-make sure to ground the coil wire so it is not as hard on the ignition system and less chance of something going wrong, (like a fire). if it cranks good with plugs in but no speak, wahlaaah, timing issue. set the static timing and make sure the firing order is good and try it again with the spark connected. remember if you were cranking without spark you may have fouled up the cylinders with fuel, so try it without the choke first.
-to set static timing, get the #1 piston (some intakes are labelled so you know which one is #1) up on top dead centre at the end of the compression stroke, you may have to remove a valve cover to make sure both the valves for #1 are closed, or use a compression gage or whatever. then when it is at top dead centre, take the ditributor cap off and line up the rotor with the #1 spark plug wire tower connection on the distributor cap. just turn the distributor till it is all good. you may want to check the crank timing pointer to see where it all lines up down there , but when at tdc the pointer should line up with "0". then put it all back together and try to start. once started you may have to play with the timing to get it to run decent, then when it is warmed up adjust the timing to the correct spec.