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and on bookshelves means fewer editorial staff kept on hand, fewer PR staff, and all this means more adjustments for unpublished and midlist writers.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 Announcement (On Sunday)

Hi, all.

I’m very happy to announce that I will be joined on Quick-Tip Tuesdays by award-winning, critically acclaimed author Rod Belcher.

Rod is not only a good friend, he’s also a great guy and a phenomenal writer who has made guest appearances here before. Author of The Six-Gun Tarot, The Shotgun Arcana, Nightwise, and his latest, The Brotherhood of the Wheel, Rod has a lot to offer to the MW community. He’ll be starting this Tuesday, and then he and I will be alternating week to week.

I hope you’ll give him a warm welcome.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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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Coming Out Of The Dark

January is never my favorite month. The holidays are over, so all the pretty decorations are gone. It’s cold and damp and there’s not anything in particular to look forward to. So my mood tends to drop pretty badly in January. Most of the time I can tough my way through to spring, but this year was hard. We lost David Bowie and Alan Rickman (and now Glenn Frey, because damn.) A family member of mine has suffered a loss, and I’m dealing with an unpleasant work environment. So I was not at all strong when I ran across an article about an upcoming book that sounds very nearly like the one I already wrote. Coming from my publisher, too. I crashed into an emotional wall. Did that author steal from me? Are there enough similarities for me to complain? Is there anything I could do? Would it even matter? […]

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Quick-Tip Tuesday: Finding Balance Between Plotting and Pantsing

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 […]

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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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