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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

 

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.
Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

 

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.
Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

 

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 19

Sunday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 19 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 19 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 NINETEEN…

Made it just fine to the writer’s lunch at 2 p.m. which was great fun and we talked a ton about accounting of indie publishing. Got some great ideas and I got rid of a horrid misconception I had been working under for some time now.

Then to WMG Publishing offices where I did the cover for the story from last night.

(I might be the only one, but I am really enjoying how all these covers are looking. Kind of makes the stories feel real to me.)

I worked on formatting Smith’s Monthly until 6:30 and then headed home. I spent the next hour at home doing workshop assignment stuff. The “time of great forgetting” is making the workshops easy this month for me. I got everything done in one hour. Sunday nights usually have taken me three or four hours most months.

Then I went to watch the news, have dinner, and wash dishes. (Loading the dishwasher.)

Back in here around 10 p.m. and spent an hour doing some research and then watching a little of a magic show that Kris hates but I love. Then at 11 p.m. I went to work on a new story.

This one came also from the half-title sheet.  I saw a half title “Slept Here” and then a second half-title from a different decade of old magazines “Nobody was.” I dropped one word and slammed them together into “Nobody Slept Here” and off I went.

I knew at once that title was a Ghost of a Chance story because I was wondering how my ghost and my superhero were going to have sex in the novel that was suggested by the story earlier in the challenge “Roses Around the Moment.” So figured I would write a short story trying to figure that problem out.

First two paragraphs of the story are:

How can a ghost make love to a live superhero?

That was the problem that Ghost of a Chance Agent Eve Bryson and superhero Deputy McCall Cascade had been trying to figure out for their first week as a team.

So I wrote 800 words by midnight before going to watch some television. Kris and I watched the documentary called “The Wrecking Crew” that every writer should watch, even though it is about music. Amazing stuff in there.

Then by 2 a.m. I was back in here and writing. I did 1,300 more words and then took a break around 3 a.m.

I love the Ghost of a Chance stories and novels, sort of crazy cousins to Poker Boy, so they write easily. I did another 1,100 words by 4 a.m. to finish the story.

3,200 words total.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris liked it, which surprised me. I figured that one would be the first miss. Again, author being stupid and making judgements on his own work. Never learn. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Common Sense

Tommy Tedesco, the great guitar player that part of “The Wrecking Crew” was focused on, had a great quote in the documentary. He said simply:

“I spend all day practicing common sense.”

I try to do that as well, and I sure wish more writers would do the same. So many, many, many things about publishing are just not common sense.

If writers practiced common sense, we wouldn’t have the rantings of Preston, the idiocies of giving a gardener 15% of your property for the life of the property, the stupidity of selling your work for a few cents per sale when you can get 70% of the total price if you learn a few things, the insanity of limiting your work to only one bookstore and then allowing that bookstore to only give you .0006 cents per page view, as if that can even be tracked, which is even more of a limit.

And let me not forget, sighing away all rights to your property for the life of the copyright in exchange for a few thousand dollars.

And so many more things in publishing that break all feeling of common sense.

Practicing Common Sense.

Such a simple thing to say, such an impossible thing for fiction writers to stop and do it seems.

So I am going to continue, as long as I can, practicing common sense every day. And making a living at writing and publishing.

And when you hear something that hits the little alarm button in your mind, stop and practice some common sense. Take what you have heard and move it to the real world of business and see if what you heard makes common sense.

You might just be stunned at what you see through the filter of common sense.

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

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 19

— Daily Fiction: 3,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 64,000 words  

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

— Blog Posts: 1,000 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 16,800 words

— E-mail: 19 e-mails. Approx. 900 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 342 e-mails. Approx. 13,200 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. 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.
Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

 

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 18

Saturday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 18 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 18 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 EIGHTEEN…

Crawled out late at 2:30 p.m. and by 4 p.m. I had gotten the snail mail, then gone to the grocery store, then to the WMG Publishing offices.

I spent three hours there, until 7 p.m., working on formatting Smith’s Monthly and I also did a cover for the story last night. (Takes me about ten minutes to do a cover for the short stories I am doing.)

Then home for a quick nap, which I didn’t get because I got interested in something on television, then dinner, dishes, and into this office to finish up e-mail.

Then stunningly, it was only 9 p.m., so I moved over to my writing computer and was looking at my half-title sheets when I noticed the phrase “Something Wasted On.” I kept looking for another half title to go with it, then decided that was a great title all by itself.

So off I went and by 10:30 p.m. I had 900 words done.

Then off to take a nap. Then watched some television and made it back into here around 1 a.m.

By 2:30 a.m. I had written another 950 words and finished the story at 1,850 words.

I took a break, started to look for another title for another short story, then remembered I had to get in the next Smith’s Monthly to the copyeditor by Monday. (Not the one I was formatting all afternoon. This was the next one. There is always two or three Smith’s Monthly issues in progress at any given time. Nature of a monthly magazine.)

So instead of doing a second story, I turned to working on the serial novel that is running in Smith’s Monthly right now called Easy Shot: A Golf Thriller.

To get the 8,000 plus words ready that was the four chapters for the next issue of the magazine, it took me about an hour and 500 original words to bridge some gaps and such in the already written material.

Then after a break, I moved over to this internet computer and wrote a 700 word introduction to the issue of Smith’s Monthly I am turning in on Monday.

Then I spent the next period of time flowing in the stories and the novel series and getting the turn-in file ready, including doing the introductions to the four stories in the issue.

So got done with everything around 5 a.m. and Kris has the introduction and the new story to read in the morning.

Total for the day is 2,350 words of fiction, 700 words of nonfiction.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris read yesterday’s Thunder Mountain story and wanted to know where the novel was. Yup, another story that will be yet another novel in the Thunder Mountain world. So I now have the Thunder Mountain novels Grapevine Springs and Idanha Hotel to write. Great fun.

Not counting the Seeders novel or the Ghost of a Chance novel. Wow, this challenge is really gunning the novels in line to take off.

Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Love of Short Fiction

After three nights of talking about the business of short fiction, and how Return on Investment would work for these short stories, tonight seems to be the right time to mention one other fact.

If you don’t read short stories, don’t love them with a passion, don’t bother.

No matter how logical it would seem or how good the business might be of doing them in your series.

Writing anything for money or to game some publishing system is always a fool’s game at best and flat stupid at worst.

Always write for love.

Now understand, I wrote Star Trek, Men in Black, Spider-Man, X-Men, and a bunch of novelizations for movies I loved. I loved all of those. Still do.

But at times along the way, I said yes to projects I didn’t love. I didn’t follow my own advice. I always had my reasons and my reasons were always stupid in hindsight. And usually concerned money.

And those were always the worst projects, the ones that went nowhere. The projects that took far, far too much emotional baggage to deal with.

So this writing a short story a day might look easy from the other side of the screen. But unless you are a fan of short fiction, read it regularly in magazines, have always worked at short stories in one form or another, don’t try this. You will be doomed to failure and more harm to your writing and confidence than you can imagine.

Write what you love and read.

I was told that advice a long time ago and it stuck with me.

And now, over forty years later, that advice has always been the best advice I ever got. I made mistakes and didn’t always follow it. But when I returned to writing what I loved, I was always happier and what I wrote was always better.

Just a thought for the night.

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

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 18

— Daily Fiction: 2,350 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 60,800 words  

— Nonfiction: 700 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 2,400 words

— Blog Posts: 1,000 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 15,800 words

— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 323 e-mails. Approx. 12,300 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 18 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 17

Friday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 17 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 17 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 SEVENTEEN…

Crawled out around 2 p.m. and by 3:30 p.m. I was out at the WMG Publishing store, having a blast talking collectables. Then off to the snail mail, the store, and to the WMG Publishing offices.

I worked there on formatting Smith’s Monthly and I also did the cover for the story from last night.

Home by 7 p.m., then to take a short nap, news, dinner, and dishes. Made it in here around 9:30 p.m. to work on e-mail and other things. I had hoped to get an earlier start on a story tonight, but alas, that was not to happen.

I went to sit in my chair for a short nap and work up after 11 p.m., even more exhausted. Go figure.

Off to watch some television, then in here around 1:30 a.m.

Out of curiosity, I did a run-through of the different series I had done in the first 17 stories in this challenge. I wanted to see before I started looking for a title if any of the series seemed to jump out at me that I hadn’t done yet.

I have done one Pilgrim Hugh story, two Seeders Universe stories, three Bryant Street stories, two Ghost of a Chance stories, and one Poker Boy and one Thunder Mountain story.

So 10 of the 17 stories had been in my series, plus I started a new series in one of those. Maybe. Of my major story series, I had not done a Doc Hill, Cold Poker Gang, Buckey the Space Pirate, or Brian Saber story yet. Still about half the challenge left to go, so still lots of time if a story happened to spring in one of them.

Not trying to, just wanted to see.

So at 2 a.m. I moved to the writing computer and got two half-titles, which again tonight didn’t matter. I started typing from the title I had come up with and instantly changed the title.

The story I started writing was set in my Thunder Mountain universe. I titled it “Idanha Hotel” which fits the story completely.

I did 1,400 words by 3 a.m.

Took a break, did another 1,000 words by 4 a.m.

Another short break and finished the story with 1,550 words by 5:10 a.m.

3,950 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris read yesterday’s story and was very worried about it because I took Poker Boy into a place that I knew Poker Boy should never go. It was only an information story, something I had to explain, basically, so after I said that, she was fine with it and said the story as a story worked fine. Thanks, Kris! For protecting my fun character.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Making a Living with Short Fiction

I have done a couple blogs in the past about making a living with short fiction. So after the last two topics here about money made and return on investment, the question then becomes, “Can a writer make a living on short fiction only?”

My automatic answer is sure.

Back when traditional was the only path, my automatic answer was, “Almost impossible.”

So let me use the math from the last two nights, cut back some because not everyone has Smith’s Monthly to get income from stories.

Let me just say for the sake of this topic tonight, a short story through indie only can generate through various channels (stand alone, collections, bundles, audio, and so on) $30 per year.  (About 10% ROI.)

So what is making a living?

For the sake of this, why not say $40,000 per year is making a living.

So the goal is to make a living off your 10% ROI every year.

Math is simple if that is all there would be. $40,000 divided by $30 = 1,330 short stories, give or take, to generate, on average $30 per story or about $40,000 per year.

1,330 investments.

Now, I am sure that a lot of you just laughed at that number.

Shows a really bad attitude if you did. Shows your critical voice has stopped you if you laughed at how absurd that number seems to you.

Say you wrote a story per week, 50 per year. 27 years you would have that many. (And if you want to say that is too long, remember that I sold my first two short stories in 1974.  Yeah, 41 years ago thank you very much.)

If you did 100 short stories per year (about ten hours per week), that would cut that time in half to about 14 years. Very, very possible for many writers with the correct attitude and a desire to write short stories.

So that’s just indie.

What about adding in hybrid sales as well, sales to the hundreds of markets out there and around the world for short fiction??

This is the new golden age for short fiction and more magazines paying professional rates have sprung up around the world than I could even begin to keep track of.

So say every story you wrote you sent to regular paying magazines that paid at least 5 cents per word.  (A 3,000 word short story would get you $150.00 in one check, which is about 5 years of indie sales. And when one of your stories appears in a magazine, you advertise your other stories to everyone reading the magazine.)

You gave every story one year or more to find a market before putting it out indie and starting the $30 per year clock going on it.

By selling some of the stories you write every year to traditional (and then putting them up later after they have been published in indie), you can again cut the timeline it will take to make a living with your short fiction.

So here are the basics:

— You must love short fiction of all lengths, from short-short to novellas. And all genres.

— You must continue to study the craft of fiction, learning how to be a better storyteller.

— You must be able to get out of your own way and produce a short story in three or four hours. No rewriting.

— You must be able to be a good marketer to magazines all over the world.

— You must have a great web site that helps people find your stuff easily. Organized.

— You must price your short fiction at $2.99 electronic, do paper copies and audio copies as well.

— You must be able to do everything yourself and be organized. Everything means doing covers, interior layout, and getting the work out on the various sites. You must have a good copyeditor for each story to find typos. (See all my math from the last few days.)

— You must put all your stories into collections. Usually themed collections. Collections than can get into various bundles and can be advertised on different reader sites and programs.

— You must keep your stories churning, meaning every few years you find a way to make a story active again. This gets more and more difficult the more stories you have. Be original. It’s a new world.

— You must be in the chase for the long haul. Can you make a living in two years? Nope. Five years? More than likely not without some real skill and a bunch of luck.  Ten years? Maybe, if you don’t lose site of your goal, as many writers do within weeks instead of years.

So is it possible to make a living with your short fiction? Sure.

Will many do so? Sadly, no.


———-

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

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 17

— Daily Fiction: 3,950 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 58,450 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,700 words

— Blog Posts: 1,300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,800 words

— E-mail: 10 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 312 e-mails. Approx. 12,000 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 18 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 16

Thursday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 16 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 16 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 SIXTEEN…

Out of bed early and to a meeting at 2 p.m. Then back to WMG at 4 p.m., then out to the WMG store, then to banks, then back to the WMG offices.

I stayed there until 7:30 and worked on various stuff, including the cover for last night’s story below. Then home for dinner, news, dishes. Actually managed a little nap ahead of the news.

Then up into this office by 9:30 p.m. and worked for a time cleaning up stuff, then went to take an hour nap in my reading chair. Then off to watch some television.

By the time it was all said and done, it was 1:30 a.m. before I got in here and then I spent an hour working on various workshop stuff.

So at 2:30 a.m. (sort of annoyed at myself that I had spent so much time on other stuff), I moved to my writing computer. I crammed to half-titles together that now make no difference other than they got me writing.

And I started writing a Poker Boy story. And about one hour later I had 1,200 words and had changed the title to “Gods Have History: A Poker Boy Story.”

And I knew I was writing the story I had been putting off for a few years. Not sure why I figured now was the time. And I sure didn’t have a story. More of a revelation. But I always knew about this part of Poker Boy, just never had gotten to it.

So I took a small break, back at it by 3:30 a.m. I managed another 1,00o words, took a break at 4:20 a.m., then fired off the last 1,400 words by 5:15 a.m.

3,600 total words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris read yesterday’s story and liked it and called it creepy. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Return on Investment

Return on Investment (ROI) is not a way 99.9% of all writers look at their fiction.

However, any business person in the real world with a piece of property looks at ROI. Or most business people who have all sorts of investments look at ROI as the main measuring stick to making or not making an investment.

You ever wonder why you don’t save much these days? Because the interest rates of most savings accounts or CDs are laughable. And if the account has any fees, the bank is making money by using your money.

Interest rate on a savings account is a basic ROI.

Copyright is what we all produce when we create a story or novel or other piece of work committed to a form.

Copyright is a form of property.

It is why when someone gives an agent 15% of their property for the life of their property for a few hours work, I equate it with giving the gardener 15% of your home ownership because the gardener mowed your lawn a few times.

So yesterday, I did the math on a possible income over a ten year period from each of these stories I am writing. I did not include a lot of income streams such as audio and bundles and so on. Kept it to the basics that I know I will use these stories for.

The math, conservative sales, worked out that each story I write over the next ten years will earn safely $418.00. Or about 14 cents a word for a 3,000 word story.

And, of course, after ten years the story will keep earning and that word rate will continue upward year after year.

So as a couple people who know business asked, what is my ROI on each story?

To figure ROI, I need to figure the cost of my investment.

First off, I tend to like to think of my time as worth about $50.00 per hour.

So to figure my costs, I need to figure that it will take me about 4 hours (rounded up) to write a 3,000 words story.  So that’s $200 in costs.

It will take me about one hour total to put each of these stories up as stand-alone and also get them into collections and Smith’s Monthly and do the covers. So that’s another $50.00.

I assume $20 for art and $20 for copyediting.  Add $10 more for extra expenses and that comes to another $50.00.

So $300 costs per story.

That is my base cost. My investment.

I hope to make at least 10% return on investment on that per year. (In business, a 10% annual return is often fantastic. Major traditional publishers hope to work on a 4% return and are happy when they hit that.)

So to make a 10% return on my $300 investment, I would need to make $30 per year from that short story. (See last night on the income streams.)

Now, as I did last night, over ten years each story in this challenge will make around $418.00 total. That’s the way writers like to look at things.

But looking at it from a property/business standpoint, my ROI on that short story is higher than 10% by a ways. I will make on average $41.80 per year.

That is pretty close to a 14% ROI per year. Wow, just wow.

And again, not counting any sales channels but the standard ones I have set up and detailed last night.

So from this month of story challenges, if I get 30 stories done, I will make going into the future about $1,250 per year.  In ten years, from this month’s work I will have made about $12,500.00. (Assuming, of course, that over those ten years I keep these stories in some form of active status every few years.)

Ask yourself… how much investment money would you have to put in a ten year CD at todays rates to make $12,500.00????

And the money from the short stories will just continue on into the future after the ten years.

Even if the sales of these slow down after a time, they can slow a pretty good ways and still keep me making 10% return on investment on my time and expenses this month to write these stories.

Just a sort of basic way to understand the value of long-term thinking and steady sales.

And why doing a challenge like this has value in this new world of publishing.

Plus, it’s great fun.


———-

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

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 16

— Daily Fiction: 3,600 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 54,500 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,700 words

— Blog Posts: 1,200 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 13,500 words

— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 302 e-mails. Approx. 11,700 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 17 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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Second New Workshop Starting in August: CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

Character Development Online Workshop

After you set up a great character in your opening, then what? How do you develop the character into a living, breathing, memorable character?

This workshop fits with the Depth Workshop and Character Voice Workshop. All three work together and you can take them in any order. Or even all at the same time.

Instead of focusing on only the openings, this workshop will focus on the development of a character through a story. All kinds of characters in every genre.

Characters make a story memorable. We all describe books by the memorable character. A Travis McGee novel. Or a Jack Reacher novel. Or an Alex Cross novel. Or a Dirk Pitt novel. Or a Smokey Dalton novel. Or a Poker Boy story. And on and on and on.

Memorable characters, well-developed characters, are why publishers put the character names on the covers of books. Readers want to read more by those characters.

Among the many areas worked on in this workshop:
— Character background without information dumps that bore.
— Know how to do characters that become the emotional heart of a story.
— Know how to make a character memorable.
— How to make a character become larger-than-life.
— How to make a character come off the page and actually live in reader’s minds.
— Character Pacing
— How to develop memorable, living characters while writing into the dark.
— And so much more, including many, many professional writer tricks of the trade.

There are only seven basic plots. What makes a story unique is the character development. That development is what this workshop is all about.

Important for all genres.

In the Depth Workshop, writers learned how to get readers down into stories with character depth.

In Advanced Depth, the focus is how to open chapters and scenes in different ways, as well as alternate openings.

In the Character Voice Workshop, the study concerned on how to make characters different.

The new Character Development Workshop now takes the character work into the first third and middle of the books, to make characters round and alive and memorable to the readers when they finish your story or book.

Along with the Depth Workshop, this is a don’t miss workshop.

(Limited to 12 writers per workshop as normal. Information on how to sign up under the online workshop tab above or at www.wmgpublishingworkshops.com )

Note: I will hold this strictly to the limit of 12 writers because of the difficulty on my side of reading and working with each writer on this topic.  So don’t wait to sign up to the last minute on this one.

 

Free Short Story of the Week

For this Week's Free Short Story, Click The Cover

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Smith’s Monthly Subscriptions

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

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

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

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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