Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 17

Year 2, Month 10, Day 17 of this Writing in Public challenge.

I’m back. And I have once again full internet and e-mail.

And yes, Kris and I were out of town, but our house sitter has asked us to not tell the entire planet we are gone until we get back. And if I had had a working computer, this would have looked pretty much the same here. Ahh, well.

So where have I been over the last four days? Actually, in Boise, Idaho, at the Idaho Writers Rendezvous. And it was a blast. In a ton of ways.

Writers invited in were Katherine Neville, Jen Mann, Robin O’Bryant, AK Turner, and Kris and me, among others. And they had editors and agents as well. Standard writer conference in that way. But one of the editors was writer John Helfers, who is great fun to hang around with and who is one of the editors at the Anthology workshop every year here.

I had a signing for two hours at a wonderful bookstore in downtown Boise called Rediscovered Books. Sold a lot of books, saw some old friends (I was born and raised in Boise), and had great fun. John sat with me for the two hours and we just had a blast talking with people and other writers. A fantastic bookstore.

And I met some wonderful people as well at the conference. I did one hour long class on how I got from Boise to media writing in Hollywood. And another hour long class on how to be a long-term professional writer. (I might have been my standard blunt self in that one. Oh, oh…)

Anyway, I want to give a huge shout-out of thanks right here to Doug and Joanne and Bruce and everyone who worked at the conference or helped put it on. It was wonderful.

And next May, you folks will want to go. It’s one of those small conferences that are great fun. And if you haven’t been in downtown Boise in the last 10 or so years, you are in for a wonderful surprise. One of the nicest downtowns I have had the pleasure to spend time in.

Did you know that Boise has an entire old historical cabin that is just a writer’s organization that works to help kids and adults get writing. Never seen anything like it. It’s called The Cabin.

And for god’s sake, eat dinner at The Fork, which is in an old bank building. Stunning food, and right across the street from Rediscovered Books.

And part of the Saturday Market stretches through six or so blocks of the downtown area.

My internet problems stemmed from my iPad, which I thought would be enough, flat didn’t work for some of the e-mail addresses people have, and doing this blog was almost impossible. In fact, a couple nights, I almost forgot it entirely. Did those placeholders to just keep the streak going a little longer. So if I was slow responding to anyone, I am very sorry. And if you sent me something and I still haven’t responded, try again.

WORKSHOPS

I spent hours working on the e-mail this evening after we got home, then watched some television and managed to get the workshop assignments done and out.

THE DAY

Got up this morning in Pendleton, Oregon, and we made it home around 8 p.m.

THE WRITING

Nope. Travel and workshop stuff. Sure hope all of you know about the StoryBundle.com bundle of writing books. There are some amazing books in there. Including one of mine and one of Kris’s books.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Travel and Research.

Idanha Hotel

On the way out of Boise yesterday, Kris and I did a little drive around parts of historic Boise where I am setting much of the Thunder Mountain Books. I even found the mansion out on Warm Springs Avenue I patterned the Institute after. I wrote it all from memory of always seeing that great old home when I was growing up, and it seems I was darned close, which surprised me.

I have one novel in the Thunder Mountain series called Warm Springs. Another called The Edwards Mansion after another mansion down Warm Springs Avenue. And yet another novel called Avalanche Creek which is a room name in the old Idanha Hotel, which is still there. Kris and John and I managed to get into part of it for fun. The picture is one I took of the old hotel from across the street. Avalanche Creek is the fifth floor corner room on the right of the picture. The rooms with the rounded windows.

Mansion

And we went out to the old site of the original Edwards Mansion, which was back in my family and torn down in the 1960s. The picture above is one I took of the mansion I remembered out on Warm Springs Avenue and used to pattern the fictional Institute after. Until we drove past it, I didn’t even realize how close I had gotten to the building sitting there.

Here’s a picture of me in one of my classes taken by Heather Dyer.

Heather Dyer picture

Totals For Year 2, Month 10, Day 17

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 14,450 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 5,350 words

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 5,900 words

— E-mail: 65 e-mails. Approx. 3,600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 368 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 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 10, Day 16

One last placeholder post to keep this streak going for the moment. Sunday night I’ll be back doing regular posts and then get another chapter of Stages of a Fiction Writer up on Monday or Tuesday.

Fun times these last four days. I’ll explained tomorrow and why the computer problems.

 

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 15

Almost forgot to even put up a placeholder post tonight.

Again, those of you using hotmail or maqmail or something like that, I will respond to your emails on Sunday. Can’t do it at the moment since my main e-mail address is bounced by those.

I’ll explain what’s been going on Sunday evening. Until then, keep writing and having fun.

Night.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 14

Still not back to fully connected, so another placeholder post.

I got a lot of mail done by my iPad today. But again, I could not get mail out to anyone with a hotmail or internet host like that. But I will in a few days, so no worries.

I’ll explain it all when it’s all clear later this weekend.

Nothing to worry about.  In the mean time, go down a couple posts and get that writing book bundle. It’s one of the best I’ve seen and I’m proud to be a part of it.

 

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 13

Placeholder post tonight so I don’t miss my streak.

Having some internet issues and doing this from my iPad.

So nothing tonight. If you didn’t get an e-mail response from me, hold on, I’ll get the e-mail up and running tomorrow.

Night

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Writing Into the Dark in THE WRITE STUFF BUNDLE

The rough drafts of the chapters of Writing into the Dark are now deleted as I promised I would do when the book came out.

I have sent the book to all Patreon supporters, so if you didn’t get it, let me know.

And the book is published on all sites, in both paper and in electronic editions.

But for the next few weeks, the best way to get the book, and some fantastic other writing books, is in a brand new bundle. Some stunning books in this one, maybe one of the best writing bundles I have seen. Kris did a great job putting this one together. (She talks about that process and the books on a blog on the site that I copied below.)

And if you buy the bundle, you can get 40% off on Jutoh. Nifty.

So get this bundle. Some fantastic books by some top writers.

Get the bundle at: http://storybundle.com/writing

All Covers Jutoh Large

Here is the blog post Kris wrote about this bundle and all the writers in it.

—–

THE WRITE STUFF BUNDLE

Curated by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Writers need to know a little bit about everything. Fortunately, we have the internet for those pesky questions that come up in the middle of writing a novel. But sometimes, we need more in-depth knowledge, knowledge tailored to writers themselves.

I put together this bundle of writing books with an eye to knowledge. Initially, I called this the “craft bundle” because I thought all of the books were going to be how-to-write books. But most how-to-write books discuss business, and many business books on publishing discuss how to write.

So instead of focusing strictly on craft, I decided to treat this bundle like a nonfiction writing anthology. The bundle touches on everything you need to write and to have a career in writing.

I have one personal rule about writing books: the authors of the books need real writing credentials. So many people who write books on writing have never published fiction or had a real writing career.

But not here. We have worldwide bestsellers, award-winners, and career writers of longstanding. Every single writer here has lived the writing life—and has much to say about it.

We have four craft books in the bundle, provided by Dean Wesley Smith, Jerrold Mundis, Vonda McIntyre, and Judith Tarr. Dean wrote Writing Into The Dark for all the writers who don’t like outlining before they start a project. That book goes hand in hand with Jerry’s book, Break Writer’s Block Now! If writing into the dark won’t stop you from freezing before blank screen, then Jerry’s book will. Vonda’s book, Pitfalls of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, has excellent craft advice even if you don’t want to write in those two genres. And finally, Judy’s book, Writing Horses: The Fine Art of Getting It Right is a godsend for those of us who write fantasy, historical, or western fiction.

We have books that focus on the form your writing can take, be they short stories, novels, or audio books. Douglas Smith wrote the definitive book on all aspects of a short story writer’s career, from completion to publication and republication. You can find all that wisdom in Playing The Short Game. Bob Mayer gives you everything you need to know about writing novels to selling them in The Novel Writer’s Toolkit. J. Daniel Sawyer teaches you how to turn those prose pieces into podcasts and audiobooks in Making Tracks.

We have a book that focuses on business as well. Leah Cutter’s Business For Breakfast divides the writing business into bite-sized pieces for easy digestion.

And then there are the books on the writing life. Chuck Wendig’s 30 Days in The Word Mines gives you a peek into a writer’s day to day existence, with lots of writing tips to help you through. Laura Resnick’s classicRejection, Romance, & Royalties shows, as the subtitle puts it, “the wacky world of a working writer.” My own,The Write Attitude, helps writers pick themselves up and dust themselves off when the writing world becomes wacky—as it so often does.

Plus, we have a marvelous bonus item. The kind folks who developed Jutoh have contributed a 40% off coupon for their product. If you’re doing your own publishing, you want Jutoh. Once you’ve set up the program, it takes very little time to create epubs in various formats (with a cover, without a cover, Smashwords-specific version, etc.). And with all the checks and tools, you can be completely confident that you have a top-of-the-line epub that will pass even the strictest e-retailer demands. The program is worth its weight in gold.

So here it is: Everything you need to know to write what you want, how you want to write it, what to do with it when you’re done, and how to survive the perils and pitfalls of a writing career.

We pretty much covered it all in one neat bundle. If I could tie it with a bow, I would.

Enjoy! – Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The initial titles in the bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

  • The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer
  • Writing Into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith
  • Playing the Short Game by Douglas Smith
  • Making Tracks – A Writer’s Guide to Audiobooks by J. Daniel Sawyer
  • Rejection, Romance & Royalties by Laura Resnick
  • Business For Breakfast – Vol 1: The Beginning Professional Writer by Leah Cutter

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you’ll get another five books, plus a very special code for 40% off Jutoh, an indispensable book creation tool for all platforms!

  • Break Writer’s Block Now! by Jerrold Mundis
  • Writing Horses – The Fine Art of Getting It Right by Judith Tarr
  • The Write Attitude by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Pitfalls of Writing Fantasy by Vonda N. McIntyre
  • 30 Days in the Word Mines by Chuck Wendig
  • 40% Discount Code! by Jutoh – get 40% off your Jutoh purchase!

And as always, you can support our two favorite charities with every purchase: Girls Write Now and Mighty Writers. Both causes help nurture future generations of writers. It’s a cause very important to us (we love reading!) and we’d love it if you could help them out.

The bundle is available for a very limited time only, via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 12

Year 2, Month 10, Day 12 of this Writing in Public challenge.

WORKSHOPS

I spent a lot of my day on workshops today. I recorded the comments for the Strength workshop that Kris and I wanted to say. I did that after the WMG Meeting.

Then home to take a short nap, then I worked on the assignments, getting people back letters until around 1 a.m.

THE DAY

Tuesday meeting. Then workshop stuff and The Voice until 1 a.m.

Then I worked on clearing out the Writing into the Dark posts and doing the post on the nifty new bundle that Writing into the Dark is in. Trust me, folks, there are some top books there. Just Douglas Smith’s book on short story writing and business is worth the cost.

THE WRITING

Nope. Workshop stuff. And Bundle stuff.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Nothing tonight. Calling it a night early since I have to be up early tomorrow.

——————–

Totals For Year 2, Month 10, Day 12

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 14,450 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 5,350 words

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 5,100 words

— E-mail: 37 e-mails. Approx. 2,700 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 303 e-mails. Approx. 14,900 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 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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Advanced Depth Workshop Announced

ADVANCED DEPTH ONLINE WORKSHOP STARTING IN JUNE

Since it became clear last fall that the Depth Online Workshop was really helping people, Kris and I have been talking about doing different workshops in the same style. In the depth workshop there are examples of how depth is built.

We thought about doing that with the character and with pacing workshops, but finally came to the conclusion that it all needed to be combined in one Advanced Depth Online Workshop.

We finally just finished putting the bones of this workshop together, so figured it was time to announce it.

Requirement: You must have already taken the Depth workshop to take this one. This takes off where the Depth workshop ended.

And here are just a few of the many things we are going to cover in this workshop.

— How to hold readers in chapter and scene openings, once you have a reader down at depth.
— Shortcuts of depth.
— How to set character mood to help depth.
— How to use suspense to increase the power of depth in a story.
— How to use the correct levels of depth in different projects.
— Character voice and character attitude in creating depth.
— Depth with tags of all sorts, including character tags and setting tags.
— Depth increased by the correct use of pacing.
— Character pacing to increase depth. (If you don’t think characters inside stories have different pacing levels, just sit in an airport and watch people.)
— Depth killers to avoid. Things that will knock readers out of books faster than anything, such as too many names for the same character (among many other killer problems).

And so much more.

This workshop will also talk regularly about reader expectations in stories. It will be taught in the same style as the first Depth workshop with examples of each concept and assignments to test your skills in certain areas.

If you want to know what levels are possible to take your writing, this is the workshop for you.

It will be an eye-opening workshop, we promise.

We will offer it every month for the next four months. Limited to only twelve writers per month.

If interested and you have already taken the first depth workshop, sign-up information under the Online Workshops Tab.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 10, Day 11

Year 2, Month 10, Day 11 of this Writing in Public challenge.

WORKSHOPS

Finished up three April workshop’s week five assignments and did the first week’s assignments on three May workshops. So a busy night of workshops in this crossover point. Tomorrow night will be the same.

Also Kris and I finally got done with the structure of the Advanced Depth Online workshop and wanted to announce it and get it on the schedule. It’s going to be an amazing one. Taking sign-ups now for June.

Limited to 12 writers. Must have taken the main Depth Online workshop before taking the advanced one since the second one just keeps going after the first one. Depth is offered every month and Advanced will be offered every month for the next four months.

THE DAY

Monday errands day. Managed to get it all done before walking with a friend for most of an hour. Then back to WMG Publishing to work on the redo of a web site to make it mobile friendly. Got the main bones done and it passes the new check, so in a few weeks this one will switch as well. A lot of work between now and then.

THE WRITING

Nope. Web site and workshop stuff.

But I did get to all the Patreon backers the Writing into the Dark book.  The book is going out now and will be in a fantastic new writing books bundle shortly. If you can’t get it downloaded from Patreon, let me know and I’ll send you the files directly.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Advanced Depth Online Workshop.

That workshop is going to be very, very interesting to teach and try to explain a lot of the more advanced concepts. I’m excited about it, actually. Some of this stuff in that workshop will be opening windows to Stage Four. (And yes, I’ll have the next chapter up shortly.)

This new workshop will really challenge the writers taking it and Kris and I at the same time. Great fun and learning for all of us. I know by just setting this up I learned a lot about things I already do as a Stage Four writer, but didn’t think much about. For example, most writers in stage three learn about character tags at one point or another. You want to know about character tags, watch the movie “Sliding Doors” which uses character tags better than any movie I have seen.

But did you know there are setting tags and structure tags that can help you just like character tags can help you hold a reader down in a story if you know what you are doing with them? I use them all the time, just never occurred to me that I did until we started working on this next level of teaching depth in fiction.

Or do you understand the use of echoes to hold readers in stories and build tension?

Going to be fun.

——————–

Totals For Year 2, Month 10, Day 11

— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 14,450 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 5,350 words

— Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 4,300 words

— E-mail: 36 e-mails. Approx. 1,700 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 266 e-mails. Approx. 12,200 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 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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The Top Five Dumbest Business Practices in Publishing

The Top Five Dumbest Business Practices in Publishing

From the real world perspective, publishing is really, really, really known for its head-shakingly stupid business practices. But inside of publishing, these practices have become so common and set in “the way things are done” as to be defended by otherwise sane business people.

So I figured I would honor Dave Letterman’s departure with a quick top five list.

I’ll give the real world equivalent of the publishing practice, then the actual publishing practice, working down to the most stupid publishing practice of them all.

There are many others. I try to deal with a lot of them in the Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing books.

And if this little blog helps you wake up a little and realize you have fallen for one of these “the way things are done” practices, great. But if you keep on doing this stuff, just be warned that what you are doing really, really is flat dumb when looked at from the light of real business.

Drumroll please….

NUMBER FIVE

Real World: Say you are a carpenter and are building a house. You want some expert help on the project, so you start looking for some help. Would you hire someone who has never built a house? Someone who has no degree in architecture. Would you hire even a contractor with no experience and no license and who is a person who has never had a successful project of any sort completed? Of course not. You would go to someone with experience and a license and you would check out the other projects they have done that are successful.

Publishing: You are a writer looking for some expert help with your novel, so you hire a book doctor, someone who has never written a novel, has no experience at all in commercial fiction writing. The book doctor’s only education is from English teachers who could never write a book either. You hire someone who wouldn’t know what would make a book sell if it slapped them. And you pay them a lot of money. In the indie world, this is called hiring a “freelance editor.” Apply common business sense and never hire anyone who had never written a commercial fiction novel to help with your novel. Duh.

NUMBER FOUR

Real World: You walk up to a neighbor’s house you don’t really know, but at a neighborhood block party you met them. You ask the neighbor to give you legal advice about a legal contract you have been offered. The neighbor teaches English at the local high school and is not an attorney. Plus it is against the law in your state (and all states) for someone without a law degree to give legal advice. But since the neighbor on his last trip stayed at Holiday Inn Express (remember those commercials?) he agrees to give you advice on the contract and negotiate it for you. Would you ever do that? Of course not. You would go to a lawyer who knows the area of contracts you have been offered.

Publishing: Recent graduates of college with a bachelors in English who have a business card that says “agent” think nothing of giving legal advice to writers and negotiating the contract for them. And writers let them without a second thought. Apply common business sense and hire an IP attorney to handle your contract and negotiations. Duh.

NUMBER THREE

Real World: You sold your house to strangers five years ago. You got all your money and walked away happy, signing over the rights to the home to the new owners. But then you decide you want your house back, so you walk up to their front door and bang on the door and demand they give you your house back for free. Would you ever do that?  Of course not. You would make them a fair price offer to buy your house back if you felt you really wanted it back.

Publishing: Writers, even though they sold “life of copyright” to a work in a contract, get angry when the publisher just won’t give them their property back for free. This shows no knowledge of copyright as a form of property or the fact that the writer signed a “life of copyright” contract. Apply common sense and if you want your book back, figure out what the company is making on it and make them a fair business offer. Duh.

NUMBER TWO

Real World: You meet some person on the street that you don’t know at all. You don’t bother to check out their criminal history or their credit reports. Just because they smiled at you and said nice things, you offer to have your employer send that person all your money and all the records and paperwork for that money. And then you hope they get around to sending you some of your money from time-to-time. Would you ever do that?  Of course not. If you ever hired someone to work with your money in the real world, they would have to be with a reputable firm, bonded and certified and licensed. You would check out who they are, get their criminal history, their credit reports, and then make sure you got the paperwork and money before they did. Then you would pay them.

Publishing: A writer will meet someone on the street and get a business card that says “agent” on it and then let that person have all their money and all their paperwork for that money. For bestsellers, this totals up into the millions and millions. Apply common sense. Either not have an agent, or if you feel you must have an agent for some silly reason, then make sure you get your money direct from every publisher and all the paperwork on that money. Remember, agents are not licensed or regulated. They are just people off the street. Duh.

NUMBER ONE

The absolute dumbest business practice in all of publishing…

Real World: You hire a gardener to mow your lawn when it needs it. In exchange for that simple task, you offer your gardener 15% of your property for the life of the property, plus seventy years past your death. That means the gardener’s grandkids would be getting money from your grandkids because the gardener mowed your lawn once or twice. Would you do that? Of course not. You would simply pay your gardener by the hour or the project.

Publishing: Every agency agreement, both from agents and inside of publishing contracts, gives an agent on a project 15% of the property (remember, copyright is property) for the life of the copyright which is 70 years past your death. And often the agent gets this for a couple hours work one day and a phone call. Apply common sense. If an agent won’t work for a set fee per property, then hire an IP attorney who is licensed and who can do all the same things an agent would do, only legally. And you only pay one set fee or hourly rate. Duh.

——–

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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