This month, next week in fact, I was supposed to have new book out. First book in a new series. Big dealio. Mucho excitement. I scheduled this date at several blogs to get the word out. I had PR ramping! Yes, as early as six months ago.
Annnnd it didn’t happen.
Why? Simply put, the book was not ready. BLOOD OF THE EARTH, the first in the Soulwood series, needed a serious—and I mean deeply serious—rewrite. It had bones. It had some good bones. But it wasn’t put together right.
I know, you are singing “The toe bone’s connected to the … ankle bone…” and you hate me right now. But bear with me.
I knew there were problems with the book but I could not see what was wrong. I was too close to it. This is why a writer, even an experienced writer, needs a […]
Continue reading Of Success and Failure – Magical Words
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
It has already been a busy summer, and I have a long way to go before I rest. Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth Thieftaker novel, came out a little over a week ago, and five days from today, His Father’s Eyes, the second volume in the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, will be released by Baen Books. Since June first, I have also had (or will have) three short stories published: “Black and White,” my contribution to the Temporally Out of Order anthology, edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray, should be out by the end of next month; “New Moon Wolf,” a Fearsson short story, was published at the Baen website on July 15; and in June, Faith and I put out “Water Witch,” our Thieftaker-Jane Yellowrock crossover novelette.
Busy is good in the writing world, so I guess things are going well. I have a full travel schedule […]
Continue reading David B. Coe: The Ups and Downs of the Writing Life
Today is release day for Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth and final (for now) novel of the Thieftaker Chronicles. I’m incredibly excited about this book for several reasons, not the least of which being that it represents, I believe, some of the finest work I’ve ever done. I hope you enjoy reading it every bit as much as I enjoyed writing it.
All of the Thieftaker novels demanded that I interweave fictional story elements with actual historical events. That has been one of the great challenges of writing these books, and one of the great pleasures as well. And I think that most fans of the series would agree that the interplay of fiction with history is part of what has drawn them to the Ethan Kaille stories.
In no book has that blending of history and make believe been more demanding, more complex, and more intricate, than in Dead […]
Continue reading David B. Coe: Release Day for DEAD MAN’S REACH!
We write about openings a lot here at Magical Words, and with good reason. A good opening for a story or novel establishes voice, tone, and conflict, and will ground your reader in your setting, your narrative, and your various character arcs. Early in our careers, when we submit work to editors and agents for consideration, we rarely get more than a page or so to convince them that our stories are worth publishing or representing. A lot rides on those first few paragraphs. Later, when we’re established, we still rely on those openings to carry a disproportionate share of the burden in winning over readers. Potential buyers will often read the opening page to determine whether they’re interested in purchasing a novel. I’ve had readers do this right in front of me at signings and conventions. Sometimes they read a few graphs, put the book back on the shelf […]
Continue reading David B. Coe: Another Post About Openings
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
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