Naming Your Baby

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

Shortly after graduating from college, I moved into my first apartment. I purchased curtains and kitchen utensils, and started learning how to budget for utility bills and such. And I adopted a puppy. She was a beautiful black English Setter/Golden Retriever mix, very loving and sweet and not even much of a chewer-on-shoes. I was determined to come up with the perfect name, something that would communicate her beauty and calm nature. In the meantime, I called her Baby, because I had to call her something, right?

Eleven years later, when she died, I was still calling her Baby.

Titles are easy for some people, but not for me. Even when I think I have a great title, I worry that it’s not hitting just the right note. The title works similarly to the first line in hooking a reader. It’s even more crucial in some ways, especially once […]

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David B. Coe: Holiday Superlatives!

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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 […]

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

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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 […]

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

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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 […]

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The Weird Wild West

Misty MasseyMisty Massey

Back in the summer, while standing in the hallway after a raucous session of Live Action Slush (it’s a panel we do – loads of fun and definitely something you should check out if you come to ConCarolinas next year) Emily Leverett, Margaret McGraw and I were talking about weird westerns. Ideas were flying fast and furious, and all of a sudden, before we really had a chance to think about it, the three of us were agreeing to edit an anthology of western fantasy stories. Over the next few months, we approached publishers and writers until we found one we were happy with – Danielle Ackley-McPhail, of eSpec Books. The quickest way to get the ball rolling seemed to be trying a Kickstarter to fund the project, so we had photos made, arranged pledge rewards and stretch goals from our committed authors, created a video and built the site. […]

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David B. Coe: My New Old Book

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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 […]

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D.B. Jackson: The Writing Life, part I — Say What?

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This week, in my continuing gig as “guest” on this site, I’m supposed to write about “The Writing Life.” First of all, it’s just weird being a guest here — I mean, this place has been my literary home for six years. I feel a little like I went off to college and then returned home, only to find that my room was being used as a bed and breakfast. I guess now I know how my older daughter feels . . . (That’s a little joke. I promise.) But I also wonder if, after all these years, there is anything I could tell you about my writing life that you don’t already know.

And so I’m going to take this in a slightly different direction . . .

Being a writer can be a little weird. By which I mean, that people sometimes treat writers in odd ways. This […]

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