Still Room in All October Online Workshops!!

All online workshops have openings at this point, but are limited to twelve writers. I will post here if any of them fill up for October.

THEY START IN JUST ONE WEEK.

Each workshop is six weeks long and takes about 3-4 hours per week to do. I have bolded the newer workshops that have started this year, including the two new ones that started in September. More information and how to sign up for a workshop is under the green button or under Coast Workshops tab above.

Class #21… Oct 6th … How to Write a Thriller
Class #22… Oct 6th … How to Write Series Novels
Class #23… Oct 6th … Genre Structure
Class #24… Oct 6th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #25… Oct 7th … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #26… Oct 7th … Depth in Writing
Class #27… Oct 7th … How to Write Science Fiction
Class #28… Oct 8th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #29… Oct 8th … Cliffhangers
Class #30… Oct 8th … Productivity

NEW WORKSHOP STARTING IN NOVEMBER!

Class #32… Making a Living with Your Fiction

You always dreamed about making a living with your fiction. Now learn how to do it without having a bestseller and how to keep the income coming in for years and years. This is a business workshop put together by me and Kris.

We made a living for over two decades in traditional publishing, now we are making even more money as indie writers. We know both sides. And in six weeks, we’ll help you get there as well. Only 12 spots open.

ALL WORKSHOPS START ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY.

Twenty-two lectures now available as well. Many more lectures coming very soon.

(Passwords for lectures are now permanent. No more monthly e-mails.)

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 2, Day 30

Year 2, Month 2, Day 30 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day off of writing the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

A fun day again. And honestly, I never expected to get any writing done today once again. Tomorrow I should be back.

Rolled out around noon, way too early for me, and managed to track down a dozen details on the new store. Made it to WMG Publishing at 2 p.m. for more stuff and then the new store manager, his assistant and I headed to the store.

We moved counters and a ton of other stuff and got it sort of set up for opening Wednesday. All rearranged. Home by 6:30 after a couple of other errands, then off to take a nap with the white cat, dinner, and news. (Kris is doing the dishes and cooking, since I am jammed up to my eyebrows at the moment. Thanks, partner.)

Off to WMG Publishing around 8:30 to work on workshop stuff. I was there until around midnight. Then home to watch The Voice. (see below). Then into this office around 1:30 a.m. to finish up the workshop stuff. I got it all done for the week around 3:30 a.m. (Reason so late is because I didn’t do anything ahead.)

So I worked on the new lecture “Paying the Price” which I hope to have ready in a day. A fun day and the store is ready to go tomorrow. I’m excited! And excited on how many ways it will help WMG Publishing. I’ll talk about that at some point down the road.

Topic for the Night also fits the week on the Productivity Workshop. I’ve been working with writers in that workshop, trying to help them get out of their own way, shut off critical voice, stop worrying about “perfect” all the time and just do the best they can and write from passion. When you are writing what you love, you tend to write more.

I can’t believe how many times I have told writers in comments here on this blog to write what they love, not to market, and write with passion and have fun.

So tonight on The Voice, Gwen was talking to this one young artist who had done this amazing performance, but all four judges had some issues. Gwen said it perfectly when she said the performance was “technically perfect” but she would “…scour the perfect off of you…” to the young singer.

The artist had to get away from “perfect” to reach true originality in singing.

Then two artists later, Adam was talking to another young artist when he said, “…losing control in a good way would be a good thing…”  for the artist to do. Too controlled again, too perfect.

Then later Pharrell said to another artist who didn’t make it that the artist “chose influence over originality” meaning the artist was just copying another person’s song instead of making it personal.

And that was just the three top points. If you are a writer and looking down your nose at The Voice, you are missing an amazing education. I think Kris and I stopped the recording four or five times tonight to talk about various points.

And speaking of education and perfection, Kris has her book The Pursuit of Perfection in a bundle of writing books being done in Story Bundle to help writers. This has two books by Kevin J. Anderson, two books by David Farland, one by Mike Stackpole, one by chuck Wendig, one by Brandon Sanderson, plus two by Kris, and my Sacred Cows book, plus others. 12 books total. Set your own price for all of them.

Talk about education. Even if you only get one or two details per book, the cost will be well worth it.

Here are the book covers and official blurb. It’s starting today (October 1st). It might not be up when I post this, but it will be shortly. Don’t miss this one, gang.

All Covers Large

A SPECIAL STORYBUNDLE “WRITING TOOLS” BUNDLE FOR NANOWRIMO

Curated by Kevin J. Anderson

StoryBundle.com has put together a massive batch of useful books that will help you survive—and thrive—during National Novel Writing Month. Twelve books on writing craft, productivity, and business—by eight bestselling writers, a TV producer, and more. And you name your own price.

The NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle is a treasure chest of books vital to your success not only in writing your novel in a month but in launching your long-term career as a successful writer. This is a toolkit, a drill sergeant, a mentor, and a cheerleading section, all in one.

To help you write, and keep writing, there’s Million Dollar Productivity by Kevin J. Anderson, 500 Ways to Write Harder by Chuck Wendig, and A Novel in 21 Days by Mike Stackpole.

To hone your craft as a writer, there’s Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland, The Pursuit of Perfection (and How It Harms Writers) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing by David Farland, Writing Excuses by Brandon Sanderson, and The Non-User-Friendly Guide for Aspiring TV Writers by Steven L. Sears.

To understand the business of writing and to build your career, there’s Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing by Dean Wesley Smith, The Freelancer’s Survival Guide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Million Dollar Professionalism for Writers by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, and Charisma +1: A Convention Etiquette Guide for Writers, Geeks, and the Socially Awkward.

At storybundle.com, you name your own price and receive either the basic bundle of six books (minimum $5 bid) or all 12 books (minimum $15 bid) which are vital books to hone your writing skills and your business acumen in the writing and publishing industry. Available in all ebook formats, and *worldwide*. – Kevin J. Anderson

The initial titles in the bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

  • Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology by Brandon Sanderson
  • Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing by David Farland
  • Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing by Dean Wesley Smith
  • Million Dollar Productivity by Kevin J. Anderson
  • Million Dollar Professionalism by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta
  • The Pursuit of Perfection by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you’ll get another six books:

  • The Non-User-Friendly Guide for Aspiring TV Writers by Steven L. Sears
  • 500 Ways to Write Harder by Chuck Wendig
  • Charisma +1: The Guide to Convention Etiquette for Writers, Geeks, and the Socially Awkward by Jessica Brawner
  • The Freelancer’s Survival Guide by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • 21 Days to a Novel by Michael A. Stackpole
  • Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland

The bundle is available for a very limited time only, via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books, but after the three weeks are over, the bundle is gone forever!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

The direct link to this when it appears shortly will be

http://storybundle.com/nano

Monthly Summary post will be here tomorrow.——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 2, Day 30

– Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 44,000 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,600 words

– Blog Posts:  1,200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 23,550 words

– E-mail: 51 e-mails. Approx. 1,600 original words. E-mails month-to date: 856 e-mails. Approx. 26,150 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 8 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 2, Day 29

Year 2, Month 2, Day 29 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day off of writing the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

A fun day. And honestly, I never expected to get any writing done today.

Rolled out around 12:30 (notice how early that is for me) and by 1:30 p.m. I was at WMG Publishing in a meeting. Then a little after two the new manager of the store and his second in command and I headed out to the new store.

We spent about four hours there boxing and moving counters and just making a huge mess, but getting the place into shape for what we want. The first day is Wednesday. Tiring and great fun.

Back to WMG Publishing to take a five-foot Bart Simpson (in his cooking gear) up to the kitchen in the office and then I headed home for a nap with the white cat, dinner, and news. Kris and I also watched some of The Voice before I headed back to WMG Publishing at 8:30 p.m. to do workshop stuff.

Got all that done around midnight, headed home and Kris and I watched The Voice. Amazing stuff once again.

Tonight I was struck by a number of things, including the guts of the woman with huge stage fright who had been rejected a few years back to climb back on that stage. Wow. When you want something bad enough at a national level, you will do amazing things to get it. (Back to paying the price, and yes, I will do that lecture soon.)

Every singer who walked on that stage had reached that spotlight in a very different manner. All had walked different paths. And some paths had been longer than others.

Kris and I have been working on a brand new workshop starting in November called Making a Living with Your Fiction. (Details on the Online Workshop Page or at www.wmgpublishingworkshops.com)

Tonight on The Voice were a bunch of people who really wanted to make a living with their art. Two of them had moved home with parents to chase their dream. So we figured that tonight might be a good night to announce the November workshop.

And making a living is sort of the Topic of the Night.

Something has been bothering me lately about indie writers, and something I will also write about in the new Sacred Cows of Publishing chapters when I get them going. That something is the idea that a one book success makes a career.

The focus of so many writers is selling more faster and faster. Now granted, that’s learned from traditional publishers because to this day traditional publishers think books spoil. But that is not the way things work anymore. Sure, selling a lot of copies quickly right out of the proofing stage can be done, and is fun. Not saying that it isn’t. But sometimes I watch indie writers just sacrifice far, far too much for that speed, with no though to what is going to happen in five years.

The new world is long term and every writer will walk that path in a different fashion, in their own fashion.  Just as all the singers on The Voice walked a different path to that one spotlight tonight.

For example: Kris, under the name Kris Nelscott, wrote a fantastic novel called A Dangerous Road back in the late 1990s. It was published by St. Martins about 15 years ago. It was nominated for the Edgar for best mystery novel of the year and a ton of other awards and won a few of them. It has also been under option to Hollywood for most of the time since the late 1990s.

She wrote five more Smokey Dalton books before St. Martins butchered the series, even though Entertainment Weekly gave the fifth book rave reviews. Then last year, in this new indie world, she came back to the wonderful world of Smokey Dalton and wrote a seventh novel, with more coming.

And because of this new world of indie publishing, all six of the original books are back in print out of WMG Publishing in electronic and paper editions and audio through Audible.com.

All six of them have been selling steadily for the last few years, making us nice, consistent money. And last year when the seventh book came out, it bumped the sales on the first six up to a new level per month. And more regular money. A new book in a series always helps the earlier books.

Monday and today (Tuesday), WMG Publishing put that first book, A Dangerous Road, out on a BookBub promotion, along with about four or five other similar pushes through similar sites. They managed to time all of them to blast out on Monday and Tuesday. Amazing feat. They lowered the price of the novel from the normal $5.99 to $1.99 just for the two days. (Monday and Tuesday.)

So now, fifteen-plus-years after the book first came out, A Dangerous Road is hitting bestseller lists all over the place and in a ton of categories including #1 in Historical Novels on both Kobo and Amazon. It is selling a ton of copies, and the other six books in the series still at normal prices are selling like crazy already.

And that first book is so powerful, readers will just keep going through the series.

Let me stress this again. 15 years after the book was published it is hitting bestseller lists and selling like crazy.

That’s the new world, folks. A book you write this month might be a decent seller for years and then become a bestseller due to something coming up in fifteen years. Or thirty years. Who knows.

Books just don’t spoil anymore like they used to in traditional publishing. But that said, an author can kill a book with bad decisions, just as a publisher could kill a book. And that’s what I see indie writers doing. They are killing their own books by getting in a hurry.

So if you have the right attitude, the right knowledge, you can make a living at your fiction in a fairly short time. And not have to depend on the fad promotion of the moment, or the hope of a book becoming a bestseller every time. There really are sane roads that a lot of indie writers I know are walking just fine and making great livings.

Dependable livings.

Many of the artists on The Voice have taken a long, long road to get to that stage. And for most of them, the road will continue to stretch off into the future because they love what they do. And with the knowledge of the coaches, their careers will last longer and some of them won’t be living with parents anymore.

So after watching The Voice tonight, Kris and I decided to announce the new November online workshop early. It seemed right on target. And in the workshop we’ll help no more than twelve writers learn how to make a living for decades to come.

We won’t tell you to walk our path. We’ll just help you find your own path, your own voice, your own way. Doing it your way is the key to long term success. But we can help with that.

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 2, Day 29

– Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 44,000 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,600 words

– Blog Posts:  1,200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 22,350 words

– E-mail: 46 e-mails. Approx. 1,100 original words. E-mails month-to date: 805 e-mails. Approx. 24,550 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 8 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 2, Day 28

Year 2, Month 2, Day 28 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day three of writing the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

A fun day. And honestly, I’m surprised I got any writing done. But I did.

Anyway, rolled out around 1 p.m. and made it to the professional writer lunch around 2 p.m. Great group. Lots of fun. Kris and I left just before 4 p.m.

We went out to the store for the last day there before we take it over, congratulated the wonderful owner for six great years, and then we headed to the valley. We had a great dinner and then went to Guardians of the Galaxy. Kris had seen it, but I hadn’t and she didn’t mind going again. Fun movie.

We got back to the coast a little after ten in the evening and we both headed up to WMG Publishing so Kris could exercise and I could finish the last details on Smith’s Monthly #12. 

So the first year is done and subscribers should be getting it tomorrow electronically and in a week or so in paper. A year. Wow. And #13 is being proofed, so onward we go.

I got back here around midnight and went to watch a little television, then came in here to do the last of the night’s online workshop stuff. Got that done a little after two. And I wasn’t that tired, so over to the writing computer I went.

I did one session of 850 words in about an hour, took a break, then did another session of 1,000 words in another hour before calling it a night. So 1,850 words on a day I expected to get no writing done. Win.

Topic of the night came up from a workshop question about how I back things up from a computer not hooked up to the internet. And why I do so much.

I always suggest to people that they have a dedicated computer only for writing. That starts to train the subconscious to know when you are writing fiction and when you are just playing a game or doing an e-mail. I have two computers, one only for writing. So does Kris. It is amazing how such a simple thing can make a huge difference in your production.

But how do I back stuff up or get it sent out to an editor if I have no internet on my writing computer?  Simple: I have a lot of thumb drives.

I back up to thumb drives every day. And one thumb drive with everything backed up is always in my pocket. Then when I finish a story or a novel, I back it up to two thumb drives. And copy it to my internet computer. One thumb drive goes into the car, the other thumb drive stays in my pocket.

I also make a paper copy for Kris to read.

I have all my writing backed up and out of the house. All the time. Want to know why? I was coming close to writing a story a week from January 1982 until May of 1985. I was starting to sell regularly. I had written two novels.

All of which was on a typewriter.

I come back to the coast from picking up my second wife’s mother from the airport on Mother’s Day in 1985 and my mint condition collection of Astounding pulps that had been in my office had been hosed down on the front lawn of the house we rented. Every window and door on the building had been boarded up and part of the roof over my office was gone. Our cat was dead.

The fire had started in an electrical box in my office and spread. By the time a neighbor noticed it, the entire place was a total loss.

I lost almost all of my writing up to that day. I managed to save a few published poetry books that were down on the floor under a pile of other stuff. I managed to get stories back with rejections from editors. But that was it.

All gone, not counting the twenty thousand paperback books and pulp magazine collection. (Yes, we had renters insurance, which helped my second wife set up a new place back in Idaho because the fire was the last straw of that marriage, but money sure didn’t replace those two novels and 150 plus short stories of mine. I was still trying to recover from that loss when I met Kris a year later.)

A fire like that will teach a person very quickly to back up everything out of the house. It did me.

And if you think a cloud back-up is safe, you are just deluding yourself. You really, really need to read terms of service, folks.

I back up to two different thumb drives my entire writing from 1990 to present every few months just in case a thumb drive goes bad. So Kris and I are always buying thumb drives.

I make sure the entire files are on three different computers, two here and one up at WMG. And I always keep a thumb drive in my car. Takes all of a minute or so to do. I do that on top of what I described above.

Fire or flood won’t happen to you? That’s what I always thought. (I suppose I have had a few setbacks in my writing career, huh? (grin))

Back up your work. And not to a cloud.

——–

Writing of the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Day 1…. 1,800 words. Total words to date…. 1,800 words
Day 2…. 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 5,000 words
Day 3…. 1,850 words. Total words to date…. 6,850 words

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 2, Day 28

– Daily Fiction: 1,850 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 44,000 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,600 words

– Blog Posts:  1,100 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 21,150 words

– E-mail: 39 e-mails. Approx. 1,250 original words. E-mails month-to date: 759 e-mails. Approx. 23,450 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 8 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 2, Day 27

Year 2, Month 2, Day 27 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day two of writing the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

A fun day in a lot of ways. Rolled out around 1 p.m. and made it to the snail mail and to the WMG offices by 2 p.m. Then on out to the store.

The manager who will be working at WMG Publishing and running the store met me there and the owner of the store (until Wednesday) spent the afternoon with us going over all the details. I was back running the cash register at times for customers and helping on a trade on some really nifty comics.

Four hours went by like nothing. I had forgotten how much fun it is to work surrounded by collectables and people talking collectables. I am so excited to be buying my store back. I can’t begin to tell you. And I have a wonderful person to run it, just as I had the first time.

Once I own it again, I’ll put up pictures. And yes, it will have a web site and it will sell on E-Bay and Amazon marketplace and so on. WMG Publishing is about to be not only be an electronic publisher and a paper publisher and an audio publisher and a workshop provider, but it will soon have its own brick and mortar store.

I got back around 6:30 and did some e-mail and took a nap with the white cat. Dinner, news, and dishes and I was back to WMG Publishing working on the very final stages of Smith’s Monthly #12. It will ship on Monday to everyone.

I worked on that and almost finished it by midnight.

Home to watch some television, then into here by around 2 a.m. I sat down at the novel and just fired on it. I did 900 words in 40 minutes, took a five minute break to get some water and a spoonful of peanut butter, did another 1,200 words in an hour, another short break, then another 1,100 words by 4:30 a.m.

3,200 words. Clearly my subconscious feels I am on the right track now.

Topic of the night... Tonight Kris finished the huge 8-book Retrieval Artist Anniversary Day Saga. It’s a stunning feat. The first two books in the saga, Anniversary Day and Blowback will be reissued in October and November. Then starting in January, WMG Publishing will release one book in the saga every month until the final one in June.

Eight full novels, one huge story.

I have the final book in the saga titled Masterminds: A Retrieval Artist Novel sitting in manuscript beside my reading chair and I am so excited to get to reading it. I have read all seven before it and trust me, this is a stunning feat, a huge story spanning many cultures and who knows how many characters. You are not going to want to miss this.

But the point of me telling you this is to talk for a second about how writers celebrate. Now, finishing a first novel and publishing it is something to celebrate. There are other events along the way that should be celebrated.

But how do professional writers celebrate? Mostly we move on to the next project. You guys watched me go from novel to novel, issue to issue this last year, without ever mentioning celebrating. It is just what I did and what I do. Books are not events to me, so nothing to celebrate in that fashion. Novels are longer stories.

For finishing this saga, however, Kris and I are going to celebrate a little because, to be honest, that’s an amazing feat she has pulled off. If I had done something like that, I would want to be celebrating as well. More than she wants to, honestly.

But she wants dinner, fun movie, that sort of thing, which is what we are going to do. And then Kris is going to spend some time just catching up on reading and doing other fun stuff she enjoys. That’s celebrating for her.

Sometimes professional writers celebrate by taking a trip, taking time away from the computer, researching the next book, and so on. Every professional writer finds a way to celebrate in one way or another large tasks accomplished, or goals attained. That’s healthy. What Kris is doing to celebrate after this fantastic accomplishment is healthy for her.

But why do professional writers keep celebration to major things like finishing a massive saga? Because this writing story thing is what we do. We write. It’s a fantastic job that pays us a ton of money. So except for amazing feats like the saga Kris just finished, we mostly just move on and keep doing what we do.

I know, a very strange mindset to writers who think finishing anything in writing is an event. When you finish a saga that covers eight novels and eight hundred thousand words, then sure. That’s worth celebrating, let me tell you. I know the fight and the work Kris put into those eight books. So just the relief of having them done is celebration reason enough. Just the relief of holding together a story that huge is worth a celebration.

So congratulations, Kris. Job fantastically well done. Let’s go see a movie and have dinner. Celebrate a little.

And for the rest of you out there, my suggestion is get started reading Anniversary Day and then Blowback. The third novel in the saga will be out in January and that’s not very far away. (grin) You will be very glad I recommended these books.

——–
Writing of the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Day 1…. 1,800 words. Total words to date…. 1,800 words
Day 2…. 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 5,000 words

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 2, Day 27

– Daily Fiction: 3,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 42,150 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,600 words

– Blog Posts:  1,000 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 20,050 words

– E-mail: 17 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 720 e-mails. Approx. 22,200 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 8 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 2, Day 26

Year 2, Month 2, Day 26 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day one of writing the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

I call for a mulligan. A do-over. A restart. That’s right, I tossed away the first two thousand plus words I wrote on The Edwards Mansion and just started over at word one.

Why? Well, to start off with, because I can. I am the god of the book, the creator, the human who directs the traffic of the characters, and I can do any darned thing I want with those characters.

Plus, I started in the wrong place. Wrong century even. Not kidding.

How I came to that realization was early tonight I was doing the final formatting on Smith’s Monthly #12. In that volume is the Thunder Mountain Series novel Avalanche Creek. I think that may be the best book I have written, and by far the most complex. Not kidding.

So as I was formatting it, meaning making sure no widows and orphans, doing the formatting on the chapter starts, all for the paper edition, I was by the very nature of doing that, looking at the book again, sort of skipping along through it. And as I did, something happened in Avalanche Creek that I realized needed to be part of the start of The Edwards Mansion. 

In other words, my subconscious made me play a mulligan. (grin) Not my critical voice, my subconscious creative voice.

So the day started around 2 p.m. for me going to the snail mail after doing a little e-mail. Then to WMG Publishing for a short time. Then off to the bank to work on accounts and such for the new store, out to the new store to work on details there, then to an internet company to do stuff there, then to the grocery store for a late lunch, then back to WMG Publishing.

I ended up on the phone there with more detail stuff for the store transfer. Starting up even a small retail business takes about a thousand details. At some point I also spent time on the phone with two different insurance people.

Home at 6 to do e-mail, to take a standard nap with the white cat, then dinner, news, and dishes, before heading back up to WMG Publishing around 8:30 to do the formatting on Smith’s Monthly #12. Almost got it done.

Then home around 11 p.m. after Kris got done with her exercise. I was going to go to the basement to watch a little television, but one of the web sites (not this one) was having an issue I thought would be solved easily. Well over an hour later it was solved, and I had to run back up to WMG to leave people notes. So I didn’t get to any relaxing at all until after 1 a.m. and by that point I was pissed off and tired because I had wanted to be writing by that point. And I was tired of dealing with details. Go figure. (grin)

So I calmed down, watched the season start of Hawaii Five-O which had three cliffhangers for next week which flat didn’t work in my opinion at the end. In fact, I found it annoying. And then the preview of next week’s episode had nothing to do with the cliffhangers. Bad writing and plotting, something Five-O does at times. So I watched a little of the Ryder Cup live from Scotland. Best ball golf will dull anyone out.

Got in here around 2:30 a.m. and instantly, without looking at it, tossed away the first start at the novel. Then I put in the title in a new file, chapter one, and off I went. I got about 700 words in 45 minutes, then took a break and got another 1,100 words in the next hour. Enough for the night and a good start. It’s on track now.

Topic for the Night… The sacred words. I know a bunch of you, when reading the above, wondered if I could have saved the words, used them, not “wasted” my time by writing words I would never use. I get that question a great deal when I toss away five and ten thousand word loops in novels.

If you even pretended to think that, you have an issue with “sacred words.” Imagine those two words echoing around and around in a big cathedral like a bad monster in a horror movie. (grin)

No writing is ever wasted. By starting that novel in the wrong place, it got me searching for the right place subconsciously and I found it. Now the book will be stronger.

I was a member in good standing in the “sacred words” club for the first ten years of my writing. Those first seven years I thought words were so sacred, I needed to polish them to a bright shine so that they looked like everyone else’s words.

And then for the next three, I had that same problem because I didn’t have much time (in my mind, anyhow) and I was typing on a typewriter with White-Out to fix corrections.

I was such a slow typist, that once I had committed a word to paper and fixed the spelling on it, no chance in hell would it ever get thrown away.

Of course, the house fire cured me of that when it burnt all those “sacred words.”  And then it was Kris who finally started leading me out of that club and into the light of professional writers. Ten long years plus before I tossed away my membership card.

How to get out of the “sacred words” club? Simple, actually. Focus on stories instead of words.

Focus on only telling a story, not how pretty your sentences are. And if words don’t work in service of the story, throw them away. That simple.

Now this is not an excuse for all of you with overblown critical voices to not finish anything. If you have critical voice that is telling you all the time that your writing isn’t working for one reason or another, you have a different problem. That is all focused on the words. If you focus on the story, you see another side of things.

Notice that not once did I say or even think that the first opening to this novel was a bad opening. It wasn’t and would have worked just fine. But it didn’t serve what I realized the story needed to be, so I tossed it away.

If memory serves, there was some fine description in those pages I tossed as well. If I can write the description once, I can sure do it again when the right time comes in the book, if I need to.

So nothing is wasted. I wrote a few thousand words to figure out where my opening really should be. Found it, tossed away the exploratory words.

I count them in my word total for the month because I wrote them. There is nothing in that total for the month that says I only count “salable words.” If I did that, I would stop cold. And they would give me another membership card to the “sacred words” club.

Membership in the “sacred words” club is a sign that you haven’t moved from being a typist to a storyteller yet. Focus on the story. Everything works in service to the story and to the art.

The rest is just typing and worthless.

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 2, Day 26

– Daily Fiction: 1,800 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 38,950 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,600 words

– Blog Posts:  1,300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 19,050 words

– E-mail: 14 e-mails. Approx. 200 original words. E-mails month-to date: 703 e-mails. Approx. 21,800 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 8 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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Where I Am Headed: New Goals

NEW GOALS!


Some of you may have noticed that I have just been sort of tumbling along since the first of August, not completely focused and finding a ton of other stuff to do besides writing. (grin) All writers know that drill.

So how come? What has been wrong???

Success, that’s what.

Let that sit for a minute and let me tell you about some of my early writer dreams. Back when I first started, I had dreams (different from goals). My dreams were pretty simple, as most beginning writers are, since as beginning writers, we often can’t see the reality of the profession we are walking into.

I wanted to sell short stories regularly. (A dream) I wanted to publish a novel. (A dream) I wanted to make enough money to live off my fiction. (A dream) (A dream is something I hope for, but is out of my control.)

So I set goals to drive me toward that dream point. I can control goals. Goals like writing and mailing a short story per week, writing and mailing novels to editors who could buy it. I set goals, had challenges with other writers, and drove myself forward toward the dreams.

Then one day about 1989 I looked around and realized I had made it to all my dreams. I was selling short stories regularly, I had published a first novel with Warner, and I was making enough to live.

Oh, shit, now what????

Success. I had set my dreams way, way too low.

That took a lot of whining, complaining, moping around, and tiring conversations with friends (they all got tired of it) before I could reset, find new dreams with writing, set new goals, and get off into the future.  Amazing Kris stayed with me through that period. But she helped me get refocused and moving forward. Otherwise I would have been off doing something else challenging.

So back to today.

I had some pretty nuts goals last July (2013). Since all my media books were not mine, and my ghost novels were not mine, and so on, I had short stories and not a bunch else. I had one novel to get out indie and that was it. Over a hundred novels written and I had ONLY one novel I could use to help start the indie side of my writing.

So I needed to do what I teach. I needed to put my head down and write what I love, write my books, in my way, and then get them out there. So I set up some personal challenges to do that.

I decided I would fill a 70,000 to 80,000 word magazine every month with just my stuff. I would have an original novel in every issue. And a ton of other stuff. Smith’s Monthly.

That had not been done before by anyone in any history that I could find. That excited me as well, to be honest. So off I went, very challenged.

And I decided to let people follow along with the Writing in Public blogs every day.

The outcome you all know… I did twelve original novels in 12 issues, published in the magazine over 50 short stories, did two serial novels, a non-fiction golf book, and other stuff, including poetry. Plus I put together three other nonfiction books in that time and helped WMG Publishing keep growing.

So right now I am putting the final touch on the 12th issue and it will head out to subscribers on Monday.

Monday.

Monday is the end of the challenge I set for myself. Oh, shit, now what????

As Kris said, I suck at just going on. I bore easily. (I hear many of my friends laughing at that understatement.)

So what to do? That’s been the discussion I keep going over in the last month or so. So what next???

I’ve been enjoying doing more discussions in the daily blogs.

So I decided to do more of that every day, from discussions about The Voice to books I’ve read to things from the past and so on. The daily blogs are going to become more interesting, at least to me.

Most nights I will have a topic from now on out. So that’s a big change number one. I will keep up the writing in public part, but add in discussions from cats to television to publishing and writing and so much more. That will keep me entertained. (And I will bring back all the things I talked about last week such as New World of Publishing posts and a new Killing the Sacred Cows book.)

But what about the fiction writing???

Well, twelve novels does not a career make. I want to continue on, but alas, without a clear and solid goal of something I HAVEN’T DONE YET, I will get bored and stop suddenly and find myself battling in a poker tournament in Las Vegas.

So once again I have been boring my friends and Kris with this resetting problem. I don’t want to stop, but I know me enough to know I will stop suddenly if I don’t reset with a real challenge. Something to keep me focused and challenged.

So tonight over dinner in a nice restaurant (Sizzler), Kris basically hit me with what I needed to do.

She said, “You are always teaching that writers need to plan the year, plan out five years, and plan out ten years in careers. So set the new challenge to make it to five years with the magazine. No one will ever come close to doing that.”

So as any good planning person should do, I looked at the ups and downs. If I succeeded doing the magazine for five years, it would be flat amazing. (I like that feeling.) I would have 60 original novels, well past 200 short stories (untold number of collections), and who knows how many more other projects. That will give the indie side of my career a real jump.

If I got the Martian Death Flu along the way, I would miss some months unless I was out ahead, but even with that, I would still get close to 60 novels in five years. If not more. Totally a success even missing along the way due to life events.

I could see nothing wrong with the idea. I had been thinking of just resetting for another year. But I had done this for a year. I knew I could do it again. So that wasn’t working.

But five years, and then ten years of a new novel and a new issue of a magazine every month? Now that’s a challenge!!!

(I can hear a lot of you just shaking your heads at the stupidity of that idea, which makes me smile even more.)

So I’m resetting the goal.

I’m going to do everything in my power to keep Smith’s Monthly going for four more years, and then I’ll look at another five, because honestly I’m looking at ten years.

That’s a challenge I like.

Some reality: Nine years from now I’ll be 73 years old, so that’s sort of a mind mess for me to think about. (I can’t imagine being that old.) But four years from now I’ll only be 68. Again, with goals, you have to look at the realities of life, family, and so on. I can think pretty clearly about four years from now. I’ll see how that goes after that. (grin) But still aiming for ten years for Smith’s Monthly.

But I will be honest… Issue #100 will be something very special. (grin)

So that’s second major goal reset.

1) Make the blog more topic focused each day, while still doing the writing in public part.

2) Focus on getting Smith’s Monthly through five full years and on track to make it ten years.

So what about a third major goal?

The third reset applies to the first two. I have to be very, very healthy to make it  writing at twelve novels or more per year for the next nine years, plus do all the other stuff I’m doing. So I’m going  to set the third goal as health. In other words, weight and exercise.

I am six-foot even in height. I weigh 208 pounds. (That’s well into the official overweight category.)  I need to be 168 pounds. To lose that 40 pounds and save my old knees and such, I need to eat slightly better (not doing bad at the moment) and move around more.

(My diet book…Eat Less and Move Around More.)

So starting on October 1st, I’ll be be bringing back my daily step count (FitBit) and other things I am doing to drop the 40 pounds to help the first two goals. Working at computers and writing is tough on bodies. If I’m going to make it to that tenth year of Smith’s Monthly, I got to get in shape now.

I will track the weight as a daily entry as all. Don’t worry, I won’t get too obnoxious about it. (grin)

So the three major changes for me, goals for me are these:

1) Make the blog more topic focused each day, while still doing the writing in public part.

2) Focus on getting Smith’s Monthly through five full years and on track to make it ten years.

3) Lose 40 pounds and maintain my health.

So I’m reset now. You all will notice the writing coming up, the excitement, and so on. I have three tough goals, long goals that will be fun for me. And that will challenge me.

Onward.

(And note: ten of the twelve novels from the first year are shown in this post. The other two are not out yet due to the two month lag from being in Smith’s Monthly to being out as stand-alone novels. You can get them in their issue of Smith’s Monthly or separately but the better deal is Smith’s Monthly since you also get short stories for near the same price.)

 

 

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

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

Day off of writing the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

No fiction writing today, but great help with the fiction writing going forward. Sometimes a person needs to just take off a few days to plan, and that’s what this has been for me.

Back at the novel tomorrow. The blog above this should explain what I have been doing in general.

I didn’t mention in it that I am planning to write three original novels in November. Three different series. I’ll talk more about that coming up.

So today was Thursday, which means a ton of meetings at WMG Publishing. First a lunch meeting at 1:30 p.m., then another meeting at a meeting place for coast workshop planning with the wonderful manager there, then to WMG for a larger staff meeting.

Kris and I headed off to dinner at 5:30 and she helped me finally get some stuff together. All the stuff above.

Back to WMG by 8:30 where I worked on Smith’s Monthly #12 final formatting and then took a nap. Kris woke me around 11 p.m. Then while Kris walked, I headed to the grocery store for supplies.

Home to watch some television around midnight.

Then back in here around 2 a.m.  Wrote the blog above, wrote a part of a New World of Publishing article, then turned to this.

The topic for tonight is something Kris mentioned after we watched the 12th season of NCIS start last night and then watched the very first show of NCIS: New Orleans tonight. The difference between the two is pretty amazing to study for writers.

In NCIS, they opened with two of the major characters being in mortal danger. Now anyone who has watched the show knows that anyone but Gibbs can be killed, which makes it moderately tense. Great action, great set up of the season’s “big bad.” And it allowed the writers of the show to showcase all the characters at one point or another, which is exactly what they needed to do to start a new season. They needed to keep us viewers focused and remind us who all the characters are. Job accomplished.

For NCIS: New Orleans, the writers had another task completely. They had to completely set the structure of the show, introduce us to all the characters fresh, and really set the lead character as the focus.

So instead of doing something major and international as NCIS did, the New Orleans start was a small crime, down and personal to the main character and the city. It introduced the main character as a real person with emotions, a person to like, and it did a lot to show New Orleans, which is a major character in the series as well. Intense setting, right from the start.

As it should be with New Orleans.

The show did set up the big bad, but in a very subtle way right at the end. But mostly the show set characters, set New Orleans, had great dialog, some action, and made it fun. Perfect opening. Job accomplished.

So two openings. One starting a 12th season (like opening a 12th novel in a series). Another opening a brand new series, brand new characters, brand new setting.

What is even more fascinating is that beyond a little superficial structure of flash shots between scenes, all three NCIS series are very, very different. And all three reflect their locations. All work as teams, two have a major head team leader, the LA one has a two-person team main character.

Between the three series some of the best action/mystery/thriller/detection writing happening at the moment, books or television.

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 2, Day 25

– Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 37,150 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,600 words

– Blog Posts:  2,400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 17,750 words

– E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 689 e-mails. Approx. 21,600 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 8 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 2, Day 24

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

Day off of writing the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Just sort of weird day. Rolled out around 1:30, managed to do some e-mail and get to the store by 3.m. after a stop at the hotel that holds the coast workshops. Then back to the snail mail and WMG Publishing for a meeting.

Then I worked a little on Smith’s Monthly formatting before heading home for a nap with the white cat, dinner, news and dishes.

Back up to WMG Publishing at 8:30 working on formatting Smith’s Monthly until 11:30 p.m.

As soon as I get this issue done I’ll take a picture of my war boards for the first year of Smith’s Monthly before I erase them and put up the second year. I’m impressed I filled them.

Home to watch some television, then back in here to finish a few tasks until I took a short rest at 2 a.m.

About 2:30 a.m. I came in here, looked at what I had on the new novel, and decided I wanted to have a clear brain to run at it, so I dinged around with some short stories, but got no new words worth counting.

So it’s almost 4 a.m. and I’m tired, not like me for this time of the night. So I’m headed to bed to get a good night’s sleep because I have meetings again tomorrow.

One note: Only one week until October. At the moment all October online workshops still have openings. Remember that with each workshop signup you’ll get three issues of Fiction River since the subscription drive is still going on. So jump into the workshops before they start to fill. This time of the year, as people are coming back to their writing after a long summer, the workshops might fill.

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Totals For Year 2, Month 2, Day 24

– Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 37,150 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,600 words

– Blog Posts:  400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 15,350 words

– E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 678 e-mails. Approx. 21,300 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 8 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 2, Day 23

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

Day two of writing the novel The Edwards Mansion: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Rolled out around 2 p.m. and didn’t really get out of the house until almost 4 p.m. Headed to the snail mail, then the WMG office, then the bank, then back to the office. I talked with the folks there for a short time and then went to work on workshop stuff.

Home by a little after 6 p.m. to do some e-mail, then to a nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and the first segment of The Voice. Then around 8:30 I headed for WMG Publishing and worked on workshop stuff up there until 11:30 when Kris finished her walking.

We headed home and watched the rest of The Voice, then back up here around 1:30 a.m. to finish the last of the workshop stuff for the week. I got that done around 3:30 a.m.

I did a short session on the novel The Edwards Mansion, got about 500 words done, then remembered I needed to do something for the Advanced Master Class coast workshop. Got that done by around 4:30 a.m. and went and did another 700 words on the novel.

Tomorrow I need to finish up the formatting on Smith’s Monthly #12 and get that out the door, then I can pick up a little speed on the novel, I hope. It feels ready to gain speed if I give it the time.

Oh, by the way, I have a book out now. It’s called Morning Song: A Seeders Universe Novel. Link to Amazon is here, but it’s also on a bunch of other places. It’s pure science fiction.

Also, the audio book of my novel Against Time: A Seeders Universe Novel is now out through Audible and it’s linked on Amazon to the book now. It had a great reader on it, so if you like audio books, give it a shot.

Both of those novels were, of course, first in Smith’s Monthly a while back.

Pulphouse #3Blast from the past picture of the night. This is a fun picture of me and Kris and Patrick Price, the editor of Amazing Stories at the time. This was early spring 1988 and we are holding Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine Issue #3 in our hands which had just come out. My gut sense is that Nina Kiriki Hoffman took the picture.

This was at the weekly Tuesday writer’s workshops in Eugene Oregon. Patrick was there and I think Algis Budrys (Writers of the Future) was there as well that night, along with about twenty others. A bunch of us headed to Norwestcon the next day in Seattle if memory serves and seven of us young writers shared a room.

Broke young writers. We wanted to learn and make contacts and we did and had a blast at the same time, even though we had no money. Paying the price.

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 2, Day 23

– Daily Fiction: 1,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 37,150 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 4,600 words

– Blog Posts:  500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,950 words

– E-mail: 43 e-mails. Approx. 1,100 original words. E-mails month-to date: 666 e-mails. Approx. 21,000 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 8 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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October Online Workshops

Since we are giving special Fiction River volumes with all sign-ups for October workshops, and people are starting to sign up, I figured it was time to do a full post on the October workshops, including their blurbs and promotional covers.

So here they are, all ten online workshops for October. Sign Up instructions and more details about the workshops under the Online Workshop tab above. Remember, all these workshops are limited to 12 writers per month and with the Fiction River volume bonus, some of these will fill this month. Don’t delay.

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PRODUCTIVITY 

Kris and I are two of the most prolific long-term writers working today. And we have done that year-after-year for thirty years. Well, finally we decided to tackle the one area we have been avoiding in teaching.

Productivity.

That’s right, we’re finally going to teach that skill. And in this new indie world, productivity is a critical skill to have.

If you followed my blog last year and watched me write twelve novels, three nonfiction books, and thirty-plus short stories while working a day job with WMG Publishing and workshops, you know what productivity is. Kris and I can teach you how to do that and a lot of other ways of being productive.

If you are tired of looking back at a year and wondering why you didn’t write more, this workshop is for you.

If you think you just write too slow, this workshop is for you.

So for a six week workshop online, we are going to help writers become more productive and learn habits and techniques that will keep you productive for years to come. Six weeks of videos, five assignments. If you want an extra book per year, or just more stories, and can never seem to make it happen, this new workshop starting in September is for you.

We can all find extra time, but most writers don’t know how to convert that extra time over months and a year into more stories and novels.

This is a nuts and bolts workshop, not on craft workshop. This workshop will work if you want to write a first novel or just add more novels and stories to your yearly output. The techniques and methods we will teach in this workshop will work for all levels.

———-

HOW TO WRITE THRILLERS 

Taught by Dean Wesley Smith, author of at least two dozen thriller novels under various names. First taught here at the coast, this workshop will help you not only learn how to write a thriller, the hardest genre of them all to write, but this workshop will help you speed up all books when you want to.

This workshop combines a lot of different areas of how to relay to the reader to keep reading. From plotting to pacing to character and so much more. Some people call thrillers “big books.” That’s because thrillers often require scope, multiple characters, and other skills this workshop will help you get a handle on.

If readers can put your books down while reading them, if they stop along the way, if they give reviews that it was slow, this workshop will fix those problems.

 

————

HOW TO WRITE SERIES NOVELS IN ALL GENRES 


Taught by Dean Wesley Smith with the help of Kristine Kathryn Rusch. For both of them, many of their hundred plus novels each have been in series. And there are many, many skills to writing successful series books that hold readers from one book to another.

This workshop will cover series in all genres, from fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and even romance, which is a genre difficult to write series in. This workshop will talk about character threads through novels, plot arches, setting threads, and so much more, including how to even see that you might have a series idea. And with this new indie world, series are popular and sell better when a writer can do it correctly.

So everything you need to know about writing a successful series.

 

———–

CHARACTER VOICE AND SETTING


If you want to learn how to get down inside character’s heads and stay there, this workshop teaches you that and so much more. And if critiques tell you your setting seems thin, you need this workshop.

An intense craft workshop that will help you learn how to develop memorable characters, memorable settings, and learn how to write multiple characters that can be told apart. Gain control over your own characters and learn the techniques that make a character and the setting around each character come alive to a reader.

Taught for six years here on the coast, but now has moved online.

 

 

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WRITING WITH DEPTH 

A sentence-by-sentence, clause-by-clause look at how you can write fiction, characters, settings, and plots with depth. Your writing, your characters, your fiction will take a huge jump forward with this workshop.

This workshop goes hand-in-hand with the Character Voice workshop and the Pacing workshop. Writing With Depth workshop adds in a third and final part to the puzzle of making characters and stories have real power that holds readers in your stories. And you can take the workshops in any order. They all just add to each other.

Last fall, Kris and I did a workshop called “Strengths” that looked at writers’ work up close and helped them, we hope, understand where they are strong, and where they need work. Almost everyone who took that class needed work consistency developing characters at a deeper level. But how?

In the Character Voice workshop, both here at the coast and now online, I often told writers they were just skimming over the surface and they needed to stay down in character’s heads more. But how?

The Writing With Depth workshop shows you exactly how.

Kris and I have finally worked out a way to get down into the details to show you exactly how to add depth to your characters and your work without hurting your plotting or your pacing.

Not a theory workshop. We show you directly how to do it and you practice it and get feedback from us on how to make your work even deeper.

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HOW TO WRITE SCIENCE FICTION

Put together by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith. Kris is the only person to have won the Hugo Award for her writing and her professional editing of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Dean edited as well at Pulphouse and Pocket Books, writing and editing Star Trek for over ten years. He also wrote Men in Black original novels and many, many other very popular science fiction books.

Right now Dean is also writing two science fiction series under his own name and Kris is also writing two science fiction series under her own name as well as have short stories appear regularly in Asimov’s and Analog magazines. In fact, she’s won the Asimov’s Reader’s Choice Award five times and the Analog one a few times.

Kris and Dean, with Dean doing most of the talking, will lead you through how to write science fiction short stories and novels. You’ll learn all the sub-genres of the field, as well as how to write in each and what is required of each.

How to do science fiction series, how to come up with ideas, how to build your science fiction worlds without needing orbital mechanics, and so much more.

Again, this will cover both short fiction and novels. Science fiction is such a huge genre, but we’ll try to pack it all in a short six weeks.

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PACING YOUR STORY


(Keeping Your Story Moving)
Ever wonder how a writer makes you stay up all night reading? And sometimes when the story doesn’t really hold you? This workshop teaches you the tricks and skills that will keep your story moving at the pace you want it to move.

From writing slow family scenes to fast action scenes, you will gain the control of the reader that you always wondered about.

This workshop will cover a vast amount of information and writing techniques. From short stories to novels and series novels, this class covers everything you will need to know about how to keep a story moving and the readers turning pages.

 

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CLIFFHANGERS



How to keep a reader reading from chapter to chapter and from scene to scene.

There are many ways besides the standard “hero hanging from a cliff” that the name of the technique is named after. In fact, there are six major cliffhangers and each week in this course will cover another way to keep your readers hooked into your stories.

The workshop will also cover how to speed up your stories and even understand when a scene or chapter should end.

Understanding how to use the major cliffhanger techniques will jump your sales and keep readers coming back to your work.

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PITCHES AND BLURBS

Maybe the most important workshop we do. This workshop will teach you how to write great ad copy for your stories and novels.

Name value, then covers, then ad copy are the top three things readers look at before sampling your book.

This course will teach you how to write ad copy for electronic sales, for cover letters to editors, for catalog copy to bookstores, and also back cover copy for your books.

This skill takes time to learn and this workshop will get you on the road to selling more books and stories.

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GENRE STRUCTURE


Writers seldom know what genre they write in. Every wonder why your book isn’t selling well? Maybe it’s because you put your book on the wrong electronic shelf.

Not only will this workshop teach you how to identify genres, but also will teach you the structure of all the major genres. That way if you decide to write a story or a novel in a certain genre, you will understand what you need to do.

This workshop goes down inside the structure of each genre and many subgenres. You will understand genre when you finish this workshop.

 

Any questions on any workshop, just contact me.

More information about the workshops can be found under the Online Workshop tab above.

 

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