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and on bookshelves means fewer editorial staff kept on hand, fewer PR staff, and all this means more adjustments for unpublished and midlist writers.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, […]
Continue reading The Beginning of The End, Part 2
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 […]
Continue reading Quick-Tip Tuesday: The Power of Secrets
Whether to outline or whether to just write the story — put another way, to plot or to pants.
This is an ongoing discussion among writers, one that we’ve discussed here in the past. It’s actually more relevant for me right now than you might know. I’m well into a novel — I’ve written more than 100,000 words on it already — that I did NOT outline. And now I find myself struggling with the plotting as the book approaches its climax.
So, I must be about to give you a sermon on the virtues of plotting and the evils of pantsing, right?
Well, not entirely. The truth is, while I’m scuffling a bit right now, writing the novel has been fun. Because I haven’t been working from an outline, the discovery of each new plot point has come as something of an epiphany. I’ve been experiencing the story as […]
Continue reading Quick-Tip Tuesday: Finding Balance Between Plotting and Pantsing
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, […]
Continue reading Making Money Mondays — The Beginning of the End (Part One)
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 […]
Continue reading MAKING MONEY MONDAYS!
“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 I […]
Continue reading Read Like a Writer
Today is the release of An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes! I have a story in there titled “The Chase” along with other amazing stories by superbly talented storytellers. I have read some of them, but I am waiting on the actual book to devour the rest. I’m hungry for them, but I want to savor them as well.
Working on this project through Mocha Memoirs Press was my first adventure with an anthology editor and someone who wanted my story. I couldn’t have asked for a better “first time” for this.
(Side note: The lovely Sharon Stogner has done some proofing for me before, but that’s a bit different.)
My editor for An Improbable Truth is A. C. Thompson, who you all may better know as Alexandra Christian. I have to say that working with an editor helped me not only to write better but also […]
Continue reading Oh Editor, My Editor