May Online Workshops Start in Just Over a Week

TAKING SIGN-UPS FOR THE MAY ONLINE WORKSHOPS

All of the May Online Workshops have openings. Click the workshop button for description and sign-up. There is still time.

Each workshop is six weeks long and takes about 3-4 hours per week to do.

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

All but two workshops have openings at the moment.

Class #41… May 4th … Making a Living
Class #42… May 4th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #43… May 4th … Genre Structure
Class #44… May 4th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #45… May 5th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #46… May 5th … Depth in Writing
Class #47… May 5th … Productivity
Class #48… May 6th … Cliffhangers
Class #49… May 6th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #50… May 6th … Discoverability


MAY, JUNE WORKSHOPS SIGN-UP UNDER THE GREEN TAB.

ALL WORKSHOPS START ON MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY.

 

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 9, Day 24


Year 2, Month 9, Day 24 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day fifteen of writing the novel HEAVEN PAINTED AS A FREE MEAL: A Ghost of a Chance Novel

THE DAY

Not much today. Ran out around 3 p.m., got groceries, grabbed the snail mail, checked on some stuff up at WMG, then headed home. Got one short session of writing in. Cooked dinner, watched news, did dishes, and then headed back to WMG with Kris for the evening session of the workshop.

While she upstairs teaching, I worked on a couple things and then fixed some of the mistakes in the collection covers from last night and did another one. Home to write and nap and watch television by 10 p.m.

THE WRITING

The writing today got started actually before dinner. Got 900 words in before taking a nap and then cooking dinner and doing the dishes and watching the news.

Then after getting back from WMG evening session of the workshop, I did another session of 1,100 words on the book.

Then rested and watched some television, then starting around 1:30 a.m. I did another session of 1,000 words. Still sort of stuck as I was last night, but making progress somewhere.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT:  Nothing Really. It’s Friday night.

I had a couple comments earlier today in private that made me realize that most people didn’t understand my Print Run post.

Think of it this way: In traditional publishing you sell your book for the life of the copyright. That’s 70 years after your death that the publisher will still hold those rights. (You can do nothing with your book. It is lost to you.)

To figure a print run which determines your advance and covers and everything else, they look only at what the book will sell in a short amount of time, often just six months or so. Maybe one year. Maybe.

Indie writers know we own our copyrights, so we don’t think in print runs, but mostly in readers and how we can continue to keep our books active and finding readers over years and years.

There, that help? Think print run as a year’s calculation, but you sell your novel’s copyright for 70 years past your death to traditional publishing houses.

Say you sell your book to Random House, and you live for 50 years past their print run calculation. What are they going to do with your property for 120 years? And why isn’t that 120 years of use figured into your advance?

I’ll get into this more if some of you want me to.

Anyhow, you get to see the 5th quick mock-up cover I did of the new Collected series I will be starting shortly. Just playing around.

And just wanted you to notice as well that my total writing this month, not counting responses to comments on this blog or the workshop blogs, is now at 100,000 words for the month. About 66,000 words of that is publishable in book form. Some of the rest might be, but not certain.

——————–

Writing of the novel Heaven Painted as a Free Meal

Day 1… 2,550 words… Total so far on the book… 2,550 words
Day 2… 2,750 words… Total so far on the book… 5,300 words
Day 3… 2,150 words… Total so far on the book… 7,450 words
Day 4… 1,300 words… Total so far on the book… 8,750 words
Day 5… 1,100 words… Total so far on the book… 9,850 words
Day 6… 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 11,050 words
Day 7… 2,700 words… Total so far on the book… 13,750 words
Day 8… 3,650 words… Total so far on the book… 17,400 words
Day 9… 4,700 words… Total so far on the book… 22,100 words
Day 10.. 3,350 words… Total so far on the book… 25,450 words
Day 11.. 2,500 words… Total so far on the book… 27,950 words
Day 12.. 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 29,150 words
Day 13.. 3,100 words… Total so far on the book… 32,250 words
Day 14.. 3,900 words… Total so far on the book… 36,150 words
Day 15.. 3,000 words… Total so far on the book… 39,150 words

——————

Totals For Year 2, Month 9, Day 24

— Daily Fiction: 3,000 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 49,250 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 16,700 words

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

— E-mail: 13 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 522 e-mails. Approx. 19,600 words

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

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

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

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more in March and getting it all caught up. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

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New World of Publishing: What is a Print Run, Grandpa?

(I was cleaning up some old posts tonight and found this one from 2013. It applies even more today, so thought I would give it new life. I updated it just slightly for 2015.)

I can imagine myself in thirty years sitting in a bar, my cane nearby to fight off any unwanted advances from elderly women while Kris sits there laughing at my delusions. Then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, a young writer walks up to me and asks “What is a print run, Grandpa?”

And I’ll have to answer that back in the days before the oceans came up… back in the days when writers had to trek both directions in the snow to beg publishers with a tin cup in hand to buy our books… back in the days when agents kept our money and wouldn’t tell us what we had earned… back in those days a print run was the number of books a publisher guessed might sell.

And the young writer would ask, “Grandpa, why would they do that? Isn’t a book just produced when a reader orders it?”

And I would answer in my grandpa (get off my lawn fashion) that yes, they are. And stores only order a book when a customer wants it. But back in the dark ages when we had to beg and plead and hope royalty statements (even years after publication) were right, publishers just guessed as to how many books would sell and then stuck to that guess even if they were proven wrong.

At that point the poor young writer would walk away thinking I had lost my old mind. No publisher would ever do that.

Fade back out of my dreaming-of-old-age-bliss to the present day. The sun is starting to shine and that future of my dream isn’t that far off. In the last three or four years, but even more strikingly in the last year or so, a new reality has burst onto the publishing business. And so far, traditional publishing has not even started to adjust to this new reality.

From all my sources, it seems that standard old profit-and-loss statements are still being generated in the decision process based on a projected sales (print run) for a book.

So what am I talking about? I’m still talking about print runs. Yes, traditional publishers still (right now in 2015) just make a wild guess as to sales and then base all decisions forward in the book publishing process on that guess.

But things in other areas of the industry are changing and changing quickly.

For example, it is an usual bookstore these days that orders more than a few copies of a book for their shelves because they can get the book replaced quickly through their suppliers.

Bookstores are moving to sell-to-replace systems.

Indie publishers are print-on-demand (order) and electronic sales have no production needed once the file is in the distributor, so all electronic sales are to order as well.

And for writers and publishers with their heads still buried in the “print run” thinking, this change seems to be a horrid thing.

But I have yet to meet an indie publisher who can tell me even in a wild guess what the print run of their most recent book will be. (More than likely they would ask “By what year?”

Some History

Traditional publishers do everything in their power to project how many copies a book would sell to set their print run. Many of us call it “rolling dice on a Vegas craps table.”

This projection is based on the following…

— Gut sense of the editor and sales force.

— Previous similar titles and genre sales numbers.

— Previous author sales numbers.

— And then finally, right before “going to press” the actual orders on the book itself from other people along the sales chain making wild guesses.

— Toss in corporate politics and the personal tastes of varied players along the way and you have nothing but a mess.

This projected (guessed) print run is used in a ton of ways inside a publishing house. It controls everything.

— It determines how little or how much promotion a book got. (That’s right, if a book was deemed to have few sales, no promotion was given to help it. Yeah, backwards, but that’s how it has worked for more than fifty years and still does here in 2015.)

–It determines the author’s advance.

— It determines the quality of cover used for the book.

— It determines if the editor snaps off some passive sales copy between meetings, or if the sales force actually do the sales copy.

Then the book order is sent to a big web press, the book print run total is printed (plus/minus 10% as per printing contract) and the books are shipped out to the various warehouses, then onto the distributors warehouses and eventually into the shelves of the bookstores.

If the sales force told a bookstore owner or buyer for a chain that a book was going to be hot, then the buyer would order multiple copies of that book and return what they didn’t sell.

See how it works? Stores used to order ahead of sales to stock their shelves. Publishers print ahead of sales on just a guess and a by-golly calculating system. (This was called “Market Penetration” in the old way of doing things.)

If a store didn’t sell the books, they were destroyed and the publisher gave the store credit for the books destroyed.  And everyone moaned about the returns system.

Folks, for periods of time in publishing in the 1990s, the return rate was accepted at 50%. (That’s right, half of all books produced were destroyed. The most wasteful industry in the nation by factors.) And if a book sold too fast, a second printing might takes months and months to come out, letting customers move on and forget the book.

And this is how traditional publishing still does business.

What Has Changed?

Let me break down what has changed area by area.

Distribution:

First off, books can be sold, then created and shipped to a customer. So inventory controls can be very, very tight in places like Amazon and Baker & Taylor and Ingrams and B&N and so on. They don’t need to stock a hundred copies as they used to do because they know they can get more copies of the book in a few days. Now they stock a few for a quick ship when a book is ordered, but that’s about it.

To a traditional publisher, this tightening of book orders appears (in the old accounting systems and writer’s royalty statements) as lower press runs and lower upfront orders. So to publishers, books are failing.

And for writers, advances are falling.

(But it does not mean a book will sell less over a longer period. It just means that fewer books are stored in warehouses because of better electronic ordering systems.)

Bookstores:

Even though everyone believes the myths that bookstores are dying, they are not. (But what do facts have to do with myths, right? FACT: Six years running there are more brick-an-mortar bookstores than the previous year. AND THAT’S NOT COUNTING ONLINE BOOKSTORES.)

However, the old-style bookstores are dying. That I agree with. The bookstores that insisted on stocking their shelves with ten copies of an author’s books. The bookstores that ran the old buy-and-return-half-their-books wasteful system. They are dying and not understanding what is even killing them.  (Most of these older bookstores claim online selling is killing them, don’t even have a computer controlled inventory system, and wouldn’t know how to start an online bookstore if someone offered to do it for them.)

The new bookstores are thriving and making money. They are the stores who sell not only to their local customers, but online to national customers. They focus on knowing what their customers want and only stocking one or two copies of any book. They are regional or genre-focused. They can get a book quickly for a customer on order and replace a book quickly bought off a shelf, either in the store or online.

In other words, the bookstores that are thriving and growing are using their shelf space to the max, plus using online shelf space to the max.

The bookstores that are growing and surviving and starting up new have moved into today’s electronic ordering world and are going great toward a fantastic future. But some of the older stores with owners still stuck in the past must still die off, sadly. Nature of survival of the fittest in business.

Indie Publishing

For the first time since this started, there is clear evidence that indie publishing is starting to really form a new model for the future. No matter whose data you believe, the shadow industry of indie publishing and small publishers controls a very large percentage of books on the market.

Indie publishing writers now have professional-looking covers that can stand beside anything from traditional and no reader will know or care.

Indie publishing blogs and comment boards have now convinced most indie publishers to do a decent proofing job on most of their books, so often (if not all the time now in 2015) indie books are higher quality than traditional books. Or at least the same.

Indie publishing is moving to producing more paper books. And realizing that they also can get into bookstores just by getting their book out there.

And even more importantly, readers and the newer bookstore owners are not caring who published the book as long as they can order the book for a customer who wants it through their normal channels.

As a publisher you need to get your book available. Then you need to make sure the bookstores know about your book.

Then, as always in this business, it comes down to your book. If the cover is professional and tells the reader the genre, if the blurbs are professional, if the opening grabs the reader, and if you have enough other products, your books will find homes if you are a good storyteller.

It always comes back to the writing. Always. You must continue to learn how to tell better stories all the time. And be productive.

But think about it…. When you put that new book up for sale, will you know the print run??? Or even care??

Nope. And why in the world would you ever limit your book, your work, your sales to a certain print run?

You wouldn’t, of course. Doing so as traditional publishers still do is very old thinking.

Summary

Many things are changing and changing quickly in this new world of publishing.

— Bookstores are selling and then ordering and using their shelves for only display for the most part. They are selling to order and selling online. When a book does sell off a shelf they replace it quickly. Ordering large numbers of copies ahead from any publisher, indie or traditional, is long gone for bookstores. Customers determine what a bookstore orders, often after a sale.

— Online paper ordering, either from your local bookstore’s web page or Amazon or Kobo or B&N has increased. The paper books bought online are often either produced instantly or replaced instantly by print-on-demand services.  The increase in this method of getting paper books has exploded in the last few years. And will continue to grow.

— Electronic books have made the idea of a fixed print run just seem flat silly. Yet traditional publishers continue to function with the same accounting methods, setting print runs, producing books to be shipped to massive warehouses where they sit and eventually are destroyed in the returns system.

— Indie publishing has allowed hundreds of thousands of authors to get their work to readers, directly to readers. And that means traditional publishing gatekeepers (agents and editors) are like the toll booth on the trail in the Blazing Saddles movie. Writer after writer will still line up to pay that toll, sure. But many more are just shaking their heads and going around.

We are in a great time of change in the publishing industry. One of the great changes will be the final end to the term “print run.”

Now a book doesn’t spoil. A book can last forever, be in print forever.

And should be.

————————————————

Copyright © 2015 Dean Wesley Smith

Cover art copyright Philcold/Dreamstime
————————————————–

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 9, Day 23


Year 2, Month 9, Day 23 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day fourteen of writing the novel HEAVEN PAINTED AS A FREE MEAL: A Ghost of a Chance Novel

THE DAY

Did very little today but answer some e-mail questions about the coast workshops, do some collection covers this evening (see below), and do some writing on the novel and cleaning up of this site.

As I said last night, information about the mystery workshop and coast workshops in general under the Coast Workshop tab above. Write me to see if you qualify to get in if interested. I don’t mind answering questions, honest.

THE WRITING

The writing today got started actually before dinner for a change. Got 800 words in before taking a nap and then cooking dinner and doing the dishes and watching the news.

Then after getting back from WMG evening session of the workshop (Kris taught, I did collection covers), I did another session of 1,100 words on the book.

Then rested and watched some television, then starting around 1:30 a.m. I did another session of 1,200 words, then a quick break, then another session of 800 words before stopping.

Sort of stuck, but I’ll get going again tomorrow. 3,900 words.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT:  First off, above this is a New World of Publishing post I did in 2013 and updated tonight talking about press runs. It is a very old term yet still controlling all of you in traditional publishing. Very strange thinking for 2015. So figured I would bring it forward.

The real topic of the night for me is a conversation I had with Allyson (publisher of WMG Publishing) this afternoon. I’ve been wanting to do collections of my short stories since I have hundreds and hundreds of short stories. But the form I wanted to use seemed fairly close to Smith’s Monthly.

So I was working on a more traditional form for my collections and just not excited about it. I mentioned this to Allyson and she said something that sort of struck home. She basically said in so many words, that in this new world of publishing, what did I have to lose?

Wow, I preach that in so many workshops and lectures. And Smith’s Monthly is one writer filling a monthly magazine every month. A prime example of taking chances in this new world that is working great.

Yet here I was, trying to bend myself into some form of “standard collection thinking” when I didn’t like it for me and didn’t need to do it. Now understand, standard collections are great and I read them. But it felt wrong for me.

Why?

Well, in my history, right from when I started selling short fiction, and then novels, I tended to not write into the center of any genre. I love sf, but I have 250 rejections from Asimov’s alone because my stories “Just didn’t fit.”

And honestly, I understand that completely. I’ve been an editor far, far too long to not understand that. And I edited Pulphouse, a magazine that actively looked for stories that didn’t fit in more center markets.

So as my stories sold to a ton of anthologies, to magazines outside of any common field (I had a sf ghost story in Gambling Times Magazine and a jukebox sf story in Jukebox Magazine, for just a couple of examples.)

So with Smith’s Monthly, my goal was first and foremost to fill the pages every month, but secondly to round up a bunch of my stories and get them in one place. Smith’s Monthly is doing that. And in every issue there is a super hero story followed by a mystery followed by an urban fantasy followed by a sf story followed by who knows what genre.

I think that’s part of the great fun of Smith’s Monthly, actually. Never know what kind of story you will read next.

But I have still wanted to do collections. I had out about eight older collections (which we will be pulling shortly). They were fun, but they didn’t do what I wanted to do.

Now a definition. “Collected” in publishing means “All of the author’s stories.” Or it should. At Pulphouse we did the Collected Robert Sheckley and didn’t come close to getting all his stories in five huge volumes. We should have called it “Selected.”

So my goal is to collect every one of my short stories. Every one. Eventually.

So I am doing “The Collected Smith.”

7×10 format, just like Smith’s Monthly. Each one will have a title and ten short stories in it, plus other stuff I want to collect (such as some columns and articles and so on).

And I will work themes for each collection with the assumption that thirty or forty or so collections down the road the theme might be “Leftovers.” Or some such thing.

So after the conversation with Allyson, I went up to WMG offices tonight and mocked up the first four volume covers.

I think these will be great fun to put together, along with a bunch of others off into the future.

And yes, Patreon supporters, when a new one comes out, you will get it.

So I am now doing a monthly magazine (with four or five short stories in it, a novel serial, and a full novel) and ten-story collections when I get to them (no schedule).

And yes, stories that were in Smith’s Monthly will find their way into collections. In 18 issues now I have done 77 short stories in the monthly. I got a lot, lot more stories to go. Not counting the ones I am writing new. (grin)

It’s a new world, folks. Don’t be afraid to try things.

I’ll let you know when the first of these new collections goes on sale.

——————–

Writing of the novel Heaven Painted as a Free Meal

Day 1… 2,550 words… Total so far on the book… 2,550 words
Day 2… 2,750 words… Total so far on the book… 5,300 words
Day 3… 2,150 words… Total so far on the book… 7,450 words
Day 4… 1,300 words… Total so far on the book… 8,750 words
Day 5… 1,100 words… Total so far on the book… 9,850 words
Day 6… 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 11,050 words
Day 7… 2,700 words… Total so far on the book… 13,750 words
Day 8… 3,650 words… Total so far on the book… 17,400 words
Day 9… 4,700 words… Total so far on the book… 22,100 words
Day 10.. 3,350 words… Total so far on the book… 25,450 words
Day 11.. 2,500 words… Total so far on the book… 27,950 words
Day 12.. 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 29,150 words
Day 13.. 3,100 words… Total so far on the book… 32,250 words
Day 14.. 3,900 words… Total so far on the book… 36,150 words

——————

Totals For Year 2, Month 9, Day 23

— Daily Fiction: 3,900 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 46,250 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 16,700 words

— Blog Posts: 1,200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,000 words

— E-mail: 15 e-mails. Approx. 700 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 509 e-mails. Approx. 19,200 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 4. Covers finished month-to-date: 6 Covers

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

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

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more in March and getting it all caught up. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 9, Day 22


Year 2, Month 9, Day 22 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day thirteen of writing the novel HEAVEN PAINTED AS A FREE MEAL: A Ghost of a Chance Novel

THE DAY

Mostly I just worked at WMG offices on formatting and getting to the printer the newest edition of Smith’s Monthly. Got it done!

Slowly getting back on schedule. The new issue will ship out to everyone next week. Patreon supporters will get it then as well electronically. Paper follows. Always slower. (grin)

Workshop still going on up at WMG, but I’m not around them much. Kris is really working them.

In September, Kris will be doing a week-long mystery workshop. It will be amazing, as it was the last time she did it. And for those of you who don’t realize Kris is a mystery writer, she’s been nominated for more Edgars than I want to think about, has won the Ellery Queen Award, and other mystery awards. She writes mystery under Kristine Kathryn Rusch and under the acclaimed Kris Nelscott name.

Information about the mystery workshop and coast workshops in general under the Coast Workshop tab above. Write me to see if you qualify to get in if interested.

THE WRITING

The writing today was sort of just happening, as some days go. I wrote 900 words from 11 p.m. until midnight, then took a short nap, then watched some television. Got back in here around 1:30 a.m. and did another 1,200 words, then took a quick break and did another 1,000 words almost exactly. So 3,100 words. Not great, not bad.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT:  Agents, sort of…

Talking with Allyson today about how the new Killing the Sacred Cows book was coming, and I told her it was sort of stalled. Just not much I have been getting that passionate about lately.

But then I said to her that there was one area that was starting to really crawl under my skin about the modern world, and that was agents. Once again.

What goes around, comes around, I guess.

I have, over the last six months, had a good dozen people tell me how an agent screwed them. Then I have read a couple agency contracts that no sane human should ever sign.

It is becoming clear that agents in all the shifting have just sort of kept their position of power to the uninformed writer. And that bothers me.

Low-level agents are still out there trying to suck money from writers. And numbers of book doctors are working with agents now.

And, of course, there are a ton of writers who haven’t hit the wall yet with their publisher, or who are still under multi-book contract with a publisher, through an agent, who have no idea that the world has shifted. They will understand the shift when their next book offer comes through, if at all. Three of them are coming to the Master Class in October to start getting more of the new publishing world under control.

I flat can’t see how agents can be surviving in this new world of smaller and smaller advances. And almost all major agencies now have publishing arms where they publish their clients work. Not sure how an agent can be a publisher, but nothing about agents surprises me anymore. But that can’t be a real money-making area unless they are just flat taking their clients money.

The accounting alone must be a nightmare. Say an agent has 50 clients, and each client gives that agent ten books, and over the last two years, that agent’s hired staff has managed to get all 500 books up and out. WMG Publishing has five hundred titles, so I know what that would be like. If I had to break that down by book by 50 authors, it would take another full-time employee just to pretend to track the money and sales and split the money monthly.

I have a hunch major agencies aren’t doing that kind of detail bookkeeping. Just guessing. No facts.

And one major court case I was hoping would open up the agent can of worms of agents negotiating contracts without a legal license is stalled.

There have been a number of court cases where major writers have taken agents to court for theft, but all were settled outside of court, so no information leaked. Sigh.

So agents are going after the uninformed writers. The writers who believe the myth that traditional publishing is less work than indie. And agents seem to feed to uninformed new writers the belief that agents are needed.

It would not surprise me in the slightest if major publishers were giving major agencies fees to bring in clients to them. Finders fees. Monthly retainers. Whatever you want to call it. Heard rumblings, but nothing solid yet. But it would not surprise me in the slightest and help explain how major agencies can keep those expensive offices in New York with advances for writers going through the floor. Again, only rumors, no facts.

But it would also prove as we all seem to know, that agents work for publishers, not writers these days.

So anyhow, some agent ramblings. I have been pretty silent on the topic for a few years now. I just sort of believed the agent days were numbered. Guess there is no end to uninformed new writers and writers too scared to take responsibility for their own careers.

——————–

Writing of the novel Heaven Painted as a Free Meal

Day 1… 2,550 words… Total so far on the book… 2,550 words
Day 2… 2,750 words… Total so far on the book… 5,300 words
Day 3… 2,150 words… Total so far on the book… 7,450 words
Day 4… 1,300 words… Total so far on the book… 8,750 words
Day 5… 1,100 words… Total so far on the book… 9,850 words
Day 6… 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 11,050 words
Day 7… 2,700 words… Total so far on the book… 13,750 words
Day 8… 3,650 words… Total so far on the book… 17,400 words
Day 9… 4,700 words… Total so far on the book… 22,100 words
Day 10.. 3,350 words… Total so far on the book… 25,450 words
Day 11.. 2,500 words… Total so far on the book… 27,950 words
Day 12.. 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 29,150 words
Day 13.. 3,100 words… Total so far on the book… 32,250 words

——————

Totals For Year 2, Month 9, Day 22

— Daily Fiction: 3,100 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 42,350 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 16,700 words

— Blog Posts: 1,100 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 12,800 words

— E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 494 e-mails. Approx. 18,500 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 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.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more in March and getting it all caught up. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 9, Day 21


Year 2, Month 9, Day 21 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day off of writing the novel HEAVEN PAINTED AS A FREE MEAL: A Ghost of a Chance Novel

THE DAY

Mostly I did errands, then went to WMG Publishing, talked with people there for a time, then home to work on e-mail and workshop stuff.

Then back to WMG for the night session of the workshop where I worked downstairs for two hours on workshop stuff. Managed a short nap as well there.

Home to continue workshop assignments, then watched some voice, then back up to work on workshop stuff again around 1 p.m.

THE WRITING

The writing today didn’t happen. A full day of workshop stuff and other things. Tomorrow, back to normal and some writing.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT:  None tonight. Too tired to think straight. (grin)

Writing of the novel Heaven Painted as a Free Meal

Day 1… 2,550 words… Total so far on the book… 2,550 words
Day 2… 2,750 words… Total so far on the book… 5,300 words
Day 3… 2,150 words… Total so far on the book… 7,450 words
Day 4… 1,300 words… Total so far on the book… 8,750 words
Day 5… 1,100 words… Total so far on the book… 9,850 words
Day 6… 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 11,050 words
Day 7… 2,700 words… Total so far on the book… 13,750 words
Day 8… 3,650 words… Total so far on the book… 17,400 words
Day 9… 4,700 words… Total so far on the book… 22,100 words
Day 10.. 3,350 words… Total so far on the book… 25,450 words
Day 11.. 2,500 words… Total so far on the book… 27,950 words
Day 12.. 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 29,150 words

——————

Totals For Year 2, Month 9, Day 21

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 39,250 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 16,700 words

— Blog Posts: 400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 11,700 words

— E-mail: 42 e-mails. Approx. 2,900 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 482 e-mails. Approx. 18,100 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 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.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more in March and getting it all caught up. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 9, Day 20


Year 2, Month 9, Day 20 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day Twelve of writing the novel HEAVEN PAINTED AS A FREE MEAL: A Ghost of a Chance Novel

THE DAY

Mostly I did a few errands, then worked at WMG Publishing for a time on different projects.

Home to take a nap with the white cat and do some e-mail, then dinner, news, dishes, and back to WMG with Kris. While she was with everyone in the workshop, I managed two straight hours on formatting Smith’s Monthly.

Home again to do workshop assignments, then watch a little of The Voice, then in here around 1 a.m. to do some work on the book below.

THE WRITING

The writing today was only one session on the fiction. I did some words on the nonfiction, but only one session on the novel of 1,200 words.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT:  New Book Started

This afternoon Allyson at WMG Publishing did a quick placeholder cover for me on the new writing book Stages of a Fiction Writer.

And tonight I got part of the introduction and first chapter done.

So after I have another chapter or two done ahead, I’ll start that book here.

Again, I’ll post every chapter here, then when the book is done, I’ll take down the chapters and send all the Patreon supporters the full finished book.

—————–

Patreon supporters, you should have got #17 Smith’s Monthly in electronic form last night. It was sent through Patreon, but if you didn’t get it, just let me know.

——————

Writing of the novel Heaven Painted as a Free Meal

Day 1… 2,550 words… Total so far on the book… 2,550 words
Day 2… 2,750 words… Total so far on the book… 5,300 words
Day 3… 2,150 words… Total so far on the book… 7,450 words
Day 4… 1,300 words… Total so far on the book… 8,750 words
Day 5… 1,100 words… Total so far on the book… 9,850 words
Day 6… 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 11,050 words
Day 7… 2,700 words… Total so far on the book… 13,750 words
Day 8… 3,650 words… Total so far on the book… 17,400 words
Day 9… 4,700 words… Total so far on the book… 22,100 words
Day 10.. 3,350 words… Total so far on the book… 25,450 words
Day 11.. 2,500 words… Total so far on the book… 27,950 words
Day 12.. 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 29,150 words

——————

Totals For Year 2, Month 9, Day 20

— Daily Fiction: 1,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 39,250 words  

— Nonfiction: 800 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 16,700 words

— Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 11,300 words

— E-mail: 25 e-mails. Approx. 900 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 440 e-mails. Approx. 15,400 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 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.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more in March and getting it all caught up. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 9, Day 19


Year 2, Month 9, Day 19 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day Eleven of writing the novel HEAVEN PAINTED AS A FREE MEAL: A Ghost of a Chance Novel

THE DAY

I got to the writer lunch about 2:30. Fun, lots of people since the workshop was going on. Great fun, no writing discussions though, which I missed.

Back to the WMG office to work for a time, then home to do the workshop assignments, then a nap with the white cat, dinner, and back with Kris to the workshop. While she was teaching, I worked on Smith’s Monthly and did some sorting of comics.

Home to finish up e-mail and workshop stuff, another nap, then write.

THE WRITING

The writing today went like this: Got in here around 1 a.m. and did 1,100 words. Then took a break and got out Smith’s Monthly #17 to the Patreon supporters. I hope. If you didn’t get it or can’t see how to download one of the three options in the message, write me. Paper issues are headed out. New issue in a week.

Then back to do another session. Managed 1,400 until I hit the end of what is basically a short novel. I think I could stop here, write the next short novel that is the second half, and then the Poker Boy short novel of the same events. That might be cool. Three short novels all around the same event.

I’ll think about it.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT:  Sloppy Writing

I flat don’t understand why writers purposely write sloppy stories. Just flat puzzles me.

And the worst part of sloppy, lazy writing is the brackets around something you can’t think of or are too lazy to go look up to help your creative voice.

When you leave something open like that, you are telling your creative voice a few things.

One: Critical voice will touch the story. (That will freeze up creative voice faster than anything.)

Two: You don’t care enough to make it right the first time. How do you know that bit of information might be the very detail to turn your book into something special if the creative voice just had it? You don’t.

So write the best story you can with creative voice. Give the creative voice the tools it needs. When it needs information, look it up. It really is that simple.

Stop being a lazy, sloppy writer and you might find you write more and enjoy it more.

And then when you are done telling the story, move on to the next story.

——————

Writing of the novel Heaven Painted as a Free Meal

Day 1… 2,550 words… Total so far on the book… 2,550 words
Day 2… 2,750 words… Total so far on the book… 5,300 words
Day 3… 2,150 words… Total so far on the book… 7,450 words
Day 4… 1,300 words… Total so far on the book… 8,750 words
Day 5… 1,100 words… Total so far on the book… 9,850 words
Day 6… 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 11,050 words
Day 7… 2,700 words… Total so far on the book… 13,750 words
Day 8… 3,650 words… Total so far on the book… 17,400 words
Day 9… 4,700 words… Total so far on the book… 22,100 words
Day 10.. 3,350 words… Total so far on the book… 25,450 words
Day 11.. 2,500 words… Total so far on the book… 27,950 words

——————

Totals For Year 2, Month 9, Day 19

— Daily Fiction: 2,500 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 38,050 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 15,900 words

— Blog Posts: 700 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 10,800 words

— E-mail: 19 e-mails. Approx. 700 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 415 e-mails. Approx. 14,500 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 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.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more in March and getting it all caught up. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 9, Day 18


Year 2, Month 9, Day 18 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day Ten of writing the novel HEAVEN PAINTED AS A FREE MEAL: A Ghost of a Chance Novel

THE DAY

I worked around the WMG office from around 3 until 5 p.m., getting things ready for the workshop starting up at 7 p.m.  Then home for dinner, change clothes, and back to WMG with Kris around 6:15 p.m.

Workshop that Kris is teaching (I am just in support mode) finished up around 9:15 for the night, we headed to the store, and then came home. While the workshop was going on I managed to make progress on formatting Smith’s Monthly issue and I did one cover for a short story.

THE WRITING

The writing today went like this: Got in here around 10:30 p.m. and finished up my e-mail and sat down and wrote 1,100 words by 11:45 p.m. Then took a nap.

I did another 1,150 words from 1:30 a.m. to 2:15 a.m.  Short break.

I managed 1,100 words in the next session by 3:30 a.m. and decided to call it a night, even though it was early. Writer lunch tomorrow so I have to be up fairly early.

So a total of 3,350 words.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT:  The Stages of a Fiction Writer

That’s another lecture I did a while back and some of you here have heard it, I’m sure. But since I really enjoyed taking that last lecture and turning it into a book on a nightly schedule, and I learned a lot and was challenged by the comments, I think I’ll do it again.

Stages of a Fiction writer is a topic I am sure will make some people very angry. It sure has in the past and I don’t intend that. But writers tend to hate knowing at what place on the road they are at. Especially beginning writers in a hurry.

So that should be interesting. I’ll write it in chapters and post a chapter here every night as I did with the last book. And we can have fun in the comment section again. (grin)

And if I really get up some guts, I’ll turn the Heinlein’s Rules lecture into a book as well and post the chapters here.

Stay tuned. Should be fun.

—–

A side note: You may have noticed a change in format here in these daily blogs. Over the next two months up until the end of year two, I’ll be making even more slight changes to make this blog move faster and be more interesting, I hope.

And if the changes work and I get this web site cleaned up some, then on into year three, but in a more fun way with this writing in public.

Also, I will focus on varied Topics of the Night most nights. Whatever I am thinking about when I sit down to write one of these. (grin)

——————

Writing of the novel Heaven Painted as a Free Meal

Day 1… 2,550 words… Total so far on the book… 2,550 words
Day 2… 2,750 words… Total so far on the book… 5,300 words
Day 3… 2,150 words… Total so far on the book… 7,450 words
Day 4… 1,300 words… Total so far on the book… 8,750 words
Day 5… 1,100 words… Total so far on the book… 9,850 words
Day 6… 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 11,050 words
Day 7… 2,700 words… Total so far on the book… 13,750 words
Day 8… 3,650 words… Total so far on the book… 17,400 words
Day 9… 4,700 words… Total so far on the book… 22,100 words
Day 10.. 3,350 words… Total so far on the book… 25,450 words

——————

Totals For Year 2, Month 9, Day 18

— Daily Fiction: 3,350 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 35,550 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 15,900 words

— Blog Posts: 700 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 10,100 words

— E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 396 e-mails. Approx. 13,800 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 2 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.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more in March and getting it all caught up. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 9, Day 17


Year 2, Month 9, Day 17 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day nine of writing the novel HEAVEN PAINTED AS A FREE MEAL: A Ghost of a Chance Novel

THE DAY

A work around the WMG office day and a writing day. Fun. Got a lot done up at the WMG offices to get ready for the Fantasy Workshop to start tomorrow. I’m pretty much out of this workshop. It’s all taught by Kris, so I’m going to be getting Smith’s Monthly out and this novel done in the coming week.

And I’m going to be working on workshops.

THE WRITING

So the writing today went like this. Got in here around 9 p.m. and finished up my e-mail and sat down and wrote 1,100 words by 10:15 p.m. Great start for me.

Then took a short nap, got a snack, and did another 1,150 words by midnight.

Off to watch a little television, back in here around 1 a.m. I managed 1,300 words in the next session by 2:30 a.m.

Short break, then 1,250 words by 3:45 when I decided to call it a night, even though it was early.

So a total of 4,700 words. Feeling like I am back up to speed.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT:  All the comments on Writing into the Dark.

First off, thank you, everyone. The comments are still open if you are just getting to reading the book.

For me, the comments were great fun. Some of you challenged me to explain things in ways I had not thought of explaining them before.

For example, why look some detail up at once instead of just putting brackets and moving on and getting it in another draft. Why not just use brackets?

That was a question. Or something similar to it.

Well, using brackets or other place holder things for details not looked up had always seemed to me to be a very, very bad idea. I had just never thought about why.

I always look stuff up at once if I need to. I jump to my internet computer, look it up, take a couple notes, and then go back to my writing computer and bang onward.

I always figured I did that because when I was done I never wanted to look at the book again. A valid point for me. (grin)

But then right before I answered that question, I had come to a spot in the book I’m writing where I needed a detail. I looked it up, discovered there was more to the detail than I had originally thought, put the detail and the extra stuff in the book, and bam, my subconscious went off using that extra stuff and the plot shifted and got better and richer and deeper.

If I had used a bracket, I would have had no idea I was missing something. And my subconscious wouldn’t have known and thus jump off in a direction on the detail that I didn’t realize even existed.

So by using some marker (like brackets), you are basically blindfolding your creative voice. A damn silly thing to do in my opinion.

Also, let me be blunt. It’s a lazy way to write. Have some belief in your craft. If it needs a detail, find the detail and put it in. Stop being so afraid that you might lose something like “momentum” or other silly reasons to not take the time and do the work when your creative voice needs the work done.

Write the story only once. Stop being lazy and sloppy. Brackets to show where you need to put in a detail later are sloppy. Kill that habit and your writing might get stronger and more dynamic.

So that’s just one of the many great comments that were discussed over the last eight or nine days. And my opinion of it. (grin)

Thanks, everyone. Great fun.

——————

Writing of the novel Heaven Painted as a Free Meal

Day 1… 2,550 words… Total so far on the book… 2,550 words
Day 2… 2,750 words… Total so far on the book… 5,300 words
Day 3… 2,150 words… Total so far on the book… 7,450 words
Day 4… 1,300 words… Total so far on the book… 8,750 words
Day 5… 1,100 words… Total so far on the book… 9,850 words
Day 6… 1,200 words… Total so far on the book… 11,050 words
Day 7… 2,700 words… Total so far on the book… 13,750 words
Day 8… 3,650 words… Total so far on the book… 17,400 words
Day 9… 4,700 words… Total so far on the book… 22,100 words

——————

Totals For Year 2, Month 9, Day 17

— Daily Fiction: 4,700 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 32,200 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 15,900 words

— Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 9,400 words

— E-mail: 17 e-mails. Approx. 500 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 384 e-mails. Approx. 13,500 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 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.

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more in March and getting it all caught up. And for those who have been along from the start, hold on, almost ready to get this all off the ground. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

Continue reading

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