, setting, world building, prose, pacing, and a host of other topics — nothing is off the table. And, as always, I’ll look forward to your comments and questions; we’ll begin each week with a quick tip, but as with all MW posts, the subsequent discussion will expand and elucidate. I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I expect I’ll enjoy writing them.

For today’s quick tip, I’m going to offer a bit of writing advice on . . . writing advice.

Writing, like any artistic […]

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MAKING MONEY MONDAYS!

Happy New Year!!!It’s the start of a new year and new things and new beginnings.

After a few years of trying different things, formats, writers, and concepts here at MW, we are making some changes to try to meet the needs of our readers. We are trying old things. Yep. Old things.

For starters, some old and wonderful names and faces and writerly pens will be coming back to MW on a regular basis. I will be here two Mondays a month. In case you have totally forgotten me (sob whine) I’ve put a bio at the bottom of this post and an old photo.

John Hartness will be taking the other two Mondays. I know, right? Squeeee! Together, we will be talking and sharing and dishing about the financial aspects, the commercial aspects, and the New York publishing house aspects of the biz (dismal for the most part). But […]

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