“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
“Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.”
“I’m a slow reader, but I usually get through seventy or eighty books a year, most fiction. I don’t read in order to study the craft; I read because […]
Continue reading Read Like a Writer
Before I get to my topic, here’s a most shameless of plugs. It’s my birthday, and I want you to buy yourself a present. Buy a book! Preferably one from one of the folks here at MW, and God knows that gives you plenty to choose from. I’ve provided an image and link to my latest, but go pick up something from one of us – me, David, Faith, Gail, Misty, Emily, Tamsin. Melissa – we’ve all got work out there, and as a gift to me, I want you to buy yourself something pretty. And enjoy! Here’s a link to my latest release – Queen of Kats, Part I.
It’s THE book.
You know the one I’m talking about. It’s your novel. It’s your Water for Chocolate, your American Gods, your Beloved. It’s the book that will change the way people look at books, at writing, […]
Continue reading The Book of Your Heart
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!
Hello again, Magical Words! I’m baaaccckk!
Today, I launch what I have been calling the 2015 Summer-of-Two-Releases Virtual Tour. Over the course of the next five weeks, I have two books coming out: On July 21, Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth and (for now) final Thieftaker novel, will be released by Tor Books under the D.B. Jackson pseudonym. And on August 4, His Father’s Eyes, the second volume in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, will come out from Baen Books under my own name.
For those of you keeping score at home, that’s two novels, in two separate series, under two bylines, coming out from two publishers. When we (my agent, Lucienne Diver, and I) sold the second series, we didn’t envision this kind of summer. We hoped that the books would come out far apart. But in publishing, things don’t always work out according to plan, and really, […]
Continue reading David B. Coe: Different Books, Different Roles
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
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
Oh, plotting. You and I aren’t the best of friends. More like casual acquaintances, if that.
When many folks talk about writing, they often talk about two kinds of writers—plotters and pansters. Now, plotters are just what the name implies. These are the folks who plot out their books, which can include everything from doing a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the book to detailed character outlines to creating storyboards of the various scenes/chapters.
And then there are pansters, or people who don’t do a lot of plotting. I am one of those folks.
Usually, when I’m thinking about an idea for a book, I’ll think about my heroine first—her personality, her strengths and weaknesses, her magic and how she can use it to defeat the bad guys. Then, I’ll think about the three big turning points of the story:
1) The first chapter that opens the book. I often think of […]
Continue reading Jennifer Estep — Plotting While Wearing Pants