Mid-Month Reminder of November Online Workshops

Middle of the month heads-up for online workshop sign-up. All workshops are limited to 12 writers including the new workshop, Making a Living with your Fiction Writing.

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.

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

December workshops schedule under the tab. January, February, and March workshops will be posted soon.

All workshops have openings at the moment.

Class #31… Nov 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #32… Nov 3rd … Making a Living
Class #33… Nov 3rd … Character Voice/Setting
Class #34… Nov 4th … Designing Book Covers
Class #35… Nov 4th … Designing Book Interiors
Class #36… Nov 4th … How to Write Science Fiction
Class #37… Nov 5th … Promotion for Writers
Class #38… Nov 5th … Ideas
Class #39… Nov 5th … Plot Your Novel
Class #40… Nov 5th … 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.

Kris and I put this business workshop together. We both 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 available.

ALL WORKSHOPS START ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 3, Day 20

Year 2, Month 3, Day 20 of this Writing in Public challenge.

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

Rolled out before 11 a.m. and made it up to WMG Publishing by noon. 35 professional writers there for the Advanced Master Class and it was great fun.

I stayed until 5:30 p.m., then headed home for a quick nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and a little e-mail. Then back up to WMG Publishing around 7 p.m. and stayed there until 10 p.m.

Then home to relax and watch the Voice. There were some great comments I’ll talk about later in the week when I have more of a brain. I used all my brain from doing the last of the online workshop homework and being on the phone with my internet provider for an hour.

Got done with all that around 2:45 a.m., far too late with having to get up in seven hours. So I didn’t write any on the novel or do a topic of the night or do anymore than this quick blog here.

Night. Back to normal tomorrow or Wednesday.

——–

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
Day 4…. 1,200 words. Total words to date…. 8,050 words
Day 5…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 9,150 words
Day 6…. 1,650 words. Total words to date…. 10,800 words
Day 7…. 2,150 words. Total words to date…. 12,950 words
Day 8…. 1,250 words. Total words to date…. 14,200 words
Day 9…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 15,300 words
Day 10… 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 19,500 words
Day 11… 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 22,750 words
Day 12… 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 25,950 words
Day 13… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 27,400 words
Day 14… 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 32,000 words
Day 15… 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 36,850 words
Day 16… 4,450 words. Total words to date…. 41,300 words
Day 17… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 42,750 words
Day 18… 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 43,900 words
Day 19… 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 46,250 words
Day 20… 1,050 words. Total words to date…. 47,300 words

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 3, Day 19

– Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 40,450 words  

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

– Blog Posts: 350 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 16,100 words

– E-mail: 26 e-mails. Approx. 1,100 original words. E-mails month-to date: 488 e-mails. Approx. 14,800 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 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 3, Day 19

Year 2, Month 3, Day 19 of this Writing in Public challenge.

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

Really fun day today. Made it up to WMG Publishing by noon for the workshop, then at 3 p.m. almost 40 professional writers crowded into a restaurant for lunch. Loud, but great fun discussions. A couple of the professional writers came over from the valley to join the fun as well.

Then I went home, did a little e-mail, took a nap with the white cat, then dinner and some football, then back to WMG publishing by 6:30 p.m. All done and home by 10 p.m. I went to watch some television for an hour, then went to work on the online workshop homework.

I got that done by 1 a.m. and since I really want to get this novel finished, I headed for my writing computer. I only managed 1,050 words before deciding I needed a good night’s sleep more than I needed more words.

But at least I got some words done. Again success.

Topic of the Night: A blast from the past on a research trip.

The image below is of me, in a fishing vest with a fishing pole standing on the log jam that blocks where Lake Roosevelt in the Frank Church Primitive Area goes over the mudslide that submerged the town of Roosevelt in the early 1900s. The logs all look like Tinker Toys, since they are part of buildings that broke apart and jammed into that area.

The water is about fifty feet deep under me, crystal clear, and there are twisted, jammed logs all the way to the bottom. Huge trout were swimming among the logs. Landslide that blocked the stream and caused the lake can be seen a little on the left of the picture.

Over ten thousand people lived in the town before it went under. A forgotten part of Idaho history. It had dozens of pianos in the bars and it’s own newspaper for years and so on. But there was no road in here, ever. Just trails. Yes, they packed pianos in over trails.

And this place is a very, very, very long ways from anywhere. The closest tiny town is about forty miles away over a major summit and it only has a bar and small general store in it.  Jerry Oltion took this picture. He and I were fishing the lake and the stream leading into it.

As well as doing research. My book series Thunder Mountain is set in Roosevelt and Idaho and Boise and on the Monumental Summit coming into this incredible place.

Roosevelt Lake

——–

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
Day 4…. 1,200 words. Total words to date…. 8,050 words
Day 5…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 9,150 words
Day 6…. 1,650 words. Total words to date…. 10,800 words
Day 7…. 2,150 words. Total words to date…. 12,950 words
Day 8…. 1,250 words. Total words to date…. 14,200 words
Day 9…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 15,300 words
Day 10… 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 19,500 words
Day 11… 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 22,750 words
Day 12… 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 25,950 words
Day 13… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 27,400 words
Day 14… 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 32,000 words
Day 15… 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 36,850 words
Day 16… 4,450 words. Total words to date…. 41,300 words
Day 17… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 42,750 words
Day 18… 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 43,900 words
Day 19… 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 46,250 words
Day 20… 1,050 words. Total words to date…. 47,300 words

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 3, Day 19

– Daily Fiction: 1,050 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 40,450 words  

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

– Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 15,750 words

– E-mail: 31 e-mails. Approx. 1,400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 462 e-mails. Approx. 13,700 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 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 3, Day 18

Year 2, Month 3, Day 18 of this Writing in Public challenge.

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

Amazed that I got any words done tonight. Very happy I did. Kris said I would be when I was in my chair in the living room moaning about not writing. (grin)

I do that to her as well. Ahh, the fun of two writers living together.

Anyhow, rolled out around 1 p.m. and did e-mail, got to the snail mail, then to the office around 3 p.m.  I worked there on final preparations for the workshop coming in, then priced some very expensive non-sports art cards to take out to the store.

Went to the store around 4 p.m. and talked there for a time, then talked with the landlord of the entire mall for a time, then got home around 5:15 p.m.

I took a very short nap with the white cat, dinner, a little of the Duck’s game, and then headed to WMG Publishing offices around 6:30.

35 professional writers were all there from all over the world and country and Canada, tired but ready for a week of fun. I think our farthest traveler this time was from Italy.

And I got to give the new ones a tour of the crazy place. Walking through that seven thousand square feet of stuff is something.

I am so looking forward to the learning this week. Great fun.

Got home around 10 p.m., watched a little television, then whined about not writing, then finally crawled in here and went to work. I did 1,200 words starting at 1 a.m. and going until 1:40, took a really short break, and did another 1,150 words before calling it a night at 2:30 a.m. (I need to be up early for me tomorrow.)

Total 2,350 words of forward progress. Success.

So no Topic of the Night tonight because I need my beauty sleep. But the one last night was so long, that should make up for it. (grin)

Oh, yeah, why haven’t you got these writing books yet?

All Covers Large

storybundle.com

——–

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
Day 4…. 1,200 words. Total words to date…. 8,050 words
Day 5…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 9,150 words
Day 6…. 1,650 words. Total words to date…. 10,800 words
Day 7…. 2,150 words. Total words to date…. 12,950 words
Day 8…. 1,250 words. Total words to date…. 14,200 words
Day 9…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 15,300 words
Day 10… 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 19,500 words
Day 11… 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 22,750 words
Day 12… 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 25,950 words
Day 13… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 27,400 words
Day 14… 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 32,000 words
Day 15… 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 36,850 words
Day 16… 4,450 words. Total words to date…. 41,300 words
Day 17… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 42,750 words
Day 18… 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 43,900 words
Day 19… 2,350 words. Total words to date…. 46,250 words

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 3, Day 18

– Daily Fiction: 2,350 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 39,400 words  

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

– Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 15,250 words

– E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 431 e-mails. Approx. 12,300 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 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 3, Day 17

Year 2, Month 3, Day 17 of this Writing in Public challenge.

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

Again, not much tonight, but still going. Chug, chug, chug…

Rolled out of bed around 1 p.m. and got into running around mode.

To the snail mail, to WMG Publishing, to banks, then out to Pop Culture Collectables, then back to meet Kris for a meeting at WMG. Last details on the coming coast workshop starting Saturday evening here. It’s going to be great fun.

Worked on the last physical stuff for the coming workshop, since we are holding it in the WMG offices. That’s right, the building is big enough to hold 35 people without a problem, all with their own tables. And we have room to spare.

Some day when I get a new phone I’ll post some pictures of the place. And of the new store.

I kept working on workshop details until around 6 and also got to have some great conversations with two of the local professional writers as well who had stopped by.

Then I went home, did some e-mail, and talked with family for a while, then headed for a short nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and dishes.

Then a little more e-mail and back up to WMG offices by 8:30 to keep working on the workshop stuff and get a bunch of stuff ready to take out to Pop Culture. Kris came up to the offices to walk around 11 p.m. and she headed home at midnight while I went out to Pop Culture to drop off all the stuff.

Then home for television. I then read a new short story by Kris (It’s great) and headed for my office around 2 a.m.

I finished up the e-mail finally, then managed to go get one session done before exhaustion overtook me and sent me back here to this computer to get this done. 1,150 words.  Chug.

Topic of the Night: Lying About Your Writing Habits to the Reading Public

In a number of places I have said that how fast or slow you write a book means nothing to the quality of the work. And there is no reason to fight in public against the myths that are deep in this culture about needing to write slow. All that does is make people around you angry.

So I tell younger writers to keep their work habits to themselves and when asked directly, basically lie if they are forced to.

Well tonight, I got a really nice note from a young writer who had picked up my book in the great book bundle that is happening. If you haven’t seen that bundle, go get it NOW. All twelve books for $15.00. Can’t beat this for eduction, folks.

All Covers Large
StoryBundle.com

The young writer in the note objected to me telling writers to lie about how fast they write, and their writing process. She thought everyone should be fighting the myths because lying to other writers doesn’t help them.

Well, since I put my entire day and all my writing right out here for everyone to see, it does seem odd that I tell other writers to not do this, doesn’t it?

And I also fight myths in this industry with my two books on the topic (You can read both for free under the Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing tab above, but you can’t get the other 11 books for free, so buy the bundle.) And I will be starting a new third Sacred Cows book (Even More Sacred Cows) before the end of the month. Cover is done.

I’ll be kicking all ten Sacred Cows here first, so the book won’t be out until February or March.

So why do I tell writers to lie out in public and never blog like I do here on their web sites?

Simple. The answer is Readers.

Readers were taught the exact same myths that writers were taught.

Readers want to feel like you have slaved over a novel they are going to pay $5 or $12.99 or $26.99 for. They were taught by English teachers and society that writing is hard, it’s a mystery, and writing must take millions of drafts to get such a wonderful story so perfect.

So when you tell the truth as I do here, you hurt your own readership. Your own sales. You need to give the illusion to readers that novels take a very long time. That gives readers confidence in the work and in putting down their money for the work.

Yeah, yeah, I know, at the same time a reader will finish a new novel and write the author asking where the new one is at because they want it now.

So maybe lying is the wrong term for me to use. Avoid might be a better term.

Just don’t put your writing process out there. And if asked directly, say something that is mostly truthful. “Not sure how long this took, but I know I worked on the idea and craft of it for a very long time.”

True. Most good storytellers have taken a decade or more to get to a craft level. And ideas and plotting are learned as well. So even though the typing of a novel only took three weeks, the time invested in the novel is very long.

Not lying, but avoiding flying into the face of the myth for readers.

It gives your work value to readers if you play along with their belief systems. They are not writers, you are. They don’t need to know the process.

Think of buying a wonderful cake at a bakery. Did you really need to stand in the back for all the hours it took to mix and bake and frost to enjoy the cake? Of course not. And if the baker starts going into the process for you the customer, your eyes will roll into your head with boredom.

Readers with a writer’s process are the same way. Give them value. Don’t bore them with how you mixed the batter and fluffed the eggs, or whatever you do to eggs. (Sounded rude.)

I write this blog for myself and to help writers who want to be helped. Same reason I do the workshops, so I can keep learning and help some others along the way, I hope.

I have way past 100 novels published, both traditionally and indie. I have over 17 million of my books in print. I’ve been on just about every bestseller list in the world. I’ve been nominated for more awards than I can remember, and I have made my living writing and in publishing for over thirty plus years.

And in this new world of lack of respect for us older folks in this business, I am free to say pretty much what I want if I think it will help younger writers. If after that many books, readers don’t trust my ability, not my issue. So I can do this and fight the myths.

But if you are a new writer, keep your mouth shut. You will lose friends and make readers angry at you.

So my advice to you as you learn to pick up speed and produce more books. Keep your writing process to yourself.

One very, very simple piece of advice.

The writing process in producing the work has nothing to do with the quality of the work.

You take that in, that one sentence will help you through so many problems in writing.

So in your early years of writing, don’t insult your readers by asking them to buy a book you wrote too fast for their tastes. Nothing to do with the quality, just reader perception. Remember, they learned the same myths about writing we all did. Keep quite, avoid the topic in public.

And if you can’t avoid it, lie. You are a fiction writer, after all.

I am a three draft writer. (I write the book, I turn on my spellchecker and spellcheck my book, then I fix mistakes my first reader finds if I agree with her on the mistakes.)

Three drafts. Not lying, but avoiding talking about the truth. Not my problem that a reader has a different definition of a draft. (grin)

——–

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
Day 4…. 1,200 words. Total words to date…. 8,050 words
Day 5…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 9,150 words
Day 6…. 1,650 words. Total words to date…. 10,800 words
Day 7…. 2,150 words. Total words to date…. 12,950 words
Day 8…. 1,250 words. Total words to date…. 14,200 words
Day 9…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 15,300 words
Day 10… 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 19,500 words
Day 11… 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 22,750 words
Day 12… 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 25,950 words
Day 13… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 27,400 words
Day 14… 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 32,000 words
Day 15… 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 36,850 words
Day 16… 4,450 words. Total words to date…. 41,300 words
Day 17… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 42,750 words
Day 18… 1,150 words. Total words to date…. 43,900 words

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 3, Day 17

– Daily Fiction: 1,150 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 37,050 words  

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

– Blog Posts: 1,300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,750 words

– E-mail: 14 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 419 e-mails. Approx. 12,000 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 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 3, Day 16

Year 2, Month 3, Day 16 of this Writing in Public challenge.

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

Not much tonight, but still going. A ways to go on this book.

Rolled out around 1 p.m. and got to my e-mail a little before 2 p.m.  About 2:15 Kris and I headed out to the snail mail and then the WMG offices. Then we headed off to lunch for the first session on putting the final touches on the coming Advanced Master Class that starts Saturday here at the coast.

By 4 p.m. we were back at WMG Publishing working on the workshop, and then headed home around 5:30 p.m. for a short stop, then off to Newport for dinner and more work on the workshop.

We got it all done by around 8 p.m., went for a walk to do some shopping, then headed home. Got here around 10 p.m. and I was exhausted, so I went to take a short nap with the white cat. Then watched some television.

Tried to do some e-mail, but still exhausted, so took another nap in my chair in the living room, then went to watch some more television. In other words, a resting day.

By 1:30 a.m. I was back in this office and tired. I dinged around for a short time before going to the novel. I worked over what I had come up with yesterday to make sure I was headed in the right spot, then wrote about 800 new words by 3 a.m. A short break, then another 650 words before I just tossed in the towel.

I am stunned as tired as I felt today that I got anything done, let alone all the work on the workshop and 1,450 words. Success.

Topic of the Night: Bad Writing Days and Attitude

So many writers have a bad day or two of writing and think the world has ended. Especially when the writer had some deadline or artificial goal.

In the not too distant past, I must admit, I was no exception to this. And the upshot is always more pressure on the writing and more bad days and the loss of fun with writing.

Nothing good ever comes from standing with your back to the future and complaining about yesterday and how it hurt you.

Somewhere along the way I learned to mostly just shrug at bad days. That does not mean I hate bad days when they are happening, complain and whine about them as they are happening. But for some reason when I get to the end of the day, I don’t carry the bad day of writing to the next day anymore.

Not really sure when exactly that changed, or how I managed to change it.

But I have a couple ideas if you suffer from this problem of letting a bad day or two hurt more days and kill the fun of writing.

Suggestion #1… Never look back. Even though I write a lot about time travel, I just can’t go back and change anything that happened the day before. I am always looking forward, to the point it is sometimes annoying to friends and Kris because sometimes I look too far out ahead.

Suggestion #2… Treat every day as a stand-alone day. Yeah, I know, I’m writing a novel that is all linked, but each day is just one day. It’s not part of a week or anything else. It’s just another day. If it doesn’t work, quote “Gone with the Wind” movie and move on to tomorrow.

Suggestion #3… When you have made your writing so important that not getting something done can ruin days, you might want to think about easing up on your writing some and putting it back into the fun department. Yeah, I get annoyed when I can’t have some fun on a day, but it sure doesn’t ruin the next day and the next and the next.

In other words, face forward with your writing.

What happened yesterday you can’t change. You can only change how much you get done today. And if it’s not enough, shrug and go to tomorrow and try it again.

I wanted to get more done today, more words. I didn’t.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow. But tomorrow I sure won’t care what happened today.

——–

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
Day 4…. 1,200 words. Total words to date…. 8,050 words
Day 5…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 9,150 words
Day 6…. 1,650 words. Total words to date…. 10,800 words
Day 7…. 2,150 words. Total words to date…. 12,950 words
Day 8…. 1,250 words. Total words to date…. 14,200 words
Day 9…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 15,300 words
Day 10… 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 19,500 words
Day 11… 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 22,750 words
Day 12… 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 25,950 words
Day 13… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 27,400 words
Day 14… 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 32,000 words
Day 15… 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 36,850 words
Day 16… 4,450 words. Total words to date…. 41,300 words
Day 17… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 42,750 words

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 3, Day 16

– Daily Fiction: 1,450 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 35,900 words  

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

– Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 13,450 words

– E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 405 e-mails. Approx. 11,600 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 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 Pubic: Year 2, Month 3, Day 15

Year 2, Month 3, Day 15 of this Writing in Public challenge.

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

Had hoped to have a huge day today on the novel, but turned out to be a good day instead. Still great, because as I was just powering along, I suddenly realized where this book was going. Finally!

And what stopped me cold for a short time is that this book is more complex than Avalanche Creek, the most complex time travel novel I have written. I wrote that a few months back and it is out now in Smith’s Monthly #12. Well The Edwards Mansion is going to end up more complex. Sigh.

So had to stop and detail out some of the time travel stuff to make sure I wouldn’t be writing down a wrong road too far. As my characters say at times, time travel gives me a headache. Especially really twisty time travel, which all the Thunder Mountain books tend to be. At least the last two or three of them.

So even with the sudden realization, I had a decent day. And there is no doubt now in my mind, now that I have this figured out, that I have some side roads along the way back there. Ahh, well, I’ll see if they remain side roads when the book is done. And from the feeling of this, now that I have an idea where it is headed, I still have twenty thousand words to write. Four good days, or six or seven moderate days.

Today I rolled out around 2 p.m., which used to be my old time, but hasn’t been for a few weeks and won’t be for the coming week either. Made it off to the snail mail by 3:30 p.m., then off to an office supply store, then to the deli at a grocery store for lunch, then to WMG Publishing offices where I had meetings until after 5 p.m.

I did a little work there, gave up, and headed home by 6:30 p.m. to take a nap with the white cat, dinner, and news. By 9 p.m. I was back in this office at home doing e-mail and by 10 p.m. I had moved over to the writing chair. Way, way early for me.

I got 1,250 words done, then went to watch television a little after 11 p.m. with Kris. Then back up here around 12:30 a.m. and I got another 1,100 word session done before 1:45 a.m.

Then between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. I wrote another 1,050 words, which was when I had the realization and had to stop and work out the time travel twists quickly.

I got back to actually writing on the novel at 3:45 a.m. and wrote another 1,050 words before calling it a night and moving to write this.  So 4,450 words for the night. A decent night by any standards.

And I figured out where I am heading with the thing. Yeah!

Topic of the Night: Being Perfect

Kris has a great book out called In The Pursuit of Perfection and How it Harms Writers.

Well, on The Voice yesterday there was a great moment where this topic came up. Alicia and Pharrell had finished listening to a pair sing and they were applauding and very happy with the result. So this one artist said (clearly not able to stand two major superstars being happy with his performance), “I felt like my voice was all over the place.”

Both Alicia and Pharrell said instantly, “Good!” Which clearly shocked the poor guy.

Pharrell said, “You feel that way because you are taking chances.”

Alicia said, “All of us are afraid of not being perfect. That’s why we connect to listeners.”

In other words, two great superstars were trying to tell a younger artist to let it go, take chances, do the best he could, just as he had done in that rehearsal.

Then to another artist a little later on, Pharrell said, “Voice is what gets you here. What keeps you hear is telling your story.”

In other words, being original, being true to yourself. He said it in two different ways to two different artists.

A writer never can see their own voice in their own work. A new writer thinks that the dull parts in a story are bad, that a story must be worked and worked and worked until perfect.

But the dull parts to a writer are their own voice, because a writer can’t hear their own voice. None of us can. So to make a story our story, we have to leave in what seems like it should be taken out at times.

We have to go against our huge desire to have a perfect story and just let the story remain our story.

By rewriting and taking out the dull parts, by trying to chase the illusion of perfection, the writer takes out their own voice, their own story, and turns the story into nothing more than a polished rock that looks like every other polished rock.

So just as that one artist on the voice said in his desire to sound like everyone else, “I felt like my voice was all over the place.” And Pharrell and Alicia said, “Good!”

They could hear the real artist when he let go like that. He let himself come out. He let it be his own story. And it scared him because his own voice wasn’t perfect in his mind.

And that’s what writers need to do as well.

But the myths in writing are strong. The myths and the teachings force you to make your story conform to everyone else’s story. Which I find interesting in and of itself.

Here we have artists, writers, who by their very nature, are rebelling and working at something new and original and different from working some local job somewhere. Yet these same writers who are rebelling are searching and working to make their own original work dull and sound like everyone else’s work. That puzzles me.

But the desire to be perfect is strong and deadly in all of us.

It is deadly to your art if you let that desire control you.

Risk is scary.

Perfection is safe. And dull. Perfection won’t sell a story for you because your story will sound like everyone else’s story, instead of you taking a chance and telling your own story, in your own way, in your own voice.

——–

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
Day 4…. 1,200 words. Total words to date…. 8,050 words
Day 5…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 9,150 words
Day 6…. 1,650 words. Total words to date…. 10,800 words
Day 7…. 2,150 words. Total words to date…. 12,950 words
Day 8…. 1,250 words. Total words to date…. 14,200 words
Day 9…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 15,300 words
Day 10… 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 19,500 words
Day 11… 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 22,750 words
Day 12… 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 25,950 words
Day 13… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 27,400 words
Day 14… 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 32,000 words
Day 15… 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 36,850 words
Day 16… 4,450 words. Total words to date…. 41,300 words

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 3, Day 14

– Daily Fiction: 4,450 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 34,450 words  

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

– Blog Posts: 1,100 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 12,650 words

– E-mail: 16 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 393 e-mails. Approx. 11,300 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 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 3, Day 14

Year 2, Month 3, Day 14 of this Writing in Public challenge.

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

Still no clue where the book is going. But I’m now making great speed into the darkness.

Rolled out around 1 p.m., did some e-mail, then made it to the snail mail (which was open today after that stupid holiday yesterday) and then the bank (also open) and then to WMG Publishing offices.

Spent a little time there talking with another professional writer and some of the fine folks who work there, then headed off to yet another bank and then to Pop Culture Collectables for a short time.

Then back to WMG Publishing by 4:30 to have lunch and work on workshop stuff there. Home by 6:30 to have a nap with the white cat, then dinner, news, and dishes.

Then into this office to do workshop stuff. Then at 10:30 Kris and I headed up to WMG Publishing and I worked on collectables to get out to the store while she walked. Home by 11:30 to watch The Voice. Another great night of great advice for artists of all sorts.

Then around 2 a.m. I finished up the last details of the online workshops for the week, then went over to my writing computer. By 2:45 a.m. I had 1,300 new words. A very short break, then by 3:30 I had another 1,200 words.

A little longer break, then by 4:15 I had yet another 1,300 words. Powering right along.

One more break, very short, then by 4:50 I added in another 1,050 words.

4,850 words, all in fast sessions. Damn this is fun when things go so fast. Wow. Means I must be on the downhill slide of this book, but honestly I have no clue. Time will tell.

Topic of the Night: Never Quitting

This topic is so huge, no chance will I even begin to cover it in something like this. But tonight on The Voice there were a lot of great stuff, some of which I’m sure I’ll talk about in coming days.

But there was one really amazing moment with an 18 year old kid. It was a hell of a battle and Adam picked the other guy, even though the kid was clearly the frontrunner going into the battle. The other guy improved so much, and gave it so much heart, Adam really had no choice when thinking about who could handle the pressure and grow going forward.

But this poor 18 year old kid (who was scary talented and had done a fantastic job) was crushed. All of the judges talked with him, but then as Pharrell started to talk with him, it was clear the kid was having troubles, so Pharrell said, “I’ll walk you out.”

Remember, this was Adam’s singer, but Adam seemed as hurt by the choice as the kid and clearly had no idea what to say.

And no other judge stole him for their team because they knew Adam was right.

Pharrell took the kid into the back. The kid said, “I really wanted this.”

And then Pharrell said to the kid, “How many things you wanted in your life that you didn’t get and you survived.”

The kid nodded.

Then Pharrell said to the kid, “Keep going. If you stop now, than no is right.”

Wow, amazing advice for any artist. I have watched so, so, so many writers get discouraged either by the old traditional system or this new indie system and just quit.

And usually they quit in the early days, with the first discouragement. And for them, no is correct. Quitting is the correct choice because things don’t get easier.

As Kris said after we watched that event for a second time, “That’s why we are still around and writing.”

I agree. We get knocked down, our careers get crashed, projects die, but we have never really quit.

Now granted, I have taken some side trips, gotten lost in some “Oh, shinny” moments over the decades. And in writing alone I have lost decades at times to stupid myths and bad decisions. But I keep coming back to writing, never quitting.

Now, this is not something that can really be taught. It is part of paying the price, though, for your art.

You either have the ability to keep pushing forward, pushing away all the people around you who think what you are doing is foolish, or you don’t.

Brutal truth. And not a damn thing I can say or Pharrell can say to change the outcome.

You either have the ability when knocked down to stand back up, or you stay on the ground and whine and then move on. You either have the desire to continue chasing your dream even after bad events or decisions that might take decades from you, or you don’t.

The kid is either going to go home, recover, and then go back to work on learning the music career, or he’s going to end up letting that one “no” define his life. He does that and he will end up in some family business or dull job wondering what might have happened if Adam would have said yes.

But as Pharrell said, if the kid does that, then “no” was the right answer for him, because from this point forward, the music career only gets harder.

And if you are thinking that after a few sales, the writing career gets easier and you are owed lots of “yes” answers, you are delusional.

The higher you climb in any art, the more difficult, more challenging, and with the right attitude, more fun.

But no is always a part of it. Always.

One side note to be clear here… Thinking of quitting is perfectly normal and I know of no writer or artist who hasn’t thought of that many times. They key is actually quitting or not quitting.

Don’t let a “no” be the right answer for you.

——–

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
Day 4…. 1,200 words. Total words to date…. 8,050 words
Day 5…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 9,150 words
Day 6…. 1,650 words. Total words to date…. 10,800 words
Day 7…. 2,150 words. Total words to date…. 12,950 words
Day 8…. 1,250 words. Total words to date…. 14,200 words
Day 9…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 15,300 words
Day 10… 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 19,500 words
Day 11… 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 22,750 words
Day 12… 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 25,950 words
Day 13… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 27,400 words
Day 14… 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 32,000 words
Day 15… 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 36,850 words

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 3, Day 14

– Daily Fiction: 4,850 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 30,000 words  

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

– Blog Posts: 1,100 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 11,550 words

– E-mail: 38 e-mails. Approx. 1,300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 377 e-mails. Approx. 10,900 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 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 3, Day 13

Year 2, Month 3, Day 13 of this Writing in Public challenge.

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

I wish I had a clue where this novel was going. Just pounding along. Once I have a clue, I might be able to figure out if I’ve taken any side trips as I aways do in these Thunder Mountain novels.

And talk about writing series issues. (I talk about many of them in the Series online workshop.)  I want these Thunder Mountain books to all stand alone, yet I don’t want to bore to tears the readers of the first three in the series. Ahh, what to put in, what to leave out? I’ll figure it out once I know where I am going with this story. Standard for me.

The day was pretty basic. Rolled out around 1:30 p.m. and went to the snail mail (none) and banks weren’t open either. What a stupid holiday this one is. Annoying.

Anyhow, went to WMG Publishing, did some stuff there, then went to get my flu shot. All done.

Then I headed to the grocery store deli for lunch, stopped at WMG to eat it, then headed to Pop Culture Collectables to look at a nifty collection of toys that had come through the door. It was from one of the store’s regular pickers and it was good stuff.

Home by 6:30 for a nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and dishes. Then into this office to finish up the workshop stuff for the day, then up to WMG offices around 10:30 to get some stuff.

Home by 11 p.m. and down to watch The Voice. Really amazing stuff this week, as normal for that show.

Back in this office around 12:30 to finish up some stuff, then rested in the living room for ten minutes, then with iced tea and a breakfast bar, I headed for the writing computer.

I got 1,350 words done by 1:55 a.m., took a quick break, got some peanut butter, then went for another session.

This time I managed 1,200 words before 2:45 a.m. I was moving. Again no idea where, but the story is flowing right along.

Then I grabbed some sparkling water (I kill the iced tea around 3 a.m.) and did another 1,100 words by 3:30 a.m.

Another quick break, then I did 950 more words by 4:15 a.m. and called it a night. I think I could have gone farther, but I was at a good point to stop.

So 4,600 words tonight. Amazing what happens when you give the writing some actual time. (grin)

Topic of the Night: Be True to Yourself.

Tonight on The Voice, they are doing the battle rounds. Gwen has her husband Gavin helping her. At one point he said to one of the singers, “When you let yourself be who you are is when you become the most interesting.”

Let that sink in for a moment because Pharrell said to one singer, “Over feel, not over think.”

Wow, do both of those seemingly simple statements apply in so many ways with writing.

The second one is, of course, what I shout about here all the time and have for years. Critical voice is not how you write stories. You write stories from your gut, your passion, your fear, your hate, your feelings. Never from where your English teacher taught you or to some idea of what would sell.

So I have a hunch that when I see stories that are clearly written without passion, I’m going to just take Pharrell’s statement. “Over feel, not over think.”

The problem, of course, is that writers are taught so much crap in schools and the myths of publishing are so harsh. But to start getting through those myths and all the crap you were taught in high school (yes, I know the song), start writing to passion and stop caring about perfect. You might be surprised how readers react to you.

Gavin’s statement of course hits right on this same topic. “When you let yourself be who you are is when you become the most interesting.”

I can tell you this. If you are rewriting something into a polished stone because that is your belief system, you are taking all of yourself out of the work and it becomes dull. As an editor I saw that in hundreds of thousands of manuscripts and all of them I rejected. You have to learn to let yourself be who you are in your writing. Hard, I know. I talk about some of that in the productivity online workshop.

People ask me why I started selling after I started following Heinlein’s Rules in 1982. It is simply because those rules helped me be myself in my writing.

I also starting having fun, enjoying the process of writing, enjoying finishing and getting stories out to readers.

So at the moment, I am writing a Thunder Mountain novel, set mostly in the mountains of Idaho and the Old West. It’s time travel. I love time travel, I love Idaho and the Old West, I write with passion for all of them. It’s who I am and I am having a blast.

As last night’s topic was about, I don’t over think, I just write with no fear. What is there to fear? I don’t over think or outline something to death, I just write to passion and trust the process.

There was a ton more on The Voice tonight, including an amazing scene with two experienced country singers, Blake, and Little Big Town all jamming. I’ll talk about that later if it comes up and how in a way that’s what we are doing here next week with thirty-plus professional fiction writers coming in to be together.

I know most of you have your noses up in the air about The Voice. Free education. Can’t beat it. Your loss.

And there was a pattern in the singers tonight that I wager no one saw. Not a spouse or partner mentioned or in the audience for any of the singers. All parents and friends. No comment on that, just interesting that most of the artists on tonight were long-term experienced singers, most in their late twenties and early thirties, with stories of paying pretty high prices for their music.

And speaking of being true to myself, here’s a picture of #12 of Smith’s Monthly, my own magazine. Yes, I did make it a full year and powering into the second year. Nifty, huh.

Dean With #12

——–

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
Day 4…. 1,200 words. Total words to date…. 8,050 words
Day 5…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 9,150 words
Day 6…. 1,650 words. Total words to date…. 10,800 words
Day 7…. 2,150 words. Total words to date…. 12,950 words
Day 8…. 1,250 words. Total words to date…. 14,200 words
Day 9…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 15,300 words
Day 10… 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 19,500 words
Day 11… 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 22,750 words
Day 12… 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 25,950 words
Day 13… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 27,400 words
Day 14… 4,600 words. Total words to date…. 32,000 words

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 3, Day 13

– Daily Fiction: 4,600 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 25,150 words  

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

– Blog Posts: 1,000 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 10,450 words

– E-mail: 31 e-mails. Approx. 1,100 original words. E-mails month-to date: 339 e-mails. Approx. 9,600 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 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 3, Day 12

Year 2, Month 3, Day 12 of this Writing in Public challenge.

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

I finished the Coben book last night after I wrote the blog here, so I ended up seeing the sun come up and then sleeping too long and missing the writer’s lunch today. I did manage to get out to Pop Culture Collectables by 3:30 p.m. to look at a collection of comics that had come in to buy. And also a collection of vintage post cards. Cool stuff.

Having nifty collectables walk through the door is one of the huge advantages of having a brick and mortar store.

Kris showed up out there around 5 p.m. and we headed home. I still had the big accounting project to get done that I had put off last night, so instead of starting on that, I put it off again and went to take a nap with the white cat and watch some football. Then dinner, news, and dishes.

Then I went to work on the workshop homework and stuff, a lot of which I already had done over the last few days in small chunks here and there. At 10:30 I was mostly done and Kris and I headed up to WMG so I could get some stuff I needed for the accounting and she could walk.

Home by midnight and I went to work on the accounting project because I couldn’t put it off any longer, but then decided to watch a little television. Wow, when I don’t want to do something, I find all sorts of things to do. (grin)

Finally, a little before 1 a.m. I went after the project and ended up getting it done fairly quickly since I had dinged so much of into place five and ten minutes here and there.

So by 2:30 a.m. I was finishing the last of the workshop stuff for the day and by 3 a.m. I was at my writing computer.

Now that was a stunner. I expected to get no writing done today at all. Shock of all shocks, I did.

I did a session of 1,450 words by 4:15 a.m. before saying that was enough. Amazing how just a small day of writing can feel like a total success when the day is full of life events. (grin)

Topic of the Day: Writing into the Dark.

(I won’t use the term “p*ntster” because, without a doubt, that’s the silliest word I have ever heard.)

One of the workshop writers asked me about doing a lecture on the topic of writing into the dark and I’m going to. As he said, “Everyone talks about outlining and planning, but no one talks much about the other way of writing.”

Wow, got that right. And thanks for the suggestion! Very much appreciated. That lecture will be coming in the next few weeks or so.

But for a very short introduction to the topic, I wanted to state my position clearly.

1… No writer works the same.

2… Outline or don’t outline, neither method is the ONLY WAY to do it. See #1.

3… I have done both. Extensively. Over the last few years on novels, and on almost all short stories my entire career, I wrote into the dark, usually only putting a title in and just going from there. (In the lecture I’ll get deeper into how to do that and the methods and fears behind writing into the dark.)

As far as outlining, I have done outlines that I sold books on that were less than 300 words. And I did one outline that was 134 pages long for a book that never sold, a full sales package and all included. (Yes, they were dark times back then.)

4… If some idiot at some conference or in some local English class is telling you that you MUST outline, just use #1 above. No rules. Just what works for you. The hard key is letting yourself have the freedom to experiment and find out what works for you.

5… And writing into the dark might be right for one project and wrong for another. Each project is different, just as each writer is different.

6… Even if you do an outline, there are no rules that say you MUST follow it. If your creative brain takes you off on a side road, throw away the outline and when you feel the need for one again, do a new one from where you are at.

7… And there are no right ways to outline.  None. And no one way to start a project into the dark. None.

So anyhow, a quick glance at the very surface of the topic of writing into the dark. I might do other Topics of the Night on this, more than likely around the time I am recording the lecture. (grin)

If you have things you would like me to talk about in a lecture or here on these very short Topics of the Night things, feel free to send the suggestion to me.

——–

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
Day 4…. 1,200 words. Total words to date…. 8,050 words
Day 5…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 9,150 words
Day 6…. 1,650 words. Total words to date…. 10,800 words
Day 7…. 2,150 words. Total words to date…. 12,950 words
Day 8…. 1,250 words. Total words to date…. 14,200 words
Day 9…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 15,300 words
Day 10… 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 19,500 words
Day 11… 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 22,750 words
Day 12… 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 25,950 words
Day 13… 1,450 words. Total words to date…. 27,400 words

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 3, Day 12

– Daily Fiction: 1,450 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 20,550 words  

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

– Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 9,450 words

– E-mail: 36 e-mails. Approx. 1,400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 308 e-mails. Approx. 8,500 words

– Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 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 3, Day 11

Year 2, Month 3, Day 11 of this Writing in Public challenge.

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

A day of strange things. Up around 1 p.m. and did some e-mail before heading off to the snail mail, then the grocery store deli for lunch, then to the bookstore where I was buying the large book collection at 3 p.m.

It took us two more truckloads to get it all. (Three total counting the one on Thursday.) I do mean moving-truck-loads. Not kidding. Yes, I am that crazy.

We got the books all moved by 5:30 and stiff and sore, I headed home. At my age moving large amounts of very heavy books is just a silly thing to do. (grin)

I took a nap with the white cat, then dinner, news, and dishes before I turned my attention to some accounting I didn’t want to do. So avoidance after an hour drove me to my reading chair to take a break.

I grabbed the book Six Years by Harlan Coben that was sitting there on the coffee table and started to read it. Two hours later I was halfway through. Kris and I headed to watch some television and by 1:30 a.m. I was in here ready to write.

I did 1,100 word session again by 2:30 a.m. and took a break, then did another 900 words by 3:30 a.m. and after another break I came back and got 1,200 words done by 4:30 a.m.

3,200 words. Just sort of clicking along.

Topic of the Night: Study

One of the WMG Publishing workshops is Depth in Writing. That workshop is to teach you how to grab a reader through a character and get them so deep into your story, they won’t leave until the end when you let them.

Depth in writing happens in openings, both at the start of the book and the start of every chapter or scene when done right.

Well, tonight, I was caught by the Coben book and something happened in the living room, something with a cat or Kris or something, and I surfaced from the book.

The book came out in 2013 and is a single viewpoint first-person novel. Coben, at least in this book, writes a lot like Dean Koontz with invisible prose and a light, but clear character style. Page-turning style.

Well, when I surfaced from the story for cat reasons, I realized what I had just read in the opening of chapter three. A stunning example of great depth. He does three paragraphs of character opinion of setting before any real plot stuff. He set us readers solidly in the scene and the character.

In other words, depth. In a fast-paced page-turning book.

Most new writers think because of the old myth about needing action first that they must start off a story with action. Deadly dull to most readers, actually. Readers don’t care about action unless they care about the character.

And then writers think that because they described the setting in chapter one, they don’t need to ground the reader back in the same setting in chapter five. Oops.  Quickest way for a reader to get confused and leave.

So the point of all this? Actually, study.

Read a book for pleasure, then (and only then) go back and study it if you liked it and if the book managed some writing feat you want to have in your work. I’m only halfway through the Coben and I wouldn’t have noticed the depth if I hadn’t been forced out of  the book by a cat event in the living room.

If this books holds as I expect it will when I finish reading, I will go back and study what Coben did along the way to hold me in a fairly slow puzzle plot with fast-paced pacing and great depth and attitude of character. The plot is not a fast-paced plot, yet his writing skill is making the book a page-turner. That’s skill.

If you don’t read for pleasure, you are lost as a writer.

If you don’t study books that gave you pleasure after you read them, you are missing a great chance at free education.

Just saying.

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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
Day 4…. 1,200 words. Total words to date…. 8,050 words
Day 5…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 9,150 words
Day 6…. 1,650 words. Total words to date…. 10,800 words
Day 7…. 2,150 words. Total words to date…. 12,950 words
Day 8…. 1,250 words. Total words to date…. 14,200 words
Day 9…. 1,100 words. Total words to date…. 15,300 words
Day 10… 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 19,500 words
Day 11… 3,250 words. Total words to date…. 22,750 words
Day 12… 3,200 words. Total words to date…. 25,950 words

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Totals For Year 2, Month 3, Day 11

– Daily Fiction: 3,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 19,100 words  

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

– Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 8,550 words

– E-mail: 16 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 272 e-mails. Approx. 7,100 words

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

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