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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 27

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.

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN…

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.

3,200 words.

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.

No.

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.

Uhhh… No.

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

——–

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 as time goes on. 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 12, Day 26

Sunday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 26 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 26 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.

DAY TWENTY-SIX…

Got out of the house late and was late to the writer lunch. But still enjoyed it. Managed to make it up to WMG Publishing a little after 4 p.m.

And that’s when the crazy started today. I had a huge list of things I really wanted to get done, so dug into it one at a time. (I normally don’t do lists, but today I kept thinking of things I wanted to finish so broke down and did a list yesterday for today.)

First off, got the new free story up. It’s a strange little thing. If you don’t understand that the closer to light speed you go, the more time slows inside the ship, you might not catch the story. (grin)

Then I finished the new lecture on turning a story into a novel and got it up and on all the lists. Details at the post at the top of the page if interested.

Then 6:30 p.m. I headed to the grocery store, got groceries, and made it home to cook dinner by 7:30 p.m. I made it back up to WMG Publishing offices by around 8:30 p.m. and I did two of the three new covers that are below for the last three short stories.

Then I turned my attention to finishing up Smith’s Monthly. Got that done around 11 p.m. and got that to the printer and off to WMG for the electronic version.

Home by 11:30 p.m. or so and went right to doing assignments for the workshops. Got all that done around 12:30 p.m.

Crazy amount of stuff, huh? My list this morning just scared me to death when I looked at it. (grin)

Off to watch some television for an hour, then back up here around 1:30 a.m. to start a short story.

While doing some of the lecture loading of videos this afternoon, I had built yet another sheet of titles from 1970s Ellery Queen Magazines. Some good stuff in those magazines. Wish I had time to have read a few of the stories.

So tonight I looked at that new sheet and spotted the half-title “To Remember.” Then on the other side of the page in a second column, I noticed the half title “A Single Minute.”

Slammed those two together into the title “To Remember a Single Minute.”

Typed in the first word and by 2:30 a.m. I surfaced and was done with the story. Tied for the shortest story so far this month.

1,250 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris liked the story. She said a lot. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Caution in this New World

I get questions regularly about some person or another teaching some writing class or marketing class or some such thing. Usually the question is for my opinion on the value of the class the person is teaching.

I got one of those questions today and instantly just did a Google search on the teacher’s books. Oh, oh, this person had four books total, all of them about how to sell lots and lots of books and become a bestseller.

So I warned the person off on the scam and decided it might be time to mention how you avoid scams in this new world.

You do what I did. You Google the person teaching. If the person is a bestseller, and is teaching what that person has been doing for a decade or so, chances are you are safe. You might not agree with everything the person teaches, but chances are they are doing it to try to actually help new writers.

(Second caution would involve if they are teaching old stuff instead of the new world.)

New York Times Bestseller Dave Farland does a lot of teaching and he’s great at it. Much of his stuff has a traditional slant and is aimed at beginners directly, but considering he is editing Writers of the Future, that’s logical.

Kris and I teach a bunch of workshops and we have been accused of making most of our money from teaching because our books don’t hit bestseller lists on some fancy Amazon algorithm or something. (Actually, Kris’s do more than mine.) That accusation that we make all our money teaching just makes me giggle.

I’ll give you this much information. Last year (2014) was a ton better for workshops than this year has been so far and all the workshops and lectures accounted for only 7% of all WMG Publishing income in 2014.

And by the way, Kris and I don’t get paid for doing workshops. It just never occurred to us to set up a pay schedule when we started the things. We do them to help writers, just as we do our blogs. And the money goes into WMG Publishing.

And honestly, I keep doing the workshops because I am still learning. When I get tired, they will stop and WMG Publishing will just continue on just fine.

So when you come across someone with a get-rich-quick scheme in publishing if you only pay them money, RUN!

But if you find a writer who is farther down the road you want to walk and they are teaching, then you might find a few things of value from them.

So say you want to be young adult writer. Look for classes or workshops or conferences where major young adult writers are teaching. Same for thriller writers if that’s what you want to write. Or science fiction or mystery writers.

For example, a friend of mine who is a major romance writer is doing a three hour presentation in Portland in early August at a romance group on the value of series in a hybrid world. He’s also going to do an hour of that at our Master Class here in October.

He won’t make a nickel from any of the teaching and the preparation time it took him, but he wants to try to pay forward, to help newer writers.

Writers with experience are teaching everywhere, folks.

There is an old saying about those who can’t do, teach. Well, in this new world, it seems anyone with a scheme to take writer’s dream money can pretend to know what they are talking about. Not only do these scammers not write, they have never tried.

So check out their credentials before you send anyone money for education. Only logical.

But sadly, most fiction writers were not in line when the logic was passed out.

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

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 26

— Daily Fiction: 1,250 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 86,000 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,400 words

— Blog Posts: 1,400 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 25,100 words

— E-mail: 27 e-mails. Approx. 900 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 465 e-mails. Approx. 19,100 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 2. Covers finished month-to-date: 26 Covers

——–

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 as time goes on. 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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New Lecture Available: Short Stories into Novels

Lecture #28

Short Stories to Novels

The Basics of When to Turn a Short Story into a Novel.

9 Videos.  This lecture covers the various ways that you can turn a short story into a novel. And what you need to do so. And when you should even consider doing so. This workshop covers the basics of the idea of turning a short story into a novel.

Price $50.00.

Sometimes short stories can start great novels. Sometimes a short story should remain just a short story and should never be expanded. This lecture will help you understand what you need to learn to figure out when and how to convert one form into a larger form.

This is just a lecture so it does not cover how to write a short story or how to write a novel. It assumes you already know that. The focus is when to turn a short story into a novel. And when not to.

Information on how to sign up under the Lecture Tab above or at www.wmgpublishingworkshops.com

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 25

Saturday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 25 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 25 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.

DAY TWENTY-FIVE…

Got out of the house by 2 p.m. and got the snail mail and then headed to the WMG offices to work.

I worked on loading the new lecture Story into Novels and right at the last minute, around 6:30 p.m. I remembered I needed to do some covers.

I got one done before Kris got there, but I’ll do two more tomorrow and put all three up tomorrow night.

Home for a short nap, then dinner, news, and dishes. Then I came in here and worked on e-mail and a few other projects.

Then finally I went over to my writing computer around 10 p.m., way early for me.

I found a half-title I liked and just used it as the full title. So I typed in “Dreaming Large” and started to type.

Within a few lines I knew it was a Seeder’s Universe story, a space opera one. So added the subtitle and managed to get 650 words done before going to watch some television at 11 p.m.

Back in here around 1 a.m., got another 800 words done, went to watch a little more television on a break, then took a thirty minute nap.

So back in here by 2:30 a.m. By 3:30 a.m. I had another 1,100 words done.

Took a break and got myself and the two cats hanging around a snack.

Then by 4:30 a.m. I had finished the story.

3,150 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris liked the story. Said it was pretty bloody considering it was a mystery and short. Yup, that’s the character. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Update On This Challenge

I have written 26 short stories in 25 days, plus a story the day before the challenge started. I honestly did not expect to be here. I usually do not have this kind of day-after-day regularity.

But for some reason for the last 26 days I have managed to maintain some control on my own life. I suck at that normally. I tend to float with the winds of what those around me want and need. And over the years the writing always took sort of a back seat, even though that was what I did.

Outside traditional publishing contract deadlines helped keep some of that under control for a hundred novels or so, and Smith’s Monthly deadlines have helped in the last two years.

And clearly having a nightly deadline for a new short story has helped as well.

Plus I have been having fun doing the covers for each story. (The covers will be inside the big book as well.)

And even more interestingly, I haven’t shorted any time on being at WMG Publishing this month or shorted time doing workshops and answering questions. I have averaged about 50 hours of work each week during the challenge away from the writing.

And I have watched my normal share of television. And even done a new lecture.

So, to be honest, this challenge has been pretty trauma-less, stress-free, and fun. Even if I don’t do another story, the month will be a total success. But I hope to finish it all out. That’s the hope anyway.

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

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 25

— Daily Fiction: 3,150 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 84,750 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,400 words

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 23,700 words

— E-mail: 10 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 438 e-mails. Approx. 18,200 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 24 Covers

——–

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 as time goes on. 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

 

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 24

Friday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 24 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 24 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.

DAY TWENTY-FOUR…

Got out of the house by 3 p.m. and got the snail mail, then did some stuff at WMG Publishing before going walking with a couple other professional writers.

Then to the grocery store and then to my office at WMG Publishing. I forgot to do the cover for the story last night, so I will need to do two next time I am in the office.

What I did instead was record a new lecture called Short Story into Novels. A couple people have asked me to do that and others have asked questions both here and privately about how to turn a short story into a novel.

So figured I would just do a lecture about it. The lecture will be available in a few days and I mostly talked about when to turn a short story into a novel, a few details about how, but not many since every story is unique, but I did lay out some basics.

So I think it will be worthwhile. 9 videos. (I might add in another tomorrow before I start loading it all if I think of something Kris and I left out when we put it together.)

But you guys think I do this short story to novel a great deal, Kris is the master. Anyone ever read the award-winning novellas in her Diving Universe that were in Asimov’s originally and now WMG Publishing has published them. They won Reader’s Choice Awards. They were a large part of the full novel Diving into the Wreck, but trust me, you want to read them as novellas.

And I talk in the lecture about why we do this exploring of a world in short stories before going into novels. There are reasons. Honest.

Anyhow, got home around 7 p.m. and took a nap, then dinner and news. Even though Kris cooked, she offered to do the dishes to give me a jump in here on a bunch of stuff that needed to be done.

I managed to get a bunch done by 11 p.m., but was so tired, I couldn’t get started writing.

Oh, oh. No panic, just sort of annoyed. I wanted to start earlier tonight.

So off to watch some television, then back in here around 12:30 to try to go at a new story.

Nope. Nothing even pretending to start by 1 a.m.

Out to my reading chair to take a nap. Kris woke me about a half hour later and I grogged around a little and finally got going by 2 a.m.

Half-title sheets again were what got me going. I found the half-title “The Remodeling” from a 1960s sf magazine, then spotted from an old Ellery Queen Magazine the half-title “of a life.”

Smashed them together and started typing and realized almost instantly it was going to be one of the new series characters that have popped up in this challenge.

So the title is “The Remodeling of a Life: A Mary Jo Assassin Story.”  Her first story ever was “Just Make Myself One More” about nine or ten stories ago.

So I did 800 words by 3 a.m.

Took a short break for more iced tea and peanut butter, then back to do another 1,100 words by 4 a.m.

Another short break, back to finish the last 500 words by 4:30 a.m.

2,400 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris asked where the novel was. Kind of had a hunch that was going to be her reaction. Thanks, Kris! I’ll write it fairly soon.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Careers

I wanted to remind everyone we are doing two new online workshops starting in August. One is Character Development Workshop (sort of taught like the Depth Workshop) and the other is Careers Workshop. Both have spots open.

I have gotten a number of questions about the Careers Workshop being different from Making a Living workshop.

They are going to be light-years apart. 

Interesting that the automatic assumption is that if you are making a living, you have a career in fiction writing.

Nope.

So let me be clear here. Many, many great writers have wonderful fiction careers and never once make a living or care to make a living with their writing.

And writers can make a living for a short time and never end up with a career. Kris and I have seen that over the decades happen a great deal and it is really happening now a lot to the gold rush writers who can’t figure out how to sell in the new markets.

Some fantastic writers who are friends and have been to workshops here have given up on their careers and writing because they couldn’t beat quickly the making a living part.

Sad.

An interesting example is Harper Lee. She never had a career outside of her nonfiction writing early on, but she made a living with her fiction writing because of one book.

The Career Workshop is to try to help people not get trapped by the many, many traps that will cause your writing to be very short-term. Our goal is to help you know how to build a career from the information that is available today.

As I said in yesterday’s topic, the writers with the careers in twenty years will not be functioning like the writers with careers twenty years ago.

The Making a Living Workshop is about sales and speed and a ton of other stuff, as is the Production Workshop.  The Careers Workshop is meant to fit as a companion to the Making a Living Workshop.

If your goal is to make money for a few years and then move on, the Careers Workshop will not be the one for you.

But if your goal is to be a long-term writer and make a career with your fiction, then you might want to consider 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

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 24

— Daily Fiction: 2,400 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 81,600 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,400 words

— Blog Posts: 1,200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 22,900 words

— E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 500 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 428 e-mails. Approx. 17,800 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 23 Covers

——–

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 as time goes on. 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

 

August Online Workshops Start in One Week

AUGUST WORKSHOPS START IN ONE WEEK

All of the August Online Workshops marked below have openings. Click the workshop button for description and sign-up.

Each regular 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 regular workshops have openings at the moment.

Class #11… Aug 3rd … Advanced Depth
Class #12… Aug 3rd … Character Voice
Class #13… Aug 3rd … Pacing Your Novel
Class #14… Aug 3rd … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Aug 4th … Character Development
Class #16… Aug 4th … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Aug 4th … Making a Career
Class #18… Aug 5th … Designing Covers
Class #19… Aug 5th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Aug 5th … How to Write Science Fiction

Two New Workshops Added in August… Making a Career with Your Fiction Writing and Character Development


CLASSIC WORKSHOPS

Classic means you can go through all six weeks quickly and no homework… same workshop as when it was given over six weeks. You can sign up and start at any point during the month. No waiting until the end of the month on Classic Workshops.

Assignments are still there each week for you to do on your own and responses from a previous workshop about the assignments are still there, but I do not read any assignments. And the price is half price. $150 for Classic. And you can return to it at any point into the future. Think of them as a very expanded lecture.

Each Classic Workshop has about 50 videos.

Offered as Classic Workshops are the following five:

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

Descriptions of the workshops under the workshop tab below or Online workshop tab.

GENERAL PRICING
Lectures… $50.00 to $75.00
Classic Workshops… $150.00
Regular Workshops with feedback… $300.00

 

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 23

Thursday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 23 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 23 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.

DAY TWENTY-THREE…

Got out of the house today around 1:30 p.m. and made it to the snail mail, then a doctor’s appointment, then back to WMG offices by 2:15 p.m.

Meeting there and with Allyson until 4:30 p.m., then I went to my office and did the cover for last night’s story, then worked on formatting Smith’s Monthly. Almost done.

Then home around 7 p.m. to cook dinner again, then news and back in here to work on e-mail. So about 10 p.m. I was doing some basic cleaning up, then took a short nap, then worked with Kris on a project she is doing. All fun.

Then we went to watch some television. So finally got back in here for writing around 1:30 a.m. 12 hours after I left the house originally.

I sure hope those of you with busy lives are watching this. No excuses if I can do this, so can you.

Anyhow, went to my half-title sheets and spotted the half- title “A Bad Day” from a 1950s sf magazine. Then kept looking and from a 1960s F&SF Magazine I saw “of the Dream.”

So typed in “A Bad Day for the Dream” and started going.

I typed in a guy finding a body in a grave in the desert, realized it was a Cold Poker Gang story, backed up and put my main character retired Las Vegas detective Lott into standing watching a grave be dug up and a skeleton uncovered.

Then I backed up thirty years in the timeline and wrote a prolog, then went forward from the grave. I realized from the title that I wanted to write a story about how the Cold Poker Gang could fail. Sort of.

So I managed by 2:30 a.m. 800 words.

I took a break and Galley cat and I had some lunch meat for a snack, then with more iced tea, I was back at work.

By 3:30 a.m. I had another 1,000 words.

Another short break and by 4:20 a.m. I had written another 1,000 words and finished the story.

2,800 words. First Cold Poker Gang story of the challenge.

And, of course, it will be the start of a novel. Cold Poker Gang novels are really, really twisted. And the retired detectives in the Gang hate to fail. No clue what the novel will be about, but if this story is any indication, it will be twisted.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris said it was “Sweet” and I was a jerk to make her cry at breakfast. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: A New World View

I have a clear memory of years and years in my days in traditional publishing when I was very, very busy. And then I have a memory of years at times where I managed to fill time, or just not work in writing, including a few years of playing professional poker and a year of an aborted and very sad attempt at playing seniors golf.

So I do remember being busy, but never like I have been the last four years in this new world of publishing. Never. Not one year in traditional did I even come close to the excitement and fun and craziness of this new writing world.

Now, in the Master’s Business Class that we are going to hold here in October, Kris and I are going to be trying to make clear that this new world is very, very different from the old world in business.

And more often than not, realizing the difference is the biggest battle a writer must face. In a thousand details and assumptions.

I am of the complete belief that the successful fiction writer twenty years from now will not be even close to the fiction writers of old we study, or that I was for twenty years in traditional publishing.

Not even close.

The successful fiction writer of twenty years from now will need to be a very well-trained person in writing, business, and marketing. And the belief that you can go to a traditional publisher and get them to do all that for you will be a forgotten relic.

In fact, what I sort of imagine for a successful fiction writer twenty years from now is a captain of a ship. The captain doesn’t do every task on the ship, but he or she runs the ship and is in control. Completely.

Control of everything is the key there.

Six years ago, when Kris and I started WMG Publishing, Kris and I both had a pretty clear vision of how we wanted that publishing company to function. And we knew we didn’t want to run it. The mistake we had made with Pulphouse back in the 1980s was that I ran it. I suck at that, trust me.

I wanted to be a writer and sell my work to a publishing company. Not much more.

So we wanted the business to set up and run like any other publishing company. And we built that, but we built it on the model of traditional publishing companies, which was kind of silly in hindsight. It took us until last summer to realize that mistake and switch everything around.

Now WMG Publishing has eight employees and is a flexible, quick-acting company that uses indie portals as well as publisher portals to get books to readers. We use trade channels and reader channels to get discoverability.

And Allyson Longueira runs the WMG Publishing ship from the Captain’s chair. She is the center of the business and she often is dealing with people from all around the world. Some people think that Kris and I run WMG Publishing. We do not. It is a publishing corporation and we work with it and sell it fiction and nonfiction.

Allyson runs WMG Publishing. And she does it a ton better than I ever did with Pulphouse. Not even on the same scale. And I kept Pulphouse alive for nine years. I have a hunch WMG Publishing will far outlive me.

I see indie writers of the future being captains of their own businesses as well. They will sit in the captain’s chair of their own business ship and control everything.

Again, control is the key. Not something any writer has in traditional publishing. In fact, when you sell something for a few thousand to a traditional publisher, not only do you lose your property, but you have zero to say over how it is handled.

Kris and I both control everything with our writing businesses now as well. Granted, we work closely with Allyson and WMG Publishing Inc, both Kris and I are still completely in control of our writing, who we sell what to and when, and all sorts of details along the way.

So think of Kris and I as two ships.

We both control our writing and publishing businesses. And, at the moment we are in tight formation with a number of other publishing ships, the largest being WMG Publishing.

Today, in meetings with Allyson at WMG Publishing, we discussed this project I am doing here. Allyson likes the project and wants to give it great attention.

We walked through all the steps, with me making choices for this project and Allyson making choices for the WMG business. And what could or could not be done when and how.

The relationship I have with my writing ship and Allyson controlling the WMG Publishing ship is how I always imagined a writer/publisher relationship to be.

A partnership.

I control my ship, she runs WMG Publishing ship. We work together.

So the upshot of the meeting today was that even though I wanted this project out as quickly as I could after August 1st, the reality of doing it right, with great copyediting and formatting in both electronic and paper editions made it so the publication date would need to be September 15th.

We may or may not set up pre-orders for the month ahead. And pricing and such is to be determined. I’ll announce it all when it gets worked out at WMG Publishing.

And WMG Publishing will furnish me with the free copies to give to the Patreon supporters.

So after we were all done today, I realized how the compromises from my writing ship and the WMG ship had happened to build what we both hope will be a strong publishing project. One that readers and writers will enjoy.

I love the control of my own writing ship in this new world.

Now, I just need to keep clearing out all that stuff I learned to survive in traditional publishing.

It’s a new world view today and I plan on being around and still writing like crazy in twenty years. And being in control of my own writing ship. And working with great publishers like WMG Publishing along the way.

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

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 23

— Daily Fiction: 2,800 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 79,200 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,400 words

— Blog Posts: 1,600 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 21,700 words

— E-mail: 14 e-mails. Approx. 500 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 416 e-mails. Approx. 17,300 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 23 Covers

——–

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 as time goes on. 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

 

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 22

Wednesday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 22 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 22 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.

DAY TWENTY-TWO…

Got out of the house today around 3 p.m. Snail mail, to WMG Publishing office, then off to banks, then to the grocery store. Got back to WMG offices around 5 p.m.

I did the cover for yesterday’s story, then went back to work on Smith’s Monthly formatting. Almost have the issue done. Working on the ads in it now.

Kris got there about 7 p.m. and we went home and I cooked dinner. Then news and I came in here to work. (I cooked, Kris does dishes, she cooks, I do dishes.)

I worked on e-mail for a time and a few other minor workshop things, then went out to take a nap in my reading chair. Kris woke me up to reader her new blog. Another good one.

So around 11:30 a.m. I got in here and got started looking at half titles for a story.  I came up with something that had the words Time’s Arrow in it, but once I got started I realized the story was a Thunder Mountain series story, so I changed it to “The Cavern.” All Thunder Mountain stories and novels have location titles.

This is the third Thunder Mountain story I have done in this challenge. I got a hunch all three could be new novels. Ahh, the fun of it.

I got 800 words done before heading to watch some television at 12:30 a.m.  Got back in here around 2 a.m.

I wrote 1,100 words by 2:45 a.m.

Took a short break, wrote another 1,200 words by 4 a.m.

Another short break, then 1,300 words by 4:45 to finish it.

4,400 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris said it was “Fun.” And she liked my two new characters and the series idea. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: New World Cash Streams

A couple people have asked me how I keep short stories alive and earning. The answer to that question is simply: Any way you can.

This is a new world, folks. There are no set or right answers.

When I used to write short fiction for traditional publishing, I would write the story, sometimes sell it, sometimes not, or just forget to mail it (Heinlein’s Rule #5 was my weak link.)

And the story would end up in a file cabinet. I just snapped a picture of my short story file cabinets in my office. Novel and nonfiction cabinets are downstairs. The piles of paper on top are things that need to be filed in other places since November or so. (I’m kind of behind. (grin)) The window looks out over the ocean and the old antique cash register is the one I used in my old used bookstore when I started it.

Those drawers each have between 25 and 30 stories in them, (all are full) and those stories are all the old ones. None of my new ones from the last seven or eight years are in there. Not a one. Those cabinets are just the old stories I haven’t even thought of looking at yet. Many only have the typed draft in there.

Files

The idea of even opening one of those drawers and starting into those stories just gives me the shakes. I’d rather just let those sit and mold and write new ones.

So what does that have to do with cash streams? Well, that picture is of the old world. A short story had one cash stream, maybe a reprint sale, if lucky. And in those days we talked of sell-through, meaning how many stories did you have to write to sell one.

Now all the stories I have written for this challenge will have maybe over a dozen cash streams each, more as the years go by and I find new ways to keep the stories moving.

So this book that will have all these stories in it and all the articles about writing the stories and all these topics of the night will just be one cash stream for these stories. I talked about some of the main ones a numbers of days back.

But my point tonight was to be clear that this is a new world, only six or seven years old, if that. We are all learning and figuring out new ways to get our work to readers. And that’s fun.

A ton more fun than writing a story, having Kris read it, and then have that story vanish into one of those metal cabinets.

One of the reasons I keep those cabinets full of short fiction in my office is to remind me of that old world. And around the top of my office I have about fifty or so of the covers from my media books to remind me of writing for a check and never seeing another dime.

At some point, I’ll take down the covers and move the files to storage where all those unpublished stories won’t haunt me so much. (grin)  But right now I love how they remind me of the old world and how wonderful this new world and multiple cash streams for everything I write, short or long, really is.

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

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 22

— Daily Fiction: 4,400 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 76,400 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,400 words

— Blog Posts: 1,100 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 20,100 words

— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 402 e-mails. Approx. 16,800 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 22 Covers

——–

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 as time goes on. 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

 

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 21

Tuesday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 21 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 21 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.

DAY TWENTY-ONE…

Got out of the house a little after 2 p.m. and headed for the snail mail, then went and did some shopping. When I came out of the store, I noted one of my tires on my old beater van was low and spotted a screw stuck into it.

So off to the tire store I went, dropped it off, walked to the WMG Publishing offices. I worked there on the covers for the last two night’s stories and when the tire place called, I walked back and picked up the car.

Went back to work on the covers and then on sorting some collectables in the warehouse to get ready to sell to the WMG Publishing store. Then off to the grocery store and then finally home around 6 p.m. A lot of running and walking around today.

Worked on e-mail until 7 p.m. when I finally went to take a nap. Then dinner, news, and dishes. I got in here around 9:30 p.m. and it took me two hours to do the assignments.

Then off for another nap in my reading chair. Kris woke me a little after midnight and we went to watch some television. Finally back in here around 1:30 a.m.

I had no sense of even wanting to write a short story. Just tired. So instead, to kill time, I went out to the counter outside my office and started sorting some really old comics. One was called “Tommy Tomorrow of the Planeteers” which was in Showcase put out by DC back in the 1950s.

I loved the idea of Tommy Tomorrow, so I sat down and played with a bunch of title alliterations like that.

So the title Tommy Trusts caught me and I typed that into my story start form and off I went.

But about halfway through, as the character and story sort of revealed itself, I went back and changed the character name and the title. The title is now “Coffee Shop Comedy: A Danny and Dora Story.”

Yup, yet another series. Sigh.

From 2 a.m. until just before 3 a.m. I wrote 950 words.

Took a short break for more iced tea, then wrote 1,000 more words by 3:15 a.m.

Longer break to play with comics a bit longer, then back to write 650 words by 4:30 a.m.

So a total of 2,600 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris said it was “Excellent but sad.” She put a frownie-face on it.  It was a sad story. Sometimes Poker Boy just can’t rescue everyone. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Another series and novel.

I have written 22 stories in this challenge now in 21 days. Or if you count the story on June 30th, I have written 23 stories in 22 days.

What I am finding amazing are the ideas that are developing that I never, ever would have thought of if I hadn’t sat down and just worked at writing into the dark on a short story night after night after night.

I think there are five new novels that will come out of this month so far and I’m only 2/3 of the way through. And a number of stories in series worlds that will help the series as well.

And like tonight, new series. I am excited about Danny and Dora, actually. (Think Burns and Allen going around the country solving crimes between stand-up routines.) Way, way too much fun and right up my comedy ally, even though this story tonight had no real comedy in it.

So now I am going to say something that so many young writers out there will find just flat horrid. Ready?

I think this same principle that is working for me in this short story challenge, the discovering of stories and ideas I never would have had without the challenge, is almost exactly the same as walking into a physical bookstore.

For example, Kris and I were in Vegas not too long ago and toured a museum there that had a gift shop with books. I bought seven books that never would have occurred to me in a million years to go look up on Amazon or Kobo or online anywhere.

I didn’t know they existed. Thus I was not looking for them.

That happens to me in every bookstore I walk into.

Every single one.

Yes, I know, electronic books are the savior of the world and they sure have helped us build WMG Publishing and Kris and I buy books online all the time. So I know, I know…

But bookstores can exist as well, right with electronic books, and physical bookstores serve a function and a form of search. You know, the search that happens when you don’t know what you are looking for until you see it.

That has happened to me in this challenge. Danny and Dora might be a major series for me. Damned if I know until I write some books in it. But I do know for a fact that without stumbling along in this challenge, being free to allow myself to write whatever comes to mind, Danny and Dora and a bunch of other series and novels will now exist that never would have existed before.

I love going down the hill to the wonderful used bookstore below our house and just roaming the narrow aisles between the stacks. I find old books, new books, and a ton of stuff that never once would I have gone to the computer and searched for, and no algorithm on Amazon or any other site would have brought them to me either.

The value of stumbling and falling and finding gold.

I love the feel of discovery in any bookstore, online or physical, and I love the feel of discovery in this challenge.

To me, they both feel the same.

(Note: If you are going to make an Amazon Derangement Syndrome comment or a Barnes & Noble Derangement Syndrome comment, please don’t. I won’t let them through, so save your words for something of value.)

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

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 21

— Daily Fiction: 2,600 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 72,000 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: 19,000 words

— E-mail: 27 e-mails. Approx. 1,600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 391 e-mails. Approx. 16,200 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 2. Covers finished month-to-date: 21 Covers

——–

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 as time goes on. 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 12, Day 20

Monday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 20 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 20 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.

DAY TWENTY…

Didn’t get going and get out of the house today until around 3 p.m. I went out to the WMG store to talk, then headed to get the snail mail, then to walk with another professional writer to try to get some exercise.

A stop after that at the grocery store and off to WMG Publishing offices to work on formatting Smith’s Monthly. I got so busy doing that, I forgot to do a cover for last night’s story. So two covers tomorrow (or later on today since the sun is coming up as I write this.)

I then headed home around 7 p.m., took a short nap, had dinner, watched the news, and did the dishes. Then back in here around 9 p.m. to do the workshop assignments.

Then around 10:30, feeling like crap, I sat down and took another hour nap in my reading chair.

Still feeling like crap, I went to watch some television. Nope, not feeling any better.

So finally, around 1:30 a.m. on the verge of just tossing it in for the night, I sat down to try to write something.

I came up with a title from the half-title pages that again doesn’t matter because I changed it twice before I finished and then changed it at the end once again. Have no memory of what I actually started with.

But it got me going on a Poker Boy story.

By 2:15 a.m. I had written 1,000 words.

A short break for part of a banana and iced tea, then back to write 1,100 words before 3 a.m.

Another short break for some peanut butter and more iced tea, then 1,000 more words by 3:40 a.m.

Another short break for some lunch meat and peanut butter and another 1,100 words by 4:45 a.m.

Short break for more banana, then 1,200 words to finish the story by 5:45 a.m.

5,400 words. A story called “Leaking a Life Away: A Poker Boy Story.”

Not bad for a night I was about to give up and go to bed.

And on total words written on what I keep track of below, I am now past 100,000 words for the month so far. A decent month and climbing.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris liked it. She thought it cute. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Another way of looking at money.

I used to look at sales to try to calculate money, but as I have talked about over the last four or five topics, I now go to Return on Investment. (ROI)

But a number of people have asked me if I still thought the five sales a month was a good number.

Well, sure, on average over all the titles and if you are selling your short fiction for 99 cents, which was the price we all put on short fiction back when I first started writing about that number.

But say you do sell five stories at 99 cents. You get .35 per story or $1.75 per month.  That’s only $21.00 per year.  Or about 7% ROI. Still not bad, but not what I would want. (Of course, go back and look at the topics where I talk about other income streams as well. I am being basic here.)

If you sell your stories at $2.99, you make $2.00. If you sold 5 per month at that level, you would make $10 per month or $120 per year. About a 400% return on investment. (Again, for how I got all these numbers, go back four or five topics.)

But as we all know, price is helpful in many cases to sales. However, there is still a 99 cent ghetto in pricing you have to be careful on. I tend to want to think of my stories as having value and if I want to do a short-time sale, I have room to move from $2.99. But a 99 cent original price gives me no place to move.

So set your own way of looking at things and your own price for your own reasons. I love the ROI way because I like looking at writing, when I am finished with a story or novel, as a business. And ROI is how businesses, especially concerning lasting property, work.

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 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

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 20

— Daily Fiction: 5,400 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 69,400 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,400 words

— Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 17,700 words

— E-mail: 22 e-mails. Approx. 1,400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 364 e-mails. Approx. 14,600 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 19 Covers

——–

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 as time goes on. 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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And twenty of them now exist... Amazing, huh? And hard to hold. Here I am holding the first five...

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TWO NEW ISSUES COMING

ISSUES IN ORDER

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 #11… Aug 3rd … Advanced Depth
Class #12… Aug 3rd … Character Voice/Setting
Class #13… Aug 3rd … Pacing Your Novel
Class #14… Aug 3rd … Ideas into Stories
Class #15… Aug 4th … Character Development
Class #16… Aug 4th … Depth in Writing
Class #17… Aug 4th … Making a Career
Class #18… Aug 5th … Designing Covers
Class #19… Aug 5th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #20… Aug 5th … How to Write Science Fiction

Class #21… Sept 7th … Pitches and Blurbs
Class #22… Sept 7th … How to Write Thrillers
Class #23… Sept 7th … How to Write Science Fiction
Class #24… Sept 7th … Character Voice/Setting
Class #25… Sept 8th … Character Development
Class #26… Sept 8th … Depth in Writing
Class #27… Sept 8th … Making a Career
Class #28… Sept 9th … Cliffhangers
Class #29… Sept 9th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #30… Sept 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

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