Monday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 27 of this Writing in Public challenge.
Day 27 of the STORIES FROM JULY challenge.
The challenge is to write a short story every day for the month of July and put them all in one massive book, along with these blogs about the writing of the stories.
Got out of the house around 3 p.m., then went to the snail mail, then headed out to the WMG store with a box of comics I had sorted last night after I got done with writing and this blog.
Then back to walk with another professional writer, then to the grocery store, then to the WMG Publishing offices. I did the cover for the story last night, then worked on workshop stuff until Kris got there around 7 p.m. and we headed home.
I watched a little news with dinner, then got up here to work on workshop stuff. Kris offered to do dishes even though she cooked because she knew I was jamming and tired.
So I managed with an early start like that to get the workshop stuff done by around 10:30 p.m. Then I took a short nap and went to watch a little television, then back up here around 12:30 a.m. to get started on the writing.
I had hoped to start the Master Class e-mail list and still might after I get this done. So if you are signed up for the coast Master Class in October, expect an e-mail from me over the next few days.
And speaking of workshops, all August online workshops have openings and are starting in one week. I’m sort of surprised that neither of the two new workshops even will fill the first month out. I really thought more people would be interested in character development. Guess not.
So at 12:30 a.m. I went to my half-title page and noticed the phrase “Lost Treasure.” I instantly thought that would be a fun case for Pilgrim Hugh, so I typed in the title “The Case of the Lost Treasure: A Pilgrim Hugh Incident” and started typing.
The very first story in this challenge was a Pilgrim Hugh story.
I did 800 words and then took a break and another nap. As I said, I was really tired.
Then after that break I got back in here around 2:30 a.m. and did 1,000 words by 3:15 a.m.
Another short break for more tea and some peanut butter, then another 900 words by 4 a.m.
A short break to give the cats a little snack and eat some lunch meat, then back to finish the story by 4:30 a.m.
Update on yesterday’s story: Kris really liked the story and said it made her cry again at breakfast. She wanted me to send it to Asimov’s or Analog, and I thought about it.
I really did.
Since the story at 1,250 words would be an easy buy for them and also Kris was right after she talked to me about it. It was a perfect story for them. In hindsight, I could see that.
Also, I figured I was one story ahead on the challenge and could do that. But then, after thinking about it for a time this afternoon, I decided I would stay true to the challenge and put them all in the book. So, thanks, Kris, for the great feedback!
TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Some More Comments on Learning
Today I got three letters from people taking me to task a little bit on my suggestions yesterday about finding instructors to learn from.
All three had the same basic sort of point they were trying to make that I find so foul at the core as to not really know what to say.
Their Point: Sometimes a person who does not actually do what they teach can be a great teacher.
And especially in fiction.
If you are trying to learn how to write and improve your work from someone who has not spent the time in the chair and learned fiction through producing millions of words of fiction and selling to millions of readers, you are lost. Sorry, blunt but true.
And one of the great scams to emerge out of indie publishing is the “developmental editor” whatever the hell they are.
Most of these new made-up form of editor are not fiction writers, but instead are someone without any credentials (but maybe an English degree) calling themselves some form of editor.
There was an ad on television that was supposed to be silly. It was an ad about staying at some hotel chain making a person smart enough to be a surgeon or an airline pilot or a firefighter or whatever. Only because they stayed a night in the hotel.
That is how really, really, really silly learning how to be a fiction writer from someone who is not a fiction writer actually is.
That “developmental editor” person stayed at a hotel once and now can tell you how to write.
So when you are thinking of giving your book to someone and paying them money to “help you,” please, please check their credentials as best you can.
I know a few major bestselling fiction writers who help writers with books, Dave Farland being one. Those are worth every penny that they charge because they know what makes a good book.
But if you can’t find anything but a few nonfiction books by the “editor” about how to write fiction and they have published no novels of their own, well, STOP AND THINK.
Use common sense.
Some person with an English degree and a desire to scam writers will not “help you” and could really, really hurt you because you paid them money and feel you should listen to them.
And sadly, these scams are becoming major these days and will destroy writer’s dreams.
So yes, I know some of you are really hungry for knowledge, and I am as well. But for heaven’s sake, you want to know how to be a long term professional fiction writer?
Do three things:
1) Read and understand and follow Heinlein’s Rules.
2) Learn as much as you can, for as long as you can, from writers who are successful and been around a while.
3) Stop being in such a hurry. This is a profession that takes time to learn.
And if this stops just one person out there from being taken by a scam “developmental editor” or a person telling you that you can “become a bestseller in 90 days,” then this rant was worth it.
Yes, all these blogs and writing articles and all these covers and all the stories will be in the big book Stories from July put together when this is all done. It will be for sale in all forms except audio and will be given free to the Patreon supporters. (Audio will take much more time if the fine folks at WMG Publishing think it is worth it.)
STORIES FROM JULY
(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words
Story #4… July 4… The Problem of Grapevine Springs…4,550 words
Story #5… July 5… Best Eaten on a Slow Tuesday…3,000 words
Story #6… July 6… A Matter for a Future Year…3,000 words
Story #7… July 7… Roses Around the Moment…4,550 words
Story #8… July 8… For the Delusion that Waited…1,250 words
Story #9… July 8… Here to Stay on the Edge…2,950 words
Story #10… July 9… The Great Alien Vibration…2,400 words
Story #11… July 10… A Great First Day …4,350 words
Story #12… July 11… The Face in the Fullness of Time …1,900 words
Story #13… July 12… Why Delay? Just Rub …2,400 words
Story #14… July 13… The Stone Slept Here …1,650 words
Story #15… July 14… An Obscene Crime Against Passion …3,150 words
Story #16… July 15… Make Myself Just One More …3,350 words
Story #17… July 16… Gods Have History …3,600 words
Story #18… July 17… Idanha Hotel …3,950 words
Story #19… July 18… Something Wasted On …1,850 words
Story #20… July 19… Nobody Slept Here …3,200 words
Story #21… July 20… Leaking Away a Life …5,400 words
Story #22… July 21… Coffee Shop Comedy …2,600 words
Story #23… July 22… The Cavern …4,400 words
Story #24… July 23… A Bad Day for the Dream …2,800 words
Story #25… July 24… The Remodeling of a Life …2,400 words
Story #26… July 25… Dreaming Large …3,150 words
Story #27… July 26… To Remember a Single Minute …1,250 words
Story #28… July 27… The Case of the Lost Treasure …3,200 words
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 27
— Daily Fiction: 3,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 89,200 words
— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,400 words
— Blog Posts: 1,300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 26,400 words
— E-mail: 29 e-mails. Approx. 1,100 original words. E-mails month-to date: 494 e-mails. Approx. 20,200 words
— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 27 Covers
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