One Week Until December Online Workshops Start

DECEMBER ONLINE WORKSHOPS

Each workshop is six weeks long and takes about 3-4 hours per week to do. I will work around any holiday schedule with each workshop as each writer needs, so no worries there. Great workshops to take going into the new year.

More information and how to sign up for a workshop is under the green button or under Coast Workshops tab above.

All workshops have openings at the moment.

Class #41… Dec 1st … How to Write a Thriller
Class #42… Dec 1st … How to Write Series Novels
Class #43… Dec 1st … Genre Structure
Class #44… Dec 1st … Character Voice/Setting
Class #45… Dec 2nd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #46… Dec 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #47… Dec 2nd … Productivity
Class #48… Dec 3rd … Pacing
Class #49… Dec 3rd … Cliffhangers
Class #50… Dec 3rd … Making a Living


JANUARY, FEBRUARY, AND MARCH WORKSHOPS UNDER THE GREEN TAB.

ALL WORKSHOPS START ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY.

Posted in On Writing, publishing, workshops | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 4, Day 25

Year 2, Month 4, Day 25 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day eleven of writing the novel Lake Roosevelt: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

I managed only one session of 1,050 words on the novel, but I managed another 2,000 words of fiction on other stuff. One of those days.

Standard day all the way around. Worked at WMG after getting snail mail and some lunch and talked up there for a time. Then home for the standard nap at 6 p.m. and dinner, news, and dishes after watching The Voice.

Then into this office around 9 p.m. to work on the workshop homework. Got that all done around 11 p.m., took a short break, then went to work on putting together Smith’s Monthly #15.

That one has the novel Cold Call in it, so I had to run through the entire book on what I call a “third draft.”

(First is writing the book, second draft is spell-checking it, third draft is putting in the corrections I agree with that Kris found as a first reader.)

Interestingly enough this time, I agreed with most of the fixes Kris wanted me to do. Most of the time I only agree with about half. But sadly, she noted a few places I had left stuff out in this mystery. (She has stories in this month’s Ellery Queen Magazine and this month’s Alfred Hitchcock’s Magazine. Same month. She knows mystery. (grin))

So I ended up adding in about 1,200 words to Cold Call, none of which I had cut out earlier. Different stuff.

So the “third” draft of the novel took me about two hours until around 1 a.m.

Took another break, then went to work on a short story called “Gus” that I had left unfinished at some point in the past. That took 800 words to finish the 6,000 word short story. It’s a funny golf story and I wanted it in Smith’s Monthly #15.

That took until around 2 a.m.

Then I put the entire issue together, including the introduction I had written earlier of about 800 words, and got it all in one file with all the stories and the Poker Boy serial short novel, and got it off to Allyson at WMG Publishing. That took another hour until about 3 a.m.

Then I wrote for one session on the Lake Roosevelt novel, to get it in my head again. I think I am unstuck, but we shall see tomorrow night when I can make a run at it. That was 1,050 words of original stuff.

So 1,050 words of original on the present novel, 1,200 words of original words on the previous novel and 800 words on a short story. (So 2,250 under the running novel total, 3,050 under the total month total, which is why the two numbers vary.)

Topic of the Night: Perspective

One of the things that Kris and I work on with writers in the Productivity Online Workshop and the Making a Living Online Workshop is perspective.

Yet again today I heard about another writer getting discouraged that sales are not good and are thinking about quitting. This writer has exactly eight novels out, no short stories or collections, and everything is in Kindle Select.

So, in other words, this author has books in only one store, and only eight books at that, and thinks he or she should be rich and making a living. I think I would be insulted if this wasn’t so sad.

Why someone could come in and think they could make a living after that little amount of work is beyond me.

John D. McDonald once famously said that every writer has a million words of crap in them before they reach their first publishable word. Pretty much worked that way for him and for me and for many others I know.

At 8 x 80,000 words per books, this author who is talking aloud and wanting sympathy thinks he or she should be making a living (in only one bookstore) at 640,000 words of writing.

Wow, do they think they are a special snowflake or what?

In the old system, writers like this one would just vanish into the dust of a day job and a few rejections from editors tucked into scrapbooks. But now, because of this new world of indie, every writer gets the chance to put out their work to readers. And readers are very, very good judges of work. Especially someone still in the beginning stages of writing.

I did an online lecture on the Stages of Writers and it has, over time, made numbers of writers mad at me, and numbers of writers happy because it gives them a clear positioning on the learning curve.

The writers who have gotten angry tend to want to believe they can be rich at writing with no work. LIke the author mentioned above.

The writers who like the Stages of Writing Lecture seem to be the ones wanting to know where they are at and where they need to go into the future.

I was no exception to the fact that early on writers can’t seem to find any perspective. I didn’t have much either. I was in a hurry. I thought my early work was “art” because I had rewritten it to death and editors were stupid that they didn’t buy it. Yup, I thought all that.

I got better.

But let me be clear here. Storytelling is an art that takes time to learn. Not just one month or one course or one year. But years and years of lots of practice and learning combined.

You know, like every other art in the world.

So you want perspective? Pick up a musical instrument you have never played.

Then decide you want to make a living playing that instrument.

So you do eight practice sessions. You going to be disappointed you haven’t made a living yet?

Chances are your friends around you haven’t even taken out their earplugs yet.

Perspective. A tough thing to get, but a necessity for sanity and survival in the long run of writing.

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS ONLY

Day 1…. 3,950 words. Total words to date…. 3,950 words
Day 2…. 3,500 words. Total words to date…. 7,450 words
Day 3…. 3,050 words. Total words to date…. 10,500 words
Day 4…. 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 13,750 words
Day 5…. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 15,950 words
Day 6…. 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 18,300 words
Day 7…. 6,400 words. Total words to date…. 24,700 words
Day 8…. 5,400 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 9…. 0,000 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 10.. 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 31,250 words
Day 11.. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 34,650 words
Day 12.. 5,600 words. Total words to date…. 40,250 words
Day 13.. 5,200 words. Total words to date…. 45,450 words
Cold Call Done.. 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 50,050 words
Started Lake Roosevelt novel.
Day 15.. 2,400 words. Total words to date…. 52,450 words
Day 16.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 54,550 words
Day 17.. 4,650 words. Total words to date…. 59,200 words
Day 18.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 61,300 words
Day 19.. 6,850 words. Total words to date…. 68,150 words
Day 20.. 5,700 words. Total words to date…. 73,850 words
Day 21.. 3,350 words. Total words to date…. 77,200 words
Day 22.. 3,450 words. Total words to date…. 80,650 words
Day 23.. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 81,750 words
Day 24.. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 83,950 words
Day 25.. 2,250 words. Total words to date…. 86,200 words

(At this point I need to be around 100,000 words to be on my 4,000 words per day target on novels for the month. Fell behind again tonight. This might be tough to make up, but we shall see.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 4, Day 25

– Daily Fiction: 3,050 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 87,900 words  

– Nonfiction: 800 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,700 words

– Blog Posts: 1,200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 19,500 words

– E-mail: 34 e-mails. Approx. 700 original words. E-mails month-to date: 640 e-mails. Approx. 17,150 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 7 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

Continue reading

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 4, Day 24

Year 2, Month 4, Day 24 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day ten of writing the novel Lake Roosevelt: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

This novel is a ways from finishing. I knew I shouldn’t have jumped into another Thunder Mountain novel, but the opening was so cool, I just wanted to do it. Now the book is following the pattern of writing other Thunder Mountain books. Ahh, well, each book is what it wants to be.

Day was standard. You can read all about it in about 400 other days ahead of this one. My days with work are the same. Mail, banks, WMG offices.

Finished the workshop assignments around 10 p.m. and Kris and I went to watch The Voice. Then we watched another show, so I didn’t get up here to write until about 1 a.m.

I fired on the first session, going great. Did 1,150 new words. Took a nap, got back in here around 2:30 a.m. and did another session of 1,050 words. All good and on cruise control.

And then the Thunder Mountain book hit. (grin) I just came to a grinding halt.

So I went back over the previous four novels, trying to figure out where these two new characters fit going forward. And I discovered I had made a wrong turn or two in this one, just as I always do in Thunder Mountain novels.

Not going to fix that until I finish, but right now I’m still stuck on where to jump next with the next section. Time needs to pass or I will walk them to the story and have to cut it later, but how much time, where to jump them, and so on, is the problem, since I have no idea where this story is going.

So after almost two hours of trying to see where they fit with all the other characters and books, I decided to just sleep on it and fire at it tomorrow night. I might have to just walk them to where I need them to be. Ahh, well.

So where I had planned a bunch of words tonight, I didn’t get that many.

Topic of the Night: Breaks

Tonight on The Voice, Blake said something to Craig Wayne Boyd, the incredible country singer on Blake’s team. They are clearly both the same age, and Boyd has struggled with his career, working clubs and opening for acts, but never catching the break. He is working at a totally professional level and has been making a living with his music. (Think mid-list writer.)

Now, he’s catching that break and working with Blake and the two of them are clearly now friends and there is no doubt that Craig Wayne Boyd will have songs on stations shortly. What Boyd did with that Johnny Cash song tonight to make it Boyd’s own was stunning.

Blake tonight said simply, in so many words, “You and I are the same, only I got a lucky break at one point and you haven’t gotten that break until now.”

Clearly, if you know Blake’s history, he worked for years and years before that break, whatever he thinks that moment was. He knows what Boyd has gone through to get this break on the Voice.

Do breaks happen in writing? Sure.

And sometimes the break, which seems great at the time, can in hindsight, be what killed you. I’m watching young indie writer after indie writer, without a lot of craft skills, catch a break with some hot genre or another, make some quick sales and money, and think they no longer need to work at the craft.

I’m watching a traditional writer friend do that same thing, just wondering why the books are dying off, but not willing to go back to basics to improve storytelling. Or even attempt to understand the disruptive forces in the industry going on. This friend caught a break and had a few good traditional sales. And has now coasted almost right out of the business.

I’ve had some very lucky breaks along the way. Some turned out to be great, some not so great. The best one was the timing of the indie world coming in. I had grown to hate the lack of respect in traditional publishing and so much more, including the contracts that I could no longer sign. But I got lucky, caught a break with indie publishing, and can now write what I want because over the last four years I worked my ass off.

I caught a break, saw it for what it was, and worked harder than I had worked before. And I kept learning and set up ways so I could keep learning. That’s the main reason I keep doing the online workshops, so I can keep learning as well.

Just because you get a break doesn’t mean you need to stop learning and working. In fact, it goes the other way.

If Craig Wayne Boyd stopped and coasted because he has caught this break, he would be gone from the show and from recording quickly. But he’s busting his ass and as Blake said, this is his break. Boyd knows what it is like to not have a break and he’s not going to squander this.

Boyd might not stay on the show for other reasons, but now it no longer matters. He caught a break and he’s going to work it and build on it and keep learning and growing.

And his friend Blake is going to be right there helping. Of that there is no doubt. Because with that comment from Blake, it’s clear Blake understands. And is learning from Boyd as well.

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS

Day 1…. 3,950 words. Total words to date…. 3,950 words
Day 2…. 3,500 words. Total words to date…. 7,450 words
Day 3…. 3,050 words. Total words to date…. 10,500 words
Day 4…. 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 13,750 words
Day 5…. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 15,950 words
Day 6…. 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 18,300 words
Day 7…. 6,400 words. Total words to date…. 24,700 words
Day 8…. 5,400 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 9…. 0,000 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 10.. 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 31,250 words
Day 11.. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 34,650 words
Day 12.. 5,600 words. Total words to date…. 40,250 words
Day 13.. 5,200 words. Total words to date…. 45,450 words
Cold Call Done.. 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 50,050 words
Started Lake Roosevelt novel.
Day 15.. 2,400 words. Total words to date…. 52,450 words
Day 16.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 54,550 words
Day 17.. 4,650 words. Total words to date…. 59,200 words
Day 18.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 61,300 words
Day 19.. 6,850 words. Total words to date…. 68,150 words
Day 20.. 5,700 words. Total words to date…. 73,850 words
Day 21.. 3,350 words. Total words to date…. 77,200 words
Day 22.. 3,450 words. Total words to date…. 80,650 words
Day 23.. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 81,750 words
Day 24.. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 83,950 words

(At this point I need to be around 96,000 words to be on my 4,000 words per day target for the month. Fell behind again tonight. This might be tough to make up, but we shall see.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 4, Day 24

– Daily Fiction: 2,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 84,850 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 900 words

– Blog Posts: 1,000 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 18,300 words

– E-mail: 31 e-mails. Approx. 900 original words. E-mails month-to date: 606 e-mails. Approx. 16,450 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 7 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

Continue reading

Posted in Challenge, On Writing, publishing, Topic of the Night, Writing in Public | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 4, Day 23

Year 2, Month 4, Day 23 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day nine of writing the novel Lake Roosevelt: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

This is is going to be a very short one tonight. I spent all day working on workshop stuff, both coast workshops and online workshops, plus I finished Smith’s Monthly #14 and got it turned in. So subscribers will be getting that one shortly.

I took a long nap tonight after Kris and I did a huge grocery shop.

Then I started working on assignments for the online workshop and managed around 3 a.m. to get over to the writing computer and do a 1,100 word session.

Then back to this computer to finish up some work on an upcoming coast workshop. I wanted it off my mind.

So a ton done today, but very little writing. Nature of how it works sometime.

And no topic of the night. I’m just going to leave the two bundles up here because they are both ending soon. I talked about learning from them last night.

8 WAYS TO THRILL
This action-packed collection will be available for a very limited time from Nov 5-25, 2014 at http://storybundle.com/thriller

Readers who pay at least $3 will receive (epub and/or mobi):

  • One Chef! -M.L. Buchman (NPR & B&N Top 5 of the Year)
  • Twisted Justice -Diane Capri (NYT & USA Today bestseller)
  • Advise & Consent -Allen Drury (NYT #1 bestseller & Pulitzer Prize Winner -back in print after 15 years)
  • Terminus -Joshua Graham (NYT & USA Today bestseller) 

Readers who pay at least $12 will also receive:

  • The List -J.A. Konrath (Amazon #1 bestseller)
  • Chasing the Lost -Bob Mayer (NYT bestseller)
  • Dead Money -Dean Wesley Smith (USA Today bestseller)
  • Taken -Michael J. Totten (award-winning journalist and author)

ThrillerBundle-allcovers

The writing book bundle.

All Covers Large

http://storybundle.com/nano

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS

Day 1…. 3,950 words. Total words to date…. 3,950 words
Day 2…. 3,500 words. Total words to date…. 7,450 words
Day 3…. 3,050 words. Total words to date…. 10,500 words
Day 4…. 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 13,750 words
Day 5…. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 15,950 words
Day 6…. 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 18,300 words
Day 7…. 6,400 words. Total words to date…. 24,700 words
Day 8…. 5,400 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 9…. 0,000 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 10.. 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 31,250 words
Day 11.. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 34,650 words
Day 12.. 5,600 words. Total words to date…. 40,250 words
Day 13.. 5,200 words. Total words to date…. 45,450 words
Cold Call Done.. 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 50,050 words
Started Lake Roosevelt novel.
Day 15.. 2,400 words. Total words to date…. 52,450 words
Day 16.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 54,550 words
Day 17.. 4,650 words. Total words to date…. 59,200 words
Day 18.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 61,300 words
Day 19.. 6,850 words. Total words to date…. 68,150 words
Day 20.. 5,700 words. Total words to date…. 73,850 words
Day 21.. 3,350 words. Total words to date…. 77,200 words
Day 22.. 3,450 words. Total words to date…. 80,650 words
Day 23.. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 81,750 words

(At this point I need to be around 92,000 words to be on my 4,000 words per day target for the month. Fell behind tonight.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 4, Day 23

– Daily Fiction: 1,100 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 82,650 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 900 words

– Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 17,300 words

– E-mail: 61 e-mails. (most forms for coast workshop) Approx. 1,100 original words. E-mails month-to date: 575 e-mails. Approx. 15,550 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 7 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

Continue reading

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 4, Day 22

Year 2, Month 4, Day 22 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day eight of writing the novel Lake Roosevelt: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Rolled out around 2 p.m. again and did e-mail and headed for the snail mail and then ended up at my office in WMG Publishing by 3:30 p.m.

Except for a short break for a nap at home and a quick dinner, I worked straight until 11 p.m. on workshop stuff and Smith’s Monthly #14.

I took regular breaks, but the that much time in front of a screen was a little too much.

Went home and watched some television, then took a short nap, then managed in three sessions with five minute breaks to get 1,150 words, 1,200 words, and 1,100 words. In that order. But eyes are way too tired to keep going.

So 3,450 words.

So over here to do this before I crash for the night.

Topic of the Night: Bundles as a way to study cheaply.

I talk all the time about how writers get to a point in their writing career that they think they know it all and stop trying to pick up bits from books, from other writers, from conventions.

Last night 12 professional writers spent four hours trying to learn from each other and it was wonderful. I love hanging around writers who love to learn and keep moving forward to get better.

Another reason I do the workshops. Writers take them because they want to learn, and because the writers taking the workshop want to learn, I learn from them as well.

I believe that the key to a long term career is a deep hunger to keep learning.

Well, right now, I am in two book bundles that just damn near anyone can afford. And both have vast learning potential. and both are about to end.

One is a thriller bundle with just about all the major sub-genres of thriller represented in the bundle. You can get these eight books really cheaply, and use them to study thrillers. Even one of mine, and an Allen Drury classic political thriller. You want to learn how to write thrillers, read these and take a few of them apart and outline them. You’ll have a great understanding of thriller by the time you are finished.

And yes, I understand, learning like that takes drive and work. Yup. (I outlined a dozen different major thrillers when I was focused on learning thrillers, and even counted words in chapters and scenes and so on. Yup. Takes work to learn a form. I now teach a thriller workshop online as well.)

So how about a bundle that is a little easier to learn from? Also really cheap. These are all writing advice books. I have one in there, Kris has two, Kevin J. Anderson, Chuck Wendig, David Farland has two, Brandon Sanderson, and so on. 12 books. Even if you just get one or two details from each book and ignore the rest, the price will be more than worth it.

Both bundles are ending soon. Grab them if you haven’t already. Both are at www.storybundle.com

And if you don’t want to use the thriller bundle to learn from, just enjoy the reads. All the books are great (people say they enjoyed mine, so I’m going by that. (grin)).

8 WAYS TO THRILL
This action-packed collection will be available for a very limited time from Nov 5-25, 2014 at http://storybundle.com/thriller

Readers who pay at least $3 will receive (epub and/or mobi):

  • One Chef! -M.L. Buchman (NPR & B&N Top 5 of the Year)
  • Twisted Justice -Diane Capri (NYT & USA Today bestseller)
  • Advise & Consent -Allen Drury (NYT #1 bestseller & Pulitzer Prize Winner -back in print after 15 years)
  • Terminus -Joshua Graham (NYT & USA Today bestseller) 

Readers who pay at least $12 will also receive:

  • The List -J.A. Konrath (Amazon #1 bestseller)
  • Chasing the Lost -Bob Mayer (NYT bestseller)
  • Dead Money -Dean Wesley Smith (USA Today bestseller)
  • Taken -Michael J. Totten (award-winning journalist and author)

ThrillerBundle-allcovers

The writing book bundle.

All Covers Large

http://storybundle.com/nano

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS

Day 1…. 3,950 words. Total words to date…. 3,950 words
Day 2…. 3,500 words. Total words to date…. 7,450 words
Day 3…. 3,050 words. Total words to date…. 10,500 words
Day 4…. 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 13,750 words
Day 5…. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 15,950 words
Day 6…. 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 18,300 words
Day 7…. 6,400 words. Total words to date…. 24,700 words
Day 8…. 5,400 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 9…. 0,000 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 10.. 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 31,250 words
Day 11.. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 34,650 words
Day 12.. 5,600 words. Total words to date…. 40,250 words
Day 13.. 5,200 words. Total words to date…. 45,450 words
Cold Call Done.. 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 50,050 words
Started Lake Roosevelt novel.
Day 15.. 2,400 words. Total words to date…. 52,450 words
Day 16.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 54,550 words
Day 17.. 4,650 words. Total words to date…. 59,200 words
Day 18.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 61,300 words
Day 19.. 6,850 words. Total words to date…. 68,150 words
Day 20.. 5,700 words. Total words to date…. 73,850 words
Day 21.. 3,350 words. Total words to date…. 77,200 words
Day 21.. 3,450 words. Total words to date…. 80,650 words

(At this point I need to be around 88,000 words to be on my 4,000 words per day target for the month. Fell behind slightly tonight.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 4, Day 21

– Daily Fiction: 3,450 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 81,550 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 900 words

– Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 16,900 words

– E-mail: 16 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 514 e-mails. Approx. 14,450 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 7 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

Continue reading

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 4, Day 21

Year 2, Month 4, Day 21 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day seven of writing the novel Lake Roosevelt: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Rolled out around 2 p.m. and by 3 p.m. I was had done sone e-mail, gotten the snail mail, made it to one bank, gone to the store for some lunch and dinner, and was back at WMG Publishing offices working on Smith’s Monthly #14.

Gaining on it. I did one cover for the issue and Allyson did the cover for the Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel that will be in the issue.

For those of you who have never seen an issue of Smith’s Monthly, I put covers in front of all the stories and the novel.  Great fun. That way after a few months if I want to pull the story out and put it up direct, the cover and blurbs and everything are already done.

I’ve also got two new novels released this month, which I’ll mention later.

So anyway, here’s the cover for The Edwards Mansion novel. It will be out as a stand-alone in January.

I worked at WMG until 7 p.m. on Smith’s Monthly until writers started to arrive for the once-a-month (sometimes) professional writing discussion.

There were twelve professional writers in the room tonight and we talked from eight until almost midnight about everything in publishing and writing.

Fantastic fun and my brain is full of all kinds of great stuff. Thanks, gang.

Nothing beats that kind of energy when twelve driven people with the same focus are in the same room with the intent of only discussion writing or publishing.

Wow.

So got home around midnight and went and watched some television. Then got in here around 1 p.m. to do some more e-mail.

Then about 1:30 a.m. I headed for the writing computer. I managed 1,100 words by 2:30 a.m., took a short break, got another 1,250 words done by 3:30 a.m. and then did one more session for 1,000 more words before stopping and coming back to the internet computer.

I did 3,350 words for the day. Not bad considering the day and how much other work I got done and how much I learned tonight.

I also, if anyone noticed, killed the Jump Start Your Writing Online Workshop. Kris and I have an idea for another workshop next year, so the only new workshop in December is the short story one.

Topic of the Night: Read the one from last night again and the comments. We talked about that tonight among the professionals as well. Fun discussion.

And the story “I’m Her Dead Husband” is a short story that will be in Smith’s Monthly #14

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS

Day 1…. 3,950 words. Total words to date…. 3,950 words
Day 2…. 3,500 words. Total words to date…. 7,450 words
Day 3…. 3,050 words. Total words to date…. 10,500 words
Day 4…. 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 13,750 words
Day 5…. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 15,950 words
Day 6…. 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 18,300 words
Day 7…. 6,400 words. Total words to date…. 24,700 words
Day 8…. 5,400 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 9…. 0,000 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 10.. 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 31,250 words
Day 11.. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 34,650 words
Day 12.. 5,600 words. Total words to date…. 40,250 words
Day 13.. 5,200 words. Total words to date…. 45,450 words
Cold Call Done.. 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 50,050 words
Started Lake Roosevelt novel.
Day 15.. 2,400 words. Total words to date…. 52,450 words
Day 16.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 54,550 words
Day 17.. 4,650 words. Total words to date…. 59,200 words
Day 18.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 61,300 words
Day 19.. 6,850 words. Total words to date…. 68,150 words
Day 20.. 5,700 words. Total words to date…. 73,850 words
Day 21.. 3,350 words. Total words to date…. 77,200 words

(At this point I need to be around 84,000 words to be on my 4,000 words per day target for the month. Fell behind slightly tonight.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 4, Day 21

– Daily Fiction: 3,350 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 78,100 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 900 words

– Blog Posts: 600 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 16,100 words

– E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 498 e-mails. Approx. 14,150 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 7 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

Continue reading

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New Online Short Story Workshop

Kris and I have been working on a new workshop for some time now, wanting to bring the list of workshops up to a list of workshops that every writer can find help in one place or another. We have finally settled on one new workshop starting in December. 

Below is the description. And all the sign-up information in under the Online Workshop tab at the top or at www.wmgpublishingworkshops.com.

I will keep this new one limited to 12 writers only, just as all workshops.

WRITING AND SELLING SHORT STORIES 

In this new world of publishing, short stories suddenly became critical to the success of any writer.

This workshop functions as a business and a craft workshop. We will show you how you can make a lot of extra money from short fiction, and how to write major short stories for any genre.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch, who helped set this workshop up (even though I do the talking) is the only writer in history to be in all four Dell Magazines (Asimov’s, Hitchcock’s, Analog, and Ellery Queen). She has done that in the same year four times now. She won the Asimov’s Reader’s Choice Award six times, and reader’s choice awards for Analog and Queen as well.

Kris also is the only person on the planet to win the Hugo Award for best professional editor and for her short fiction.

I was also on the Hugo Award list five or six times for my editing. Kris edited The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Pulphouse. I also edited for Pulphouse, for VB Tech, and for Pocket Books, all in short fiction. Kris and I also won a World Fantasy Award for our editing of short fiction work.

Kris and I both have written well past 400 short stories each. And been professional short fiction editors.

We now bring that knowledge to this workshop to help others learn how to write and sell short stories.

Short stories play a major role in our new world of publishing. Any writer wanting to make great money needs to know how to write short fiction, even if they only write one for an invite anthology or a promotion. Discoverability is everything these days, and short stories help in more ways than possible to imagine.

This is a nuts and bolts business and craft and money workshop. All three. We will cover it all.

And this workshop will be blunt, clear, and straight forward, as everyone has come to expect from me and Kris.

If you want to learn how to write and sell short stories and improve your discoverability and make more money with your writing, this workshop is the one for you.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 4, Day 20

Year 2, Month 4, Day 20 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day six of writing the novel Lake Roosevelt: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Lunch meeting at 2 p.m. on WMG started off the day, then some work back at WMG offices, but went home early to do some work at home as well. Standard nap, dinner, news, and dishes before heading back up to WMG to work on Smith’s Monthly #14.

Gaining on that. Home to write about 10 p.m. but ended up watching some television and doing some e-mail until around midnight before I got really started.

Managed 1,100 word session by 12:45, then after a short break another 1,150 word by 1:30 p.m.

Another break, then back to do another 1,300 word session by 2:30 a.m. Book is humming, but in a tough part of a series, where you have to introduce things again, even though I have done that in the first four novels.

Short break, then another 1,100 words by 3:30 a.m., then a break and a final 1,050 words before 4:30 a.m.

So 5,700 words tonight. And a bunch done on Smith’s Monthly #14 and another cover for a short story done. And meetings, which were good as well.

And, as a side note: Counting almost 75,000 words in fiction, plus my blog posts here and my e-mail totals, I am a ways past 100,000 words for the month in the first 20 days. Decent month so far.

Topic of the Night: Book as Event vs. Celebrating Achievement.

This is a tough topic for me. A friend brought this up on a list I’m on today and I figured I would try to type out my feelings about it here. You may not like this thinking.

“Book as Event” is when a writer starts thinking a book is the be-all and end-all of everything. This often happens for new writers and I was no exception early on. Books seemed like something special and hard to start a new one when you finished one.

And, of course, the entire new world of indie writers with two or three books going overboard on promotion is part of book as event problem.

When you start making a book anything more than just another story you have told, you are asking for all sorts of problems, the least of which is much, much slower production. (I have seen book as event kill writer’s careers without even a passing whisper.)

But my friend thinks that Celebrating Achievement is a good thing in writing. Well, I’m not so sure. It always goes dangerously close to that trap of “book as event” thinking.

Here are events I think writers should celebrate, without question.

1) Finishing your first novel. That’s worth celebrating.

2) Selling a copy of your first novel. That’s kind of cool and a first mark on a long road of sales.

3) Making enough money to go full time if that is your goal to start with. Celebrate when you quit your day job.

Beyond that, well, more than likely I’m going to differ with many of you with “book as event” thinking out there.

I love to write stories.

For example, I finished Cold Call: A Cold Poker Gang Novel and started this new novel, Lake Roosevelt: A Thunder Mountain Novel on the same day.

If I thought I had to celebrate every time I finished a novel or a story, I would have written one hell of a lot less this last year. And every year before that.

Writing is what I do.

Do I take joy in what I am doing? Of course.

Writing is what I work to find extra time to do in all the other stuff I do, just as many of you find time from family and day jobs to write.

So finishing isn’t something to be celebrated in my mind. Finishing is when writing stops.

Finishing, for me, is something to get past quickly and on to the next project. I think celebrating finishing is a very, very, very bad message to send to your subconscious.

You are telling your brain it is better to not be writing, to be finished, than to be writing.

Oh, oh, a very bad thing, in my opinion. Makes starting something new even harder, among many other problems.

So celebrate birthdays, holidays, births of new kids, new cars, that sort of thing.

But extreme caution on celebrating finishing a writing project. A very bad message to send to yourself.

So I think that Book as Event vs. Celebrating Achievement isn’t a versus in any fashion. I think they are both bad when it comes to your writing.

Just saying.

Let the shouting begin. (grin)

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS

Day 1…. 3,950 words. Total words to date…. 3,950 words
Day 2…. 3,500 words. Total words to date…. 7,450 words
Day 3…. 3,050 words. Total words to date…. 10,500 words
Day 4…. 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 13,750 words
Day 5…. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 15,950 words
Day 6…. 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 18,300 words
Day 7…. 6,400 words. Total words to date…. 24,700 words
Day 8…. 5,400 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 9…. 0,000 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 10.. 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 31,250 words
Day 11.. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 34,650 words
Day 12.. 5,600 words. Total words to date…. 40,250 words
Day 13.. 5,200 words. Total words to date…. 45,450 words
Cold Call Done.. 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 50,050 words
Started Lake Roosevelt novel.
Day 15.. 2,400 words. Total words to date…. 52,450 words
Day 16.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 54,550 words
Day 17.. 4,650 words. Total words to date…. 59,200 words
Day 18.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 61,300 words
Day 19.. 6,850 words. Total words to date…. 68,150 words
Day 20.. 5,700 words. Total words to date…. 73,850 words

(At this point I need to be around 80,000 words to be on my target for the month. Picked up some tonight.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 4, Day 20

– Daily Fiction: 5,700 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 74,750 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 900 words

– Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 15,500 words

– E-mail: 13 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 486 e-mails. Approx. 13,850 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 6 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

Continue reading

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 4, Day 19

Year 2, Month 4, Day 19 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day five of writing the novel Lake Roosevelt: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

As I wanted, today was mostly a writing day, although I did make great progress on other stuff.

I worked this afternoon on Smith’s Monthly #14 from about 3 until 6 p.m.  I also did the cover for the Lake Roosevelt issue of Smith’s Monthly. See below.

I also worked on different online workshop stuff for a short time, so a productive afternoon all around. And fun.

And a point on the workshops. I will work with everyone around the holidays for the December workshops. Lots of room in the workshops. And if you want to get your writing really going for the new year, either the Productivity or Jump Start workshop will do it for you.

So after working up at the office, I went home for the standard nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and dishes. Got in here to work on e-mail around 8:30 p.m. and made it to the writing computer by 9 p.m.

To detail out the night some to make a point for the topic of the night below, here is exactly how my evening went.

9 to 10 p.m. I did exactly 1,100 words. I was drinking iced tea, the window was open over the ocean so I could hear the surf, and the oldies music program was playing.

Five minute break, grabbed a small bit of peanut butter, then by 11 p.m. I had added in yet another 1,150 words when Kris came in and asked me if I wanted half an English Muffin. I said sure and went downstairs with her to watch an hour of television.

Back in here by midnight. By 1 a.m., still drinking iced tea and using some dried mangos as a snack, I managed 1,100 words.

I went out and took a nap in my chair from 1 a.m. until 1:15 a.m. and by 1:30 I was back in here with more iced tea.

By 2:15 a.m. I had finished 1,000 words more, took a short break, got some more iced tea, some more dried mangos, and went back at it. By 3:15 a.m. I had another 1,200 words done.

Switched over to sparkling water and another small spoonful of peanut butter, then headed back to do 1,300 words by 4:30 a.m. I could have done another session, but need to get up for meetings tomorrow, so I cut it off at that and came to write this.

6,850 words for the night.

Topic of the Night: Taking Breaks and Pacing

Tonight was one of those lucky nights where I had from 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. to write.

So I had to break up the time. I had to pace myself. The best way to really hurt yourself as a writer is to stay in one position for longer than 45 minutes to an hour. Yet I know of so many writers who do just that, trying to push and write for hours straight. Foolish.

A five minute break to stretch, walk around, move your arms, and get something to drink will make your next period back at the computer so much better. And note, I also took an hour break to watch television and a thirty minute break to take a short nap.

I got almost 7 thousand words tonight by pacing myself every hour. I don’t feel tired, and I have no doubt I could go on if I didn’t have meetings tomorrow.

I know this topic seems so basic to so many of you, but next time you stand up from a computer after a two hour session and your body hurts, think of this. You are doing damage. Period.

And as many writers have discovered, that kind of damage is very, very painful.

You are never in such a hurry with your writing that five minutes to stay healthy can’t be added into the equation.

And on another topic, isn’t the cover to Smith’s Monthly #16 great? I love this time travel Thunder Mountain series. Lake Roosevelt that I am writing now is the 5th book in the series.

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS

Day 1…. 3,950 words. Total words to date…. 3,950 words
Day 2…. 3,500 words. Total words to date…. 7,450 words
Day 3…. 3,050 words. Total words to date…. 10,500 words
Day 4…. 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 13,750 words
Day 5…. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 15,950 words
Day 6…. 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 18,300 words
Day 7…. 6,400 words. Total words to date…. 24,700 words
Day 8…. 5,400 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 9…. 0,000 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 10.. 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 31,250 words
Day 11.. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 34,650 words
Day 12.. 5,600 words. Total words to date…. 40,250 words
Day 13.. 5,200 words. Total words to date…. 45,450 words
Cold Call Done.. 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 50,050 words
Started Lake Roosevelt novel.
Day 15.. 2,400 words. Total words to date…. 52,450 words
Day 16.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 54,550 words
Day 17.. 4,650 words. Total words to date…. 59,200 words
Day 18.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 61,300 words
Day 19.. 6,850 words. Total words to date…. 68,150 words

(At this point I need to be around 76,000 words to be on my target for the month. Picked up some tonight.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 4, Day 19

– Daily Fiction: 6,850 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 69,050 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 900 words

– Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,600 words

– E-mail: 15 e-mails. Approx. 500 original words. E-mails month-to date: 473 e-mails. Approx. 13,550 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 5 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

Continue reading

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 4, Day 18

Year 2, Month 4, Day 18 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day four of writing the novel Lake Roosevelt: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

The real world kept me from having a normal writing day today, as it does to all of us at times. So I’m going to keep this short and to the point tonight.

Also, I spent some time on a New World of Publishing post called “The Life Cycles of a Writer.” That should be interesting if I can balance it right. Might end up a lecture as well. (grin)

So basically I worked at WMG Publishing from 3 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. with a short break for dinner and a quick nap with the white cat as usual.

Home to watch a little television. But before that Kris and I had a great conversation about my last book, Cold Call. The book was fighting between two genres and Kris helped me, after she read it, figure out how to keep it in one, mostly. It will take about an hour for me to add and focus what I need to focus. Thanks, Kris.

So television after that until 1:30 a.m., then to the workshop assignments. Got those done around 2:30 a.m.

Got to the writing computer for two quick sessions with a quick break in the middle to end up with 2,100 words total for the night.

No topic of the night tonight. Need sleep.

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS

Day 1…. 3,950 words. Total words to date…. 3,950 words
Day 2…. 3,500 words. Total words to date…. 7,450 words
Day 3…. 3,050 words. Total words to date…. 10,500 words
Day 4…. 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 13,750 words
Day 5…. 2,200 words. Total words to date…. 15,950 words
Day 6…. 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 18,300 words
Day 7…. 6,400 words. Total words to date…. 24,700 words
Day 8…. 5,400 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 9…. 0,000 words. Total words to date…. 30,100 words
Day 10.. 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 31,250 words
Day 11.. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 34,650 words
Day 12.. 5,600 words. Total words to date…. 40,250 words
Day 13.. 5,200 words. Total words to date…. 45,450 words
Cold Call Done.. 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 50,050 words
Started Lake Roosevelt novel.
Day 15.. 2,400 words. Total words to date…. 52,450 words
Day 16.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 54,550 words
Day 17.. 4,650 words. Total words to date…. 59,200 words
Day 18.. 2,100 words. Total words to date…. 61,300 words
(At this point I need to be around 72,000 words to be on my target for the month. Fell a little more behind tonight.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 4, Day 18

– Daily Fiction: 2,100 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 62,200 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 900 words

– Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 13,800 words

– E-mail: 27 e-mails. Approx. 1,100 original words. E-mails month-to date: 458 e-mails. Approx. 13,050 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 4 Covers

For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.

Continue reading

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