Monthly archives for April, 2010

Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishings. Asking Your Agent Permission

I have to ask permission from my agent. I have heard that sentence in one fashion or another more than I want to think about lately. Drives me crazy every time because of how really, really wrong and flat stupid it is.

I figured I answered this myth a great deal in all the other agent chapters and I had no real plans on addressing it directly. If you haven’t read all of those earlier chapters, please, please go to the top of this page and click on the tab for this book and read the chapters and comments with “agent” in the title. There are a bunch of them.

But now, since this has come up so much lately and in different places around the web, I figured I better hit the point directly on the head at least once.

So, let me try.

Agents are hired by writers. When, in business, do you ever ask your employee permission to do anything?


And that should be the simple answer to this myth, but of course, writer after writer, including many, many professional writers, utter the words “I need to ask my agent to see if I can do that.” (means permission)

And that puts an agent in control of your career. And that way lies huge problems in many ways already outlined in other chapters of this book and the comments following them.

Asking for advice is another matter completely. We hire agents for their opinions, their knowledge, their ability to know things we don’t know. Fine. Ask advice, not permission. A very clear difference.

Asking Permission: Just imagine a young, fearful child (writer), standing in front of an adult (agent), head bowed, waiting for permission. That’s how writers act around agents. Not all of us, but more of us than I want to admit.

Asking advice: The scene should be powerful person (writer) sitting behind a large desk in an office while an aide (agent) stands in front of the desk offering advice only when asked.

After all, who gets 85% and who gets 15%?

So let me give some ways this problem of asking permission from an employee shows its ugly head with writers and agents and a few solutions to the problem. These I have heard just in the last month.

1) “I want to write in another genre but I asked my agent (permission) and she won’t let me.”

This is being talked about over on the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books website. It stunned them as well. And they have some great points about writer as conglomerate that I agree with.

Solution: Let me say simply that writers write. We write what we are passionate about, what we love, what interests us or scares us at the moment. That’s where the top books come from. I certainly am not going to ask some employee if I can write something. I will write it and then if the employee can’t deal with it when I am finished, I will find an employee who will. That simple. Blunt, but simple.

2) “I want to send a book to that (certain) company but my agent doesn’t like them (or an editor) and won’t do it.”

Solution: Your employee (if forced to mail it by you) will more than likely stick a bad pitch and cover letter on the book to prove to you that they are correct. So send it to the company or editor yourself. (You think I’m kidding about agents killing a submission to prove a point? Boy are you living in a cave.)

Remember, a large number of us out here who are working professionals don’t believe in having an agent submit a manuscript. I know my own books better than any employee ever would, I am a better pitch writer and letter writer than any employee. I will send in my own books, then have an agent or attorney deal with the contract if I need help at that point. Worked for almost 100 novels now. Agent never sold a one.

3) Agent says, “I think it would be better that you slow down and just concentrate on (blank).” (Translation: You need permission from your employee to write your normal speed and do your normal production.)

Solution: Let me think. Professional writers write. We make our living off of our work. If we write more, we sell more, but you have a lazy employee who wants you to slow down YOUR PRODUCTION to not make them work too hard. FIRE THEM the moment those words come out of their mouth. Don’t even hesitate. You have an employee that is too stupid for words and if you, heaven forbid, took that stupid advice and put yourself in a situation where your agent had to give you permission to even write, start looking for a day job. You will need one very shortly, and then the agent will drop you anyway.

4) Agent says, “I won’t send this book out without a rewrite.” (Translation, you now need permission from an employee to send your work to editors when you want to.)

Solution: Say simply, “Fine, I’ll mail it and call when I get an offer.” Many agents will be just fine with that. It saves their reputation and they don’t have to do the work. But, and it does happen, if your employee doesn’t want you to do that, say simply, “You are fired.”

You have no other choice on this one. You must, to make a living, get your work in front of editors. You can’t have an employee slowing this process down. Again, don’t force them to mail it or they will trash it in the pitches and cover letters and thus prove to you they were right. And, of course, don’t tell them where you are sending it. Just surprise them when an offer comes in. Trust me, after that, they won’t again ask for a rewrite from you. And you should never allow them to in the first place. Read the chapter on that I have already covered.

Also, on this topic, also covered before, agents give up after they have gone through their six or eight editor friends, so take the book back at that point and mail it yourself as well. Same goes if the agent doesn’t want you to, fire them.

These are just four areas that writers ask permission from agents I have heard in the last month from different writers. There are a ton more, but I think you get the idea. Or at least I hope you do.

You are in control of your own career.

Don’t hand it to an employee and hope for the best. Keep the control yourself. That’s what every one of these chapters have been talking about in one fashion or another.

Writers are in control. Writers are the “talent” in Hollywood terms. This industry runs on the work of writers. Agents are hired by writers. Agents are employees, not partners, not in charge of the writer’s business. They are a writer’s employee and nothing more.

Keep that clearly in mind and stop asking your employee for permission to do anything. Stay in charge. Believe in your own work, trust your own voice and your own skill.

And, for heaven’s sake, GROW A BACKBONE.


Copyright 2010 Dean Wesley Smith
I did not ask any agent for permission to write this book. I’m just doing it. And now this is part of my inventory in my bakery. (Confused on that, read the Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing post about making money with writing.) I’m giving you this small slice as a sample. I’m giving you a taste, but not selling any of the pie.

If you feel this helped you in any way, toss a tip into the tip jar on the way out of the Magic Bakery.

And I would like to thank all the fine folks who have donated. Once this book is done, I will send you a copy. The donations and the comments both after the posts and privately are really keeping me going on this. Thanks!

If you can’t afford to donate, please feel free to pass this chapter along to others who might get some help from it. Every week or so I will be adding a new chapter on the myths and sacred cows of publishing. Stay tuned. Upcoming are chapters on bestsellers, rejections, more on agents, and so much more. This business has a lot of myths. An entire book full.

Thanks, Dean

Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: Researching Fiction

Those following this series had to know I would reach this topic eventually. Researching for a novel is one of what I call the half-truth myths. Yet I have known writer after writer that have had entire careers stopped cold by this myth. It takes a writer a certain time and distance to find the right half-way-point with research in novels.

So let me see if I can make some sense out of this.

Fact: Nonfiction writing requires you get it right, that you have your research done correctly in all ways and even documented correctly. No discussion on that at all. If you are writing nonfiction, research is not only a part of the process, it might be the most important part.

But this chapter, and all the chapters in this book, talk about fiction writing, and that’s where research jumps into the problem area. In fact, I was teaching a workshop with young professionals just this last week and this topic came up as a pretty solid roadblock for one of the writers. Of course, that writer was a full-time nonfiction writer and was carrying over the belief system into the fiction.

So let me repeat here clearly what I told that writer. If you have this myth issue, print this out as a big sign and put it over your computer.


Yup, I shouted that. Fiction, by its very definition is made up. Duh.

So now comes the really ugly word that I had to look up to spell right: Verisimilitude: An appearance of being true.

That’s the exact definition from my dear old Oxford American Dictionary.

So, in fiction, we writers make stuff up. I give my job description as a person who sits alone in a room and makes stuff up. But what I make up needs to have the appearance of being true, if not in detail, in character action and emotions. There is where the myth is true and not true.

In every story we need enough detail to make it feel right. That does not mean it has to be right, it just has to feel right.

Now details are easy when dealing with alien cultures in a science fiction novel, really hard when writing a period historical. No reader cares that you make up some gun or some uniform in space, as long as you make it seem logical to the society you are writing about. But historical readers who love certain historical time periods will care when you bring matches in a few decades too soon. Or heaven forbid have the wrong gun.

So why am I calling this a myth? For the simple reason that I have heard over and over and over young writers use this research myth as an excuse to not write. The statement goes something like this: “I can’t get to that story. I just have too much research to do.”

Of course, that writer never writes because every story that writer picks has too much research to do. That writer clearly isn’t a writer, but a researcher, and should realize that and go get a job doing what they love: researching.

Or, more likely, the person is afraid for one of many reasons to actually write, practice writing, and fail a number of times by finishing a story. And doing research sounds like such a noble excuse to tell your family and workshop. It’s safer than actually writing.

But if your dream is to be a fiction writer, sit down and make stuff up. Follow Heinlein’s Rules. It really is that simple.

Or, let it put it as bluntly as I can: Writers with the problem of never writing because of research have chosen to not write.


As with many things in writing, the answer is “It depends on the story you are writing.”

But I can safely say this after listening to other writers for decades on this topic and knowing my own patterns with research: You will almost always do too much.

Again, you just have to do enough to make it feel right to the large majority of your readers. And trust me, putting in all your research is mostly just dull. In fact, if you are getting feedback on stories that go “You have too many information dumps,” then you might want to try writing a story without any research. It might not be the problem, but often it is. We are all human. Once we do all that work on research and spend all that time, we want it in the book.

Truth: Most research you do does not belong in your story.

A general rule is to do just enough research to feel comfortable writing about the topic in a fiction story.


1…Write for the majority or readers, not a small faction. For example, when using a medical procedure, make it feel right, but don’t try to write for a MD who does the practice. That way lies madness, and you won’t get it right anyway. Write just enough so that it feels correct.

Another example is the CSI programs on television. Anyone who knows anything about lab techs in crime labs know they are not front-line detectives, but for the sake of fiction, the authors combined crime lab techs and detectives into one person to make interesting FICTION. They use cool machines that no city can afford in real life, and everything is done in minutes instead of months. But again, IT’S FICTION! And pretty good fiction, as far as story goes.

So stop writing for the minority and write for the majority of us who just like a good story told well.

2…If you need to do research to get it to feel right, do that while writing another story. I am often researching a project ahead of writing it, as I should if the story needs it. But does that mean I don’t write? Nope. I research one project while finishing up another. Therefore, research never gets in the way of writing.

3…You run across a detail you don’t know when writing. And say you can’t find it quickly, just leave a white space where the detail is needed and make a note to add it in when you run through with your detail draft. Then research it after you are done with the story.

4…Make it up and move on. Yup, I said that. It’s fiction, so if you don’t know something, pretend like you do, pretend like your character knows exactly what they are talking about, write it so it feels real (verisimilitude), and move on. 99% of your readers won’t notice and those that do notice aren’t really your readers.

5…Pick story ideas that don’t need research. Let me simply say, “Duh.” I am a master at this art. My wife has a degree in history. I have a degree in Architecture. Which one of us loves research would you assume? She is always doing research and often helps me when I need something quickly. She loves it. I try to pick stories that need no research for the most part. She likes doing research to feel comfortable in writing. I don’t need that comfort factor to the same degree as an historian would.

Back to what I have said in every chapter: Every writer is different.

I just recently finished a wonderful project set in Milwaukee, WI and the city and areas in the city were critical to the book. The editor on board lived there and offered to help with anything I needed about the city and I was constantly back and forth with him getting details on his wonderful city. In fact, a couple of times he had to go look at a neighborhood for me. So getting help is another clue, but I was writing and working on the book at the same time.

But again, try to find projects that don’t need research if research stops you from writing. It really is that simple.


Just to be clear, I am saying that some projects in fiction require some research and it needs to be done, but not all projects require research, so you should never, ever, let research stop your writing.

If you hear yourself say, “I can’t write this book until I do the research.” And you are not writing something, anything else, then this belief system of needing to do research is slowing you down or stopping you. And that’s when research in fiction turns into an ugly sacred cow. And why this chapter needed to be in this book.

When all else fails, just remember, IT’S FICTION!


Copyright 2010 Dean Wesley Smith
This is part of my inventory in my bakery now. (Confused on that, read the Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing post about making money with writing.) I’m giving you this small slice as a sample. I’m giving you a taste, but not selling any of the pie.

If you feel this helped you in any way, toss a tip into the tip jar on the way out of the Magic Bakery.

And I would like to thank all the fine folks who have donated. Once this book is done, I will send you a copy. The donations and the comments both after the posts and privately are really keeping me going on this. Thanks!

If you can’t afford to donate, please feel free to pass this chapter along to others who might get some help from it. Every week or so I will be adding a new chapter on the myths and sacred cows of publishing. Stay tuned. Upcoming are chapters on bestsellers, rejections, more on agents, and so much more. This business has a lot of myths. An entire book full.

Thanks, Dean

Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: Writers Don’t Need to Practice

This myth, that writers don’t need to practice, is so damn silly when looked at with clear vision, it seems I wouldn’t need to talk about it at all in this book. But frighteningly enough, it is one of the worst myths running, one of the deepest myths functioning in every writer’s head, and often the real difference between a good non-sold writer and a long-term professional writer. And it can also be the difference between a selling professional and a bestseller.

Practice. The ugly word for writers.

I have touched on this in a number of ways and in a number of other chapters, but let me try to hit this as squarely on the head as possible.

Here’s the question that illustrates this myth: Would you pick up a violin, take one lesson, and think you should step on the stage in front of 30,000 people to play a concert?

No sane person says sure to that question. It’s a laughable question, yet almost every beginning writer I know writes a first short story, or a first novel, fires it off to a publisher, and then gets mad when it gets rejected.

Reactions always vary in this anger. “Oh, stupid editors don’t understand true genius when they read it.” Or “I should just self-publish it because you have to know someone to get a book published these days.” And so on and so on.

The real reason your story got rejected early on? You haven’t practiced your craft enough, so your story sucked.

Write another one. Get more practice. Stay off the stage until you are good enough to not embarrass yourself. Duh. (Does this mean you shouldn’t mail every story to editors? Of course not. See why your should mail every practice session later in this post.)

An editor is a stage manager. They won’t let you out on the stage of that magazine or that book line until your skills are where they need to be and your entertainment performance is good enough to hold the audience. They also make sure your performance isn’t wrong for the audience sitting and waiting to be entertained.

So how come writers think every word they write doesn’t stink and get so angry at a simple rejection to an early story? How come the word “practice” is a dirty word to writers? The shout or thought is: “I don’t practice. I write!”

To beginning writers every word is golden. Every word needs to be polished and worked over (see that rewriting myth chapter here), even though the writer has no clue what they are fixing or not fixing. You don’t think the rewriting myth applies here to the practice myth? Of course it does. When you are rewriting, you aren’t practicing writing. You are just trying to rearrange notes in the last practice session. Think of that in music terms and you see how really silly that is.

Tell a beginning writer to toss out a manuscript and write the idea from scratch and they will sit stunned and horrified. “You can’t toss out my beautiful, wonderful, etched-in-stone words.” Yet in music you screw up an attempt at a song, you do it again. And then again. And then again. From scratch, from the idea, from the beginning.

So how come writers think this way?

Lots of reasons actually. The biggest is that early on in our lives we all started writing in one fashion or another. And, of course, those who were good in school got praise by a high school or college teacher for good writing, and thus the belief is because of that praise it is possible to be a bestseller on the first book. Uhhhh….no.

Second reason: In the early days it takes special time that must be carved out of life to write, so whatever is produced in that time can’t be “wasted” in any way. Truth: No writing is ever wasted. It is practice.

There are many other smaller reasons for this belief system. Each writer needs to figure out why they have it and crush it. Mine was because I learned to type and write my first stories on typewriters, with tons of White-Out. I felt at times like I was carving a statue on those pages. Took me a while, meaning years, to get past that feeling.

So what is practice in writing and how do you do it?

Every writer I know who is a long term professional has practice methods for almost every craft a writer needs to master. I’ll give you some general ones in a moment. But first, let me talk about how you practice.

1) A Writer is a Person Who Writes. So is just simply doing lots of writing good practice?

Sometimes yes, to a degree. If you are mailing the story or novel out to editors when you finish and getting feedback and applying the feedback to THE NEXT STORY. The key is getting feedback, listening to the feedback, and then writing the next story. See the workshop chapter here on how to use workshops for the feedback. You can’t fix a practice session, but you can learn from a practice session what works and what doesn’t work and apply that knowledge to your next story or novel.

If you just write the same story over and over, the same way, without actually trying to apply knowledge to the new story, then no, you can write for years and not improve. And sadly, I’ve seen that happen.

There is a common term for this called FOCUSED PRACTICE.

But first and foremost, you have to sit and do a lot of writing. No rewriting, writing original words. Not researching, writing original words.

2) Does everything you write in the early years need to be a focused practice session? Or can I just write?

Yes, again to a degree. Early on in your writing career, you are missing so many storytelling skills, just writing and not working to get better in an area doesn’t make much sense. As the words go by and the years pass, not every session is a practice session. But every session will always be a learning session.

3) Should I tell stories while practicing or just write paragraphs or scenes?

Oh, heavens, you are practicing being a storyteller, so every session is focused on telling a story. Nothing else matters. Everything you practice goes to telling a story, so every practice session should be on a story of some sort.

4) If I am only practicing, should I mail out my stories when they are finished?

OF COURSE!!! Duh, you have to get feedback on your practice, and an editor telling you a story works, or that they read it shows your practice is working. At first you will only get form rejections and no feedback, but develop a trusted first reader and use a workshop for feedback, but mail everything.

I used to write a story every week, then mail it to an editor on my way to turn it into my workshop. I wanted feedback on the story not to fix the story, but to learn how to do something better on the next story, and to see if something worked or didn’t work. Workshop sometimes told me that, but editors told me that even more. And I trusted the editors. After all, it was their job to keep me off the stage until I my craft and entertaining skills were ready to go on stage. I trusted they would do that as well.

5) How long do you need to practice and work on your craft and storytelling skills?

Your entire life. It never ends. The learning never stops in this art form, and the moment you think you are “good enough” you are dead.

This week I am teaching a character voice workshop to a group of professional writers who want to focus on that one craft area for an entire week. A large part of what I am setting up for them in this workshop is not only analytical skills practice, but actual focused character voice practice. Will they know how to create more character voice in their stories when they leave? I sure hope so. But then what they will have to do is go home and practice what they have learned this week. Focus practice, story after story, until what they learned here becomes automatic through their fingers.

And why am I spending time teaching this class? Because I’ve been writing a number of young adult novels lately and really want to practice my character voice skills and learn more, and trust me, teaching is a great way to focus craft issues.

I once had an interviewer ask me why I wrote so many media novels. My standard answer is, of course, that I loved the universes and the characters and the work. And that’s very true. Writing for DC and Marvel and Star Trek and Men in Black and X-Box was just a blast for an old kid like me. Period, end of discussion.

But for some reason I answered a different way with this interviewer. I answered, “Practice.”

You see, for every media book I wrote, I focused on one thing to practice for that book. For example, on three novels in a row, I worked on nothing but different forms of cliff hangers. The reviews on those three books for the first time in my career started adding in the phrase “hard to put down.”

Focused practice, then feedback then more focused practice, then more feedback.

That’s the loop you want to try to set up in every way possible.


For a moment, let me give you some basic hints about feedback and how to understand what a first reader or workshop reader is saying to you. These are very basic.

“Your story really took off on page six.”

Meaning: Your opening sucks, you walked or strolled or woke up to your story, and no editor on the planet will ever buy the story.

“I just couldn’t see your story.”

You forgot to ground your reader in a setting, real setting, and your characters were just talking heads yacking at each other in a white room.

Your character seemed flat.”

You forgot to give any kind of character voice or character opinion or character description.

“Your ending doesn’t work.”

You screwed up your set-up in the opening of your story and didn’t prepare the reader for your ending. Or you wrote two pages past your ending and didn’t know it. Or you haven’t gotten to your ending yet.

And so on and so on. You get the idea. Get the feedback, figure out what it really means, which is often not what you are hearing.

How to apply feedback like those samples and practice what you need.

Say you got feedback on a story that said “I just couldn’t see your story.”

Okay, no real setting in your story. So, first off, resist the temptation to FIX the story getting the feedback. Trust me, if you have that problem in one story, you will have it in all of your stories. So you need to work on setting, you need to practice it. Just keep the other story in the mail and get practice in the next story.

Setting is opinion, so often a story that has no setting means you are not inside a character’s head and looking out. (Yes, setting is viewpoint.)

So, on your next story, climb solidly inside a character’s head, park your butt square in the middle of that character’s five senses, and use all five senses to describe the setting around the character.

And I don’t mean just layer it in. I mean go over the top, way, way, way over the top. Make the first five pages of your next short story opinion about a setting through a character’s eyes. Use all five senses every two pages for the entire story.

And use all five senses every two pages for every story you write for a year.

Get the idea? Focused practice.

Take feedback on a story, understand what isn’t working, then focus practice the missing skill in your next stories, your next novels. Not just once but over and over and over until you got it.

And how do you get the knowledge to get better in an area? Read, go to professional level workshops, read, read how-to-write books, study what other writers did who you think do what you are practicing well, then read more. Get information from everywhere and all the time.

One fine day back when I was even younger than I was in the pictures I’ve been putting up, I was a golf professional working to play tour stops. On one round I needed to hook a seven iron around a tree and I didn’t do it.

After the round (couldn’t fix that round, just as you can’t fix a story) I went to the range, got a big yellow bucket of balls (about 300) and worked on hooking a seven iron. I did the same practice for 300 balls the next day, and then the next day, only working for those 300 golf balls on learning how to hook a seven iron until every damn ball in the last 300 hooked as I wanted each shot to hook.

I went out the next day, needed to hook a seven iron, missed the shot, because I was too much in my head thinking about it. But in a round a week later I needed the same shot and hit it perfectly. And I never had trouble with that shot after that.

It works the same with writing. You discover through one form of feedback or another you missed on something, go back to your computer and practice what you missed over and over in the next stories until you no longer miss and you no longer need to think about it.

Do I still practice with every story, every novel? Of course. I just finished a fun young adult thriller for a publisher that will first appear in serialized form online before hitting book form. I needed to use the old pulp formula and cliff hangers to keep readers coming back for a new chapter every week. Great fun, great practice.

John D. MacDonald once famously said that every writer has a million words of crap in them before they reach their first publishable story. In modern times, studies and other books have set different numbers for a person to “get good” or “become great.” Numbers like 10,000 hours. Yeah, I pretty much agree with all that. However you look at it, you must practice to gain skills.

And you must use focused practice. You can’t just type, you need to focus on something in a story, some element in a story that you suck at, and then work at getting better at it.

So in that short story or novel you are writing right now, quick, without thinking, tell me what you are practicing besides typing.

Oh, oh, caught you, didn’t I? If the answer doesn’t instantly spring to your mind, you are not doing focused practice.

One day back about novel number thirty I was moaning about not getting started on a novel that I had under deadline. Kris asked me, “What are you practicing this novel?” Duh, I had forgot to figure out what I needed to practice in the novel. No wonder my mind wouldn’t let me start. So I figured it out and the novel went smoothly.

I have never made that mistake again. Every story, every novel, has a practice focus. And every new story will until the day I die. I want to keep learning and becoming a better storyteller and the only way to do that is practice.

Focused practice and a lot of typing.


Copyright 2010 Dean Wesley Smith
This is part of my inventory in my bakery now. (Confused on that, read the Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing post about making money with writing.) I’m giving you this small slice as a sample. I’m giving you a taste, but not selling any of the pie.

If you feel this helped you in any way, toss a tip into the tip jar on the way out of the Magic Bakery.

And I would like to thank all the fine folks who have donated. Once this book is done, I will send you a copy. The donations and the comments both after the posts and privately are really keeping me going on this. Thanks!

If you can’t afford to donate, please feel free to pass this chapter along to others who might get some help from it. Every week or so I will be adding a new chapter on the myths and sacred cows of publishing. Stay tuned. Upcoming are chapters on bestsellers, research, rejections, and so much more. This business has a lot of myths. An entire book full.

Thanks, Dean

Nifty Bundle With My Books!

Just click on the image to go to the bundles.

2015 new books and the books in the 2014 bundle. Get all 25 for $25.00!

2015 Books!!!

2014 Books!!!

Shortcuts to Posts

Smith’s Monthly Subscriptions

Smith's Monthly, an original fiction magazine featuring every month a full novel, short fiction, serial adventures, and nonfiction now available for subscriptions.

And twenty-four of them now exist... Amazing, huh? And hard to hold. Here I am holding the first five...

$6.99 electronic and $12.99 trade paper editions are available at your local bookseller. All paper subscription copies are signed. For more information, just click on the cover.


Online Workshop Schedule

These are the starting dates of upcoming online workshops. Limited to twelve writers. All have openings unless I say closed below. For sign-up and more information about each workshop, click the Online Workshop tab at the top of the page.

Class #51… Dec 7th … Advanced Depth
Class #52… Dec 7th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #53… Dec 7th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #54… Dec 7th … Ideas into Stories
Class #55… Dec 8th … Character Development
Class #56… Dec 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #57… Dec 8th … Plotting With Depth
Class #58… Dec 9th … Designing Covers
Class #59… Dec 9th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #60… Dec 9th … Designing Book Interiors

Class #1… Jan 4th … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #2… Jan 4th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #3… Jan 4th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #4… Jan 4th … Plotting With Depth
Class #5… Jan 5th … Character Development
Class #6… Jan 5th … Depth in Writing
Class #7… Jan 5th … Designing Book Interiors
Class #8… Jan 6th … Cliffhangers
Class #9… Jan 6th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #10.. Jan 6th … Advanced Depth

Class #11… Feb 1st … Advanced Depth
Class #12… Feb 1st … Character Voice/Setting
Class #13… Feb 1st … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #14… Feb 1st … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Feb 2nd … Character Development
Class #16… Feb 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Feb 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #18… Feb 3rd … Designing Covers
Class #19… Feb 3rd … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Feb 3rd … How to Write Science Fiction

Class #21… Mar 7th … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #22… Mar 7th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #23… Mar 7th … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #24… Mar 7th … Plotting With Depth
Class #25… Mar 8th … Character Development
Class #26… Mar 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #27… Mar 8th … Making a Career
Class #28… Mar 9th … Cliffhangers
Class #29… Mar 9th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #30... Mar 9th … Advanced Depth
Sign-up and more information under Online Workshops tab at the top of the page.

Classic Workshops

You can sign up for these and start at any point. They are the regular workshops, only you don't send in the homework and you can take them as fast or as slow as you would like.

They are half the price of a regular six week workshop.

Classic Workshops offered.

Making a Living... Classic
Productivity... Classic
Discoverability... Classic
Writing in Series... Classic
Genre Structure... Classic

Lecture Series

More information on these lectures under the Lecture Series Tab above.

#1... Heinlein's Rules... Dean Wesley Smith 15 videos... $75.00

#2... Read Like a Writer... Kristine Kathryn Rusch... 8 videos... $50.00

#3... How to Write a Short Story: The Basics... Kristine Kathryn Rusch.... 7 videos... $50.00

#4... Writer's Block and Procrastination... Dean Wesley Smith... 8 videos... $50.00

#5... Carving Time Out for Your Writing... Dean Wesley Smith.... 8 videos... $50.00

#6... How to Research for Fiction Writers... Kristine Kathryn Rusch.... 14 videos... $75.00

#7... Pen Names: Help With the Decision... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#8... Motivation: Starting Easier and Writing More... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#9... Practice: The Attitude and Methods of Practice in Fiction... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#10... Master Plot Formula: How and Why It Works Today... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#11... Prolific Lecture: How to Become a Prolific Fiction Writer... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#12... The Stages of a Fiction Writer: How to Know Where You Are In Learning and How To Move Upward... Dean Wesley Smith.... 11 videos... $50.00

#13... Starting Writing. Or Restarting Your Writing... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#14... Endings: How to Write Them and Understand What Makes a Good Ending... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#15... Audio Narration Lecture... Jane Kennedy.... 9 audio lectures... $50.00

#16... Your Writing as an Investment Lecture... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#17... How to Get Your Books into Bookstores Lecture... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#18... How to Think Like a Science Fiction Writer Lecture... Kristine Kathryn Rusch....11 videos... $50.00

#19... Why Some Books Sell More Than Other Books... Dean Wesley Smith.... 9 videos... $50.00

#20... How to Write a Page Turning Novel or Story: Basics and Tricks ... Dean Wesley Smith.... 8 videos... $50.00

#21... The Basics of Designing Science Fiction Covers ... Allyson Longueira .... 8 videos... $50.00

#22... The Basics of Designing Mystery, Cozy, or Thriller Covers ... Allyson Longueira .... 8 videos... $50.00

#23... Paying the Price: A Working Writer's Mindset ... Dean Wesley Smith.... 10 videos... $50.00

#24... Writing into the Dark: The Tricks and Methods of Writing Without an Outline... Dean Wesley Smith... 12 videos... $50.00

#25... Reviews: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly... Dean Wesley Smith... 10 videos... $50.00

#26... Organization... Allyson Longueira... 8 videos... $50.00

#27... Confidence... Dean Wesley Smith... 10 videos... $50.00

#28... Stories to Novels... Dean Wesley Smith... 9 videos... $50.00

My Publisher

WMG Publishing Inc. is now my major publisher of all my coming novels, collections, and short stories.

Support This Blog On Patreon

I now have a Patreon page with some nifty rewards for your monthly support.

Just click on the image to go to my new Patreon page.