Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 5, Day 12

Year 2, Month 5, Day 12 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Eighth day of writing the novel Warm Springs: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Lots of business today. Up early at noon, and had finished e-mail and was out the door a little after one in the afternoon.

Out to Pop Culture Collectables, then to the mail, then to banks, grabbed some lunch, and went back to WMG offices to work there until 6 p.m. on finally getting the last of the new lecture done. One more step and I’ll make it live.

Then nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and dishes. I went back up to WMG to work for another hour at 8:30, then home.

I was exhausted, so I sat down to rest in my chair for a short time and an hour later Kris woke me up to go and watch some television. I did that and then Kris and I did some brainstorming on this silly novel to try to figure out what had gone wrong.

It seems I wasn’t just stuck in a place in a plot. I had basically written what I needed to write. Oh, oh, no wonder I couldn’t see anything more. There was nothing more for what I sat up in the first of the book. It was done.

Yikes. That doesn’t happen very often to me, and those of you who have been hanging around here for the last year plus and seventeen novels have never seen it happen in that time.

So I did a brief summary of what I had, realized I had written characters who were sort of shells waiting to actually become human, which was part of the problem. Sigh. So Kris and I worked back and forth on the logic of the Thunder Mountain world and who the main characters of that world would be needing. And I realized who the new characters needed to be and then I was fine.

Thanks, Kris. A very unusual place for me to be.

So back at the writing computer around 1:30 and managed, starting from the very first word, about 600 new words in an hour. Took a break, went back at it again, got another 800 words done, mostly just making the characters real with depth. Another break, got just at 1,000 new words by 5 a.m. and decided to come back at it tomorrow. But it’s moving again.

2,400 words. Very happy to have them.

Topic of the Night: Patreon

I used to have donate buttons on these blogs a year or so ago, but dropped them when I started this daily routine. I felt I was doing far, far too much for that sort of thing here.

But you nice folks who have been following this have asked me what you could do to support this blog and the time I spend writing it every night, plus the other articles. I never had an answer.

Then Jonathan, another professional writer here in town, got me looking at Patreon, which has a monthly donation pledge structure for this sort of thing. So I figured why not after getting yet another post about this from another professional writer here in town tonight.

So thanks, Jonathan and Matt. Consider me shoved over the edge of the cliff. (grin)

So in the last hour, I set up a Patreon page.

This new world has so many nifty things about it, and one nifty thing is the ability for artists to get help with their work. And for us to get our work out there in many different ways.

I really resisted this for my own reasons, but after I set up the rewards, I realized I was silly in the resistance. I will also be doing other things this coming year that are on the plans, such as a complete redesign and branding of all the Poker Boy stories and a free short story every week again, and so on. Fun stuff.

So check out the rewards I have put up there on Patreon for different levels of support. Not only does it help support these nightly blogs and the upcoming New World of Publishing articles and Killing Sacred Cows articles, but it helps me get my work out to supporters in a reasonable way.

Reasonable for me, reasonable for supporters.

I don’t expect much from this, since Patreon is mostly geared to the visual and video arts. But it’s fun trying something new.

And in this new world, if we can’t try new things, what’s the point?

So off we go into another experiment.

Click on the image to see the page. And watch the short video if you have never seen my office or Walter White Cat.

Oo4th_patreon_name

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS ONLY

LAKE ROOSEVELT novel done (most written last month).
Day 1…. 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 4,850 words
MARTIAN LOVER novel started.
Day 2…. 3,600 words. Total words to date…. 8,450 words
Day 3…. 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 12,650 words
Day 4…. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 16,050 words
WARM SPRINGS novel started.
Day 5…. 4,250 words. Total words to date…. 20,100 words
Day 6…. 4,550 words. Total words to date…. 24,650 words
Day 7…. 4,950 words. Total words to date…. 29,600 words
Day 8…. 3,450 words. Total words to date…. 33,050 words
Day 9…. 3,150 words. Total words to date…. 36,200 words
Day 10.. 4,550 words. Total words to date…. 40,750 words
Day 11.. 2,650 words. Total words to date…. 43,400 words
Day 12.. 2,400 words. Total words to date…. 45,800 words

(I would need to be at 60,000 novel words to be on the monthly target I set at this point. Really dropping behind the 5,000 word per night level.  Going to need some really large days to get that back on track.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 5, Day 12

— Daily Fiction: 2,400 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 45,800 words  

— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,000 words

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

— E-mail: 16 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 305 e-mails. Approx. 9,800 words

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

HOURS
Day Job Work… 7.5 hours… Total for week… 37.5 hours… Total for month… 76.5 hours
Exercise… .5 hours… Total for week… 1.5 hours…Total for month… 5 hours
Television and naps… 5.5 hours… Total for week… 20.5 hours… Total for month… 53.5 hours
Writing time… 4.5 hours… Total for week… 18.5 hours …Total for month… 50 hours
(The rest of the time is sleeping and showers and stuff like that…Day Job includes e-mail and errands for business only. And doing the Patreon page. This blog time is about an hour tonight and included in the writing hours.)

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. Just click on the image. And thanks.

Oo4th_patreon_name

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 5, Day 11

Year 2, Month 5, Day 11 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Seventh day of writing the novel Warm Springs: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Another storm hit the coast and the entire West Coast today. For some strange reason, our storm here in the central Oregon Coast region was just a normal winter storm for us. Eighty mph gusts of wind, a couple inches of rain. All standard for here. We have storms like this at this level four or five times a winter.

But wow did Seattle, the Washington Coast, where houses are washing away, the inland Oregon valleys, and Northern California get hit. So I hope everyone is all right through the mess in those areas.

I rolled out at noon today and managed to get a lot done before Kris and I headed off to lunch at 2:30 p.m. We ended up getting some major stuff finished at WMG and I mailed Smith’s Monthly #13 and #14 in the same packages since #13 had been completely lost from the printer.

I ended up reordering the entire run, the printer refunded my money for the first batch, and somewhere out there is a very large and heavy box of magazines drifting in the wind. No one has a clue where it ended up. Even tracking shows the box just vanishing.

We got done with everything (including a half hour of exercising) and got home through the storm around 5 p.m. and I worked for another hour here before heading to take a nap with the white cat, then dinner, news, and dishes.

Then at 8:30 Kris and I headed back through the storm to the WMG offices.

We got a bunch of ARCs shipped for upcoming WMG books and I worked on the new lecture.

As the skeleton crew has been saying on FaceBook on the WMG Publishing page (that you folks should go and like), many at WMG Publishing have left for December, leaving only a skeleton crew here manning the huge building and the WMG store. So Kris and I got to actually get in and do some shipping, which was kind of fun, actually.

I did not get the lecture entirely done, so I won’t announce it until tomorrow evening.

Kris and I got home around 11 p.m. and I spent the next two-plus hours watching television and I didn’t get into here after a short nap until around 2 a.m. to write.

I did 1,200 words by 3 a.m., took a short break, did another 1,450 words by 4:15 a.m. and then just flat got stuck.

I have no clue where this book is going and I came banging up on a section break and realized I need to figure out where the section jumped to. Standard stuff for me.

So I did not get that many words done tonight, but the day was productive.

2,650 words. Now just to figure out where the next scene starts by tomorrow and I’ll be fine and dandy.

Topic of the Night: A Writer Trick

This will sound really, really stupid for those of you who do not understand the creative voice. But it is an amazing trick for those of you who work from the subconscious with your writing.

When stuck on a plot issue, sleep on it.

As I said tonight, I got stuck on where to jump in the book next. So as I drift off, I’ll think about knowing where to jump in the book when I wake up. And when I do that, 99% of the time I know the answer when I wake up.

That’s right, naps and sleep help the subconscious untangle plot issues.

I’ll tell my subconscious I need this solved by the time I wake up.

Also, naps and sleep often shut down the critical brain and give the subconscious time to work without the noise of the critical brain yammering all the time.

Yeah, I know, sounds silly. But it works for those of us writing out of our creative voice all the time.

And that’s what I’m going to do right now. I’m going to go sleep on where to jump next in the book.

Night.

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS ONLY

LAKE ROOSEVELT novel done (most written last month).
Day 1…. 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 4,850 words
MARTIAN LOVER novel started.
Day 2…. 3,600 words. Total words to date…. 8,450 words
Day 3…. 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 12,650 words
Day 4…. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 16,050 words
WARM SPRINGS novel started.
Day 5…. 4,250 words. Total words to date…. 20,100 words
Day 6…. 4,550 words. Total words to date…. 24,650 words
Day 7…. 4,950 words. Total words to date…. 29,600 words
Day 8…. 3,450 words. Total words to date…. 33,050 words
Day 9…. 3,150 words. Total words to date…. 36,200 words
Day 10.. 4,550 words. Total words to date…. 40,750 words
Day 11.. 2,650 words. Total words to date…. 43,400 words

(I would need to be at 55,000 novel words to be on the monthly target I set at this point.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 5, Day 11

– Daily Fiction: 2,650 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 43,400 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,000 words

– Blog Posts: 800 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 9,000 words

– E-mail: 19 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 289 e-mails. Approx. 9,500 words

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

HOURS
Day Job Work… 6.5 hours… Total for week… 30 hours… Total for month… 69 hours
Exercise… .5 hours… Total for week… 1 hours…Total for month… 4.5 hours
Television and naps… 5.5 hours… Total for week… 15 hours… Total for month… 48 hours
Writing time... 3.5 hours… Total for week… 14 hours …Total for month… 45.5 hours
(The rest of the time is sleeping and showers and stuff like that…Day Job includes e-mail and errands for business only. This blog time is about an hour tonight and included in the writing hours.)

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.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 5, Day 10

Year 2, Month 5, Day 10 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Sixth day of writing the novel Warm Springs: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Another storm hitting the coast tonight, but so far no power flickers, so I’m going to try to just do this without worrying about it. (grin)

A very busy day. I crawled out at noon to try to pull back my schedule some, and hit the ground running, working on e-mail and then the snail mail and then two banks and then out to our store and then back to WMG Publishing by 3 p.m.

I worked there on the Writing into the Dark lecture until 6:30, so almost have that done and should have it announced tomorrow night.

Home then for the standard nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and dishes. I came back in here at 8:30 p.m. and worked for an hour on business stuff, then headed back up to WMG offices to keep working on the lecture. Home by 11 p.m. and downstairs to watch some television.

Ended up watching the first two episodes of The Librarians. I expected to hate it, and ended up enjoying the hell out of it. Sort of like the 10th Kingdom that Kris and I wrote, only even more over the top. Great fun and wow, what a cast. Jane Curtain and Bob Newhart in a fantasy show. How much fun is that?

So didn’t get back upstairs until after 1 a.m. and then I took a thirty minute nap.

Staggered in here before 2 a.m. and went to the novel. By 3:30 a.m. with only a short break in the middle, I had 2,450 words.

Another break, and by 4:30 a.m I had another 1,200 words. Another short break and did 900 words by 5:20 a.m.

Novel is firing along but not a clue where to. Not one clue. I hope I stumble on a clue pretty soon. (grin)

So 4,550 original words and a ton done today on other stuff. Decent day.

Topic of the Night: Rough First Drafts

I flat don’t understand the thinking of being sloppy in a first draft. (You know, “Rough First Drafts.”)

I know that all writers work differently. I have no issue with that. But over the last week since that Pulp Speed post, I have gotten a ton of comments, most private, about how a writer’s method is to do a “rough first draft” and then fix it all, so they could never write at Pulp Speed.

I have no problem with a writer not writing at Pulp Speed. In fact, I said right from the start very, very few writers can do it. Hell, on the average for the last 12 months, I didn’t do it.

But writing a sloppy first draft to just get something on the page has always puzzled me, right from the first time I heard that way of working in an English class.

Why not write it in the cleanest and best way you can the first time?

Why set up more work?

No need to write me on that with your passionate beliefs as to why you write sloppy to start. Trust me, I have heard all the reasons and still don’t understand. I believe that practice is trained into us by English teachers. It sure has nothing to do with the reality of creation of art.

I’m starting to think that the theory of a sloppy first draft is right there with the myths of needing an agent to sell a book and no one can make a living writing fiction. And clearly, the sloppy first draft myth plays hand-in-hand with the rewrite myth.

I now think this “sloppy first draft” is a major myth of publishing repeated so many times over the last thirty years it has become some sort of common practice for new writers. In all the reading I have done about professional writers all the way back through history, I have never heard one successful writer talk about a “rough first draft.”

And, of course, all Pulp Speed writers do one draft, fix a few typos, and move on to the next story.

Writing is an art and training yourself to be sloppy in writing is not something I believe is a good plan for your art. It certainly creates an artificial dependance on more writing on the same story.

And cleaning up being sloppy comes from critical voice, which always makes things worse instead of better.

(Can you imagine hiring a contractor to build your dream home and they look you in the eye and tell you they are going to put up a sloppy, damaged, leaking house first, and then try to fix everything. Holy shit, would you fire that person quickly.)

So over the last few days, this idea of people believing they need to do a sloppy draft surfaced into my awareness and I think it will be in the next Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing book. I have four chapters basically done for the book and was going to start posting them here, but I think I’ll write this topic and use it as Chapter One of the book.

I think training yourself over time and belief in the myth to write a sloppy first draft is a very, very bad idea and in the long run a career killer, especially in this new world.

And it sure kills productivity of any sort. A very nasty myth, in my opinion.

Only problem is that if you bought into this myth somewhere along the way and believe it, retraining is going to be difficult at best. And chances are the belief is so set with the fear of not doing that, you never will even want to change.

So, here is my belief in summary: When I sit down to write, I tell the best damn story I can do every time. Period.

I would never allow myself to write sloppy. Even in these blogs.

Stay tuned. This topic will return in a chapter. Oh, joy.

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS ONLY

LAKE ROOSEVELT novel done (most written last month).
Day 1…. 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 4,850 words
MARTIAN LOVER novel started.
Day 2…. 3,600 words. Total words to date…. 8,450 words
Day 3…. 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 12,650 words
Day 4…. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 16,050 words
WARM SPRINGS novel started.
Day 5…. 4,250 words. Total words to date…. 20,100 words
Day 6…. 4,550 words. Total words to date…. 24,650 words
Day 7…. 4,950 words. Total words to date…. 29,600 words
Day 8…. 3,450 words. Total words to date…. 33,050 words
Day 9…. 3,150 words. Total words to date…. 36,200 words
Day 10.. 4,550 words. Total words to date…. 40,750 words

(I would need to be at 50,000 novel words to be on the monthly target I set at this point.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 5, Day 10

– Daily Fiction: 4,550 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 40,750 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,000 words

– Blog Posts: 1,100 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 8,200 words

– E-mail: 15 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 270 e-mails. Approx. 9,100 words

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

HOURS
Day Job Work… 7.5 hours… Total for week… 23.5 hours… Total for month… 62.5 hours
Exercise… .0 hours… Total for week… .5 hours…Total for month… 4 hours
Television and naps… 3 hours… Total for week… 9.5 hours… Total for month… 42.5 hours
Writing time... 4 hours… Total for week… 10.5 hours …Total for month… 42 hours
(The rest of the time is sleeping and showers and stuff like that…Day Job includes e-mail and errands for business only. This blog time is about an hour tonight and included in the writing hours.)

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.

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 5, Day 9

Year 2, Month 5, Day 9 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Fifth day of writing the novel Warm Springs: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

This is sort of a placeholder quick post to get this up and done for the night. Winds are kicking up as this new storm hits the coast and the power just flickered. So even though it’s still early for me at 4:30 a.m., I’m going to hang this up for the night as soon as I am done with this.

Started the day up around 2 p.m. and worked on e-mail and then ran for the snail mail and other errands for an hour before going to walk for thirty minutes at 4 p.m.

Then back on more errands, including getting out to Pop Culture , then back to WMG offices to work until 6:30 p.m.

Took a nap with the white cat, then dinner and news. Kris offered to do the dishes, even though she had cooked, since I was so busy. So at 8:30 p.m. I was in here working on workshop stuff.

Tonight is the last night of the two months of workshops crossing over, so this intense workshop work should ease. But Kris and I had a talk about workshops and my work and such and we might make some workshop changes shortly. If we do, I’ll announce them here. And it won’t change the January workshops we already have on the schedule, don’t worry.

At 10 p.m. Kris and I both headed up to the WMG offices. I worked on workshop stuff and did some other things I was behind on while she walked. (Storm starting up slowly at that point.)

So back home to watch the news and weather and The Voice at 11 p.m. and by 12:30 a.m. I was back in here andI finished the last of the workshop stuff by 2 a.m.

Short break and I went to my writing computer and managed 1,150 words by 3 a.m, another short break, back for another 1,100 words, another short break and 900 more words before the power flickered and I remembered the storm aiming at the coast and the high wind warnings.

So I shut down my writing computer and jumped over here to do this. So 3,150 words and no topic of the night.

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS ONLY

LAKE ROOSEVELT novel done (most written last month).
Day 1…. 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 4,850 words
MARTIAN LOVER novel started.
Day 2…. 3,600 words. Total words to date…. 8,450 words
Day 3…. 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 12,650 words
Day 4…. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 16,050 words
WARM SPRINGS novel started.
Day 5…. 4,250 words. Total words to date…. 20,100 words
Day 6…. 4,550 words. Total words to date…. 24,650 words
Day 7…. 4,950 words. Total words to date…. 29,600 words
Day 8…. 3,450 words. Total words to date…. 33,050 words
Day 9…. 3,150 words. Total words to date…. 36,200 words

(I would need to be at 45,000 novel words to be on the monthly target I set at this point.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 5, Day 9

– Daily Fiction: 3,150 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 36,200 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,000 words

– Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 7,100 words

– E-mail: 35 e-mails. Approx. 1,200 original words. E-mails month-to date: 255 e-mails. Approx. 8,800 words

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

HOURS
Day Job Work… 7.5 hours… Total for week… 16 hours… Total for month… 55 hours
Exercise… .5 hours… Total for week… .5 hours…Total for month… 4 hours
Television and naps… 3.5 hours… Total for week… 6.5 hours… Total for month… 39.5 hours
Writing time... 3 hours… Total for week… 6.5 hours …Total for month… 38 hours
(The rest of the time is sleeping and showers and stuff like that…Day Job includes e-mail and errands for business only. This blog time is about a half hour tonight and included in the writing hours.)

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.

Continue reading

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 5, Day 8

Year 2, Month 5, Day 8 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Fourth day of writing the novel Warm Springs: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Again, this was a day I doubted I would get to any writing. And top of that, I felt like crap. Big storms rolling in and the old athlete’s body (knees, hands, feet) can really feel those storms. So I was moving slow on top of all the work I needed to do.

(Go ahead, take a metal stick and grab it tight and pound it into the ground a few thousand times a day for a few decades and see how your hands feel forty years later. Ever wonder why I only type with three fingers on each hand. (grin))

So I figured writing was a lost cause for the day and I just accepted that. Well, I was wrong.

Rolled out around 2 p.m. and managed to get most of my e-mail done by 3:15 before heading out to the snail mail, then more errands. Back at WMG offices by 4:30 and worked there solidly until 6:30 p.m.

Got a nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and was back up to the WMG offices by 8:30 p.m. I worked there until around 10 p.m., then came home and worked until 11 p.m. on workshop stuff here. Downstairs to watch the Voice, back up here at 12:15 a.m. and back to work on workshop stuff.

I managed to get it all done by 2:15 a.m. Stunning, but I was exhausted.

I went out to my reading chair and dozed for an hour, managing to stagger back in here by 3:15 a.m.

I moved the white cat (who was asleep in my writing chair) and sat down at the writing computer. I looked back a few pages at what I had written last night and by 4 a.m. I had just over 1,000 new words done. Took a short break, meaning I walked to the kitchen to change out the iced tea for sparkling water, back at it and by 4:45 I had another 1,100.

Short break again, and by 5:45 I had done 1,350 more words. At that point this old body shouted “Enough!”

So I got 3,450 words on the novel on a day I expected no writing. That’s a damn good day.

Topic of the Night. Excuses

Wow, did I have some excuses to not write tonight.

— I was exhausted from spending 8.5 hours in intense work at a computer.

— I didn’t feel well from the storms beating on the old hands and knees and joints.

— And I think I gave myself a touch of food poisoning from some old way-out-of-date horseradish that I tasted and tossed, but got enough in me to do slight damage while I ate some left-over prime rib yesterday.

As I said to Kris when she asked today if I was all right, I said, “I feel like shit. We need to move to Las Vegas and get me out of these coast storm patterns.” (grin)

I say that every damned fall when the big storms start hitting. And by the spring and summer, I can’t remember the pain anymore and am fine until the first big storms of the fall or early winter. (grin)

Twenty years of the same pattern, you would think I would be used to it by now. Nope.

But no way in hell I’m moving from this house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I’ll take Advil and make it through the storms just fine, thank you very much. (grin)

So tonight, with the winds pounding the house, I had some excuses to just crawl up in front of the television when I got the workshop stuff done and whimper.

But instead, I got a glass of iced tea, some peanut butter to settle the rumbling stomach, and crawled into my favorite place: my writing computer chair.

But I must say, I was aware of the excuses, and five years ago, when I hated traditional publishing so much, I would have used any of those excuses to stay away from the computer.

But now I love this new world, I love having books and my magazine come out. So now it takes something pretty major to keep me away from writing. Old joints, winter storms, and food poisoning are just not enough to do it. 

And in all the work today, a couple of fun things happened. The long lost paper copies of Smith’s Monthly #13 finally showed up. Smith’s Monthly #14 paper copies have been sitting here for a week. So those issues will both be shipped together. (They are already out in electronic weeks ago.) And I’ll wait until early January to ship Smith’s Monthly #15.

And as you can tell from the cover beside this, I did the cover for Smith’s Monthly #17. Nifty huh?

Considering how many valid excuses I had today, this turned out to be a damn fine day.

Amazing what happens when you just keep staggering forward through a day and think of writing as the fun part.

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS ONLY

LAKE ROOSEVELT novel done (most written last month).
Day 1…. 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 4,850 words
MARTIAN LOVER novel started.
Day 2…. 3,600 words. Total words to date…. 8,450 words
Day 3…. 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 12,650 words
Day 4…. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 16,050 words
WARM SPRINGS novel started.
Day 5…. 4,250 words. Total words to date…. 20,100 words
Day 6…. 4,550 words. Total words to date…. 24,650 words
Day 7…. 4,950 words. Total words to date…. 29,600 words
Day 8…. 3,450 words. Total words to date…. 33,050 words

(I would need to be at 40,000 novel words to be on the monthly target I set at this point.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 5, Day 8

– Daily Fiction: 3,450 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 33,050 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,000 words

– Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 6,900 words

– E-mail: 41 e-mails. Approx. 1,400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 220 e-mails. Approx. 7,600 words

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

HOURS
Day Job Work… 8.5 hours… Total for week… 8.5 hours… Total for month… 47.5 hours
Exercise… .0 hours… Total for week… 0 hours…Total for month… 3.5 hours
Television and naps… 3 hours… Total for week… 3 hours… Total for month… 33 hours
Writing time... 3.5 hours… Total for week… 3.5 hours …Total for month… 35 hours
(The rest of the time is sleeping and showers and stuff like that…Day Job includes e-mail and errands for business only. This blog time is about one hour tonight and included in the writing hours because I might put part of it into a book later.)

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.

Continue reading

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 5, Day 7

Year 2, Month 5, Day 7 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Third day of writing the novel Warm Springs: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

A pretty standard Sunday for me, but more workshop work than normal because this is one of those months that the workshops cross over. So I had assignments for the November workshops and assignments for the December workshops.

So, honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was even going to get any writing done at all.

But I did.

Up at 1 p.m. (very early considering I didn’t go to bed until around 7 a.m.) Made it to the writers lunch and that was fun. Great discussions.

Then to the WMG offices at 4 p.m.. I worked on workshop stuff until 6:30 before heading home to take a nap, diner, news, and dishes.

I got back into this office around 8:30 p.m. and back on workshop stuff.

I worked until midnight on that with only short two minute breaks before going to watch some television.

Back up here around 1:30 a.m. to finish up the workshops, which took a half hour. Then I went and took a nap.

I staggered back in here at 2:30 a.m. to start at the book. I was so excited that I was even getting to the writing that I managed a first session in one hour of 1,100 words, took a short break, another session of 1,250 words, took another short break, and by 5 a.m. I had done another 1,300 words.

Book is flying along. No idea what the flight plan is, but I’m making great time.

I took one more break and did one more writing session of 1,300 words before 6 a.m. and coming over here to write this.  So 4,950 words of fiction on a night I wasn’t sure if I would get anything done. That’s a good feeling and some good speed for me.

Topic of the Night: Breaking Down the Week

Since this is the first time for this, I thought I would break down this first week to knock down some belief systems that many of you hold out there.

You know, the belief system that you can’t write when you have a day job.

So here goes.

— This week I worked at my day job, meaning WMG Publishing and workshops and business stuff for 39 hours.

It wasn’t all workshops, either. Some on an order problem with Smith’s Monthly #13 (Printer lost the paper copies that should have been here two weeks ago. Some shipping, ordering, and bank runs and paying bills, since I am the CFO.)

— I had family, television, nap time of 30 hours.

— I did only 3.5 hours of exercise, which has to change next week.

— I wrote for 31.5 hours.

So this last week between writing and working, I spent 70.5 hours.

I know many friends with corporate jobs and a commute who spend more time than that.

In that 31.5 hours of writing time, I wrote 29,600 words of fiction, 1,000 words of nonfiction, and 6,000 words on this blog. A total of 36,600 words in 31.5 hours of writing.

That’s averaging about 1,162 words per hour. Slightly fast for me in fiction, but slow for these blogs. So it works out right.

For reference, a full week has 168 hours in it. So spending just over 70 of those hours writing and working leaves almost a hundred hours for the rest of life.

So what Pulp Speed Pace am I on for one week?

36,600 words per week x 52 weeks = 1.9  million word pace for the year. Over Pulp Speed Five pace this week.

For the fiction only, the 29,600 word week x 52 = 1.5 million words of fiction pace. Over Pulp Speed Three Pace in fiction for this week.

So, folks, that is how you do a Pulp Speed pace with a full day job.

I’ll talk about this every week during this month and we shall see how the pace varies. I am sure it will go up and down.

One week is easy. Maintaining over a month and then a year is the fun part. (grin)

So anyone who says they can’t write because they have a 40 hour per week day job… well…

Not sure what to say anymore. (grin)

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS ONLY

LAKE ROOSEVELT novel done (most written last month).
Day 1…. 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 4,850 words
MARTIAN LOVER novel started.
Day 2…. 3,600 words. Total words to date…. 8,450 words
Day 3…. 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 12,650 words
Day 4…. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 16,050 words
WARM SPRINGS novel started.
Day 5…. 4,250 words. Total words to date…. 20,100 words
Day 6…. 4,550 words. Total words to date…. 24,650 words
Day 7…. 4,950 words. Total words to date…. 29,600 words

(I would need to be at 35,000 novel words to be on the monthly target at this point.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 5, Day 7

– Daily Fiction: 4,950 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 29,600 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,000 words

– Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 6,000 words

– E-mail: 48 e-mails. Approx. 2,100 original words. E-mails month-to date: 179 e-mails. Approx. 6,200 words

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

HOURS
Day Job Work… 6.5 hours… Total for week… 39 hours
Exercise… .0 hours… Total for week… 3.5 hours
Television and naps… 2.5 hours… Total for week… 30 hours
Writing time... 4.5 hours… Total for week… 31.5 hours
(The rest of the time is sleeping and showers and stuff like that…Day Job includes e-mail and errands for business only. This blog time is about one hour tonight and included in the writing hours because I might put part of it into a book later. I will break this down at the end of every week to show the weekly totals.)

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.

Continue reading

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 5, Day 6

Year 2, Month 5, Day 6 of this Writing in Public challenge.

First day of writing the novel Warm Springs: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

A strange Saturday for me. Rolled out late around 3:30 p.m. and spent some time doing e-mail and answering comments before heading out to the snail mail around 4:30 p.m. Then up to WMG publishing offices for thirty minutes or so before heading out to Pop Culture Collectables.

Got there a little after 5 and talked there for a time, then went to the auction. The auction here monthly is part entertainment, part work. I ended up getting a desk tripod for a camera for eBay use, a Star Trek Whitman coloring book, and ten frames for framing some card and signed art. Didn’t buy much, but it was a fun four hours. On the hour total below, I’m counting half as work, half as dinner and rest and play time.

Went back up to WMG offices for a half hour or so and made it home by 11 p.m. to do more e-mail and comments.

Then after a half hour or so I headed to watch some television. Got back from that around 1:30 a.m. and took a nap until 2 a.m.

I staggered to the new novel after the nap and got 1,150 words by 3 a.m.  Took a break, another 1,200 words by 4 a.m. Another break, another 1,300 words by 5 a.m., another break and another 900 words by 5:45 a.m. when I hung it up.

So 4,550 words tonight on the novel. Considering how late I started again, I’ll take it.

Topic of the Night: Failing to Success in Relationship to Pulp Speed

I have talked before in these blogs about how silly I think it is for a writer to beat on themselves when they don’t hit a word goal, but yet in reality did a ton of words. (You hear this all the time in the November writing challenge, writers disappointed that they only got 40,000 words instead of what they wanted. How silly.)

For example, last year from August to the last day of July, (First year of writing in public challenge) I was, without much thought, aiming at around one million words of fiction. It really wasn’t a set goal, and I had some horrid months in the winter last year for personal reasons, so I figured that goal was out the door and didn’t give it much thought. But when I got to the end of the year, I was stunned that I had done around 800,000 words of fiction.

I had failed right to what 99.9% of all writers would think of as a great year. And I thought of it as a great year as well.

I failed to complete success.

Now, think of Pulp Speed as a form of goal state. One of the aspects about Pulp Speed is that it takes a lot of elements to come together just right. I mentioned some of these in the article, but wanted to mention them in a slightly different way here.

Elements that need to be together to make Pulp Speed happen over a year of time are:

1) You have fear surrounding your writing completely controlled. You can’t get rid of it, but you can control and contain it and when it escapes, you put it away again. (Make not writing at Pulp Speed your largest fear and then fear can help you instead of stop you.)

2) You have critical voice to your storytelling controlled. Again, you can’t get rid of it, but you need to control it and contain it.

3) You need to have the pressure off your writing, be having fun telling stories, and all thoughts of book as events must be gone. You are a writer, a storyteller. Take joy in that.

4) You must have some system that kills major rewriting. Rewriting does not count as new words, folks, and Pulp Speed is damn near impossible with major rewriting of everything you do. So don’t do sloppy first drafts. Write the story you want to write correctly the first time and move on. (Yeah, I know, read the Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing posts on the tab above before shouting at me.)

5) You must have a computer set up that won’t kill your arms and back and hands and set up a system to take breaks at least every hour and get up and move around. Also, be willing to write in 15 minute chunks. Little streams add up to large rivers.

6) You must also spend the year with a burning desire to keep learning about the craft and business of writing. 

None of these six ever ends.

So you must have your head together, your physical set up solid, and a love of telling stories and learning about writing and craft.

(Notice, I never once said you had to be a full-time writer. You don’t. You just need to carve out more hours ever day and every week and every month.

And then use those hours correctly to create new words.

And remember what I talked about at one point. Average is a wonderful thing. You will have bad months. Just climb back on and keep going and when the year ends, you will be surprised at how successful you have been.

Set your goals hi, stay with them and remember them, and then after a year, even if you failed at some word count you were hoping to attain, you will be a better writer because you wrote and kept learning, you will have learned a lot of business and craft, you will have a lot of new books and stories out helping you make money.

Can’t beat any of that.

The only real failure is just not doing anything, making the excuses, letting the fear and critical voice win. That is failure. Plain and simple.

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS ONLY

LAKE ROOSEVELT novel done (most written last month).
Day 1…. 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 4,850 words
MARTIAN LOVER novel started.
Day 2…. 3,600 words. Total words to date…. 8,450 words
Day 3…. 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 12,650 words
Day 4…. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 16,050 words
WARM SPRINGS novel started.
Day 5…. 4,250 words. Total words to date…. 20,100 words
Day 6…. 4,550 words. Total words to date…. 24,650 words

(I would need to be at 30,000 novel words to be on the monthly target at this point.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 5, Day 6

– Daily Fiction: 4,550 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 24,650 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,000 words

– Blog Posts: 1,000 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 5,100 words

– E-mail: 27 e-mails. Approx. 300 original words. E-mails month-to date: 131 e-mails. Approx. 4,100 words

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

HOURS
Day Job Work… 4.5 hours… Total for month… 32.5 hours
Exercise… .0 hours… Total for month… 3.5 hours
Television and naps… 4.5 hours… Total for month… 27.5 hours
Writing time... 4.5 hours… Total for month… 27 hours
(The rest of the time is sleeping and showers and stuff like that…Day Job includes e-mail and errands. This blog time is about one hour tonight and included in the writing hours because I might put part of it into a book later. I will break this down at the end of every week to show the weekly totals.)

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.

Continue reading

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Writing in Public: Year Two, Month 5, Day 5

Year 2, Month 5, Day 5 of this Writing in Public challenge.

First day of writing the novel Warm Springs: A Thunder Mountain Novel.

Yup, started a new novel tonight. I didn’t do anything with the start of the other novel. It’s just sitting there and I might go back to it at times. But clearly after finishing Lake Roosevelt: A Thunder Mountain Novel, I wasn’t done with the world just yet.

I’ll talk about that below

Rolled out of bed around 1:30 p.m. and ran like crazy from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. doing business stuff, minus about a thirty minute exercise break.

By 5:30 I was sitting in a nice restaurant waiting for some other writers to show up to celebrate a birthday of a friend.

Home about 8 after a wonderful dinner. Prime rib the size of a roast. Most amazing thing I have ever seen. And wonderful tasting.

I had planned on going back up to the office to work, but after the prime rib and a margarita and the great company, I decided to just go home and watch the Ducks game. (University of Oregon Ducks football.) Even though it was no game, really, since the Ducks are just a machine, it was fun to watch. Going to be interesting to see what they do to Alabama in the national championship.

So watched that to the end and the post game show and them some more television, finally getting in here to work on e-mail around 11 p.m.

I did that for a time, then when I was answering questions and approving comments here, Kris said we had the book recommended last night by J.D. called The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont. So I went out to my chair in the living room and sure enough, there was the book. Kris tells me I bought it.

So I started to read it and read for an hour. Great stuff. Good read. The characters are Walter Gibson, Lester Dent, and Ron Hubbard, among other Pulp Speed writers and some writers who wrote much slower for the pulp magazines, such as H.P. Lovecraft. Malmont clearly did his research on them, which is nice.  I am only about a third of the way in, but it’s fun and well-written.

For those of you who do not know Walter Gibson, he wrote under the house name Maxwell Grant hundreds of Shadow novels and stories and was involved in the radio dramas and other things. Lester Dent wrote under the house name Kenneth Robeson most of the Doc Savage novels, among other stuff under other names. They were both very, very rich.

And for those really interested in more about Pulp Speed writers, you should read about the writers of the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew novels, and so on. They worked for a syndicate and many of them wrote hundreds and hundreds of books.

Anyhow, after reading and then taking a nap, I managed to stumble back in here around 2 in the morning, not feeling funny at all and with Thunder Mountain universe still in my mind. (Thunder Mountain universe is a time travel set in modern day and in the Old West. Time travel westerns, sort of.)

So I said screw it and just switched novels, firing up on a new Thunder Mountain novel.

I might get back to the Martian Lover novel while I write this other one, or I might do it next after this Thunder Mountain book.

So kind of excited I had made that decision, but with no idea of what to write, I went to the kitchen to grab a snack. As I came back, walking past my brag shelf, I realized that I had titled all the other books in the series with place names. And I instantly had the next place name. Warm Springs.

So the series now goes in this order:

Thunder Mountain (Published Smith’s Monthly #2 and out in book form)

Monumental Summit (Published Smith’s Monthly #4 and out in book form)

Avalanche Creek (Published Smith’s Monthly #12 and out in book form)

The Edwards Mansion (Published Smith’s Monthly #14. Paper copies shipping, book early 2015)

Lake Roosevelt (To be published in Smith’s Monthly #16 not out yet in any form)

Warm Springs (writing)

And the minute I had the title, I figured out a character name that I had not used in this series yet and started in typing.

So from 2:30 a.m. until 3:30 a.m. I wrote 1,000 words on the opening. Took a quick break, wrote 1,050 words before 4:30 a.m.

Another quick break, another 1,200 words before 5:30 a.m., one more quick break and 1,000 more words before I stopped at 6:20 a.m.

4,250 original words on a brand new novel. Considering how late at night I started and how tired I was, I’m happy.

 Topic of the Night: Shifting projects.

Yeah, a logical topic considering above. I did this twice last year, but it wasn’t as obvious because I wasn’t doing the word count on the novel page. I tend to do this a couple times a year, actually.

And both of the novels I switched away from last year are still not finished. One only had a short opening and the other had about as much as I did on Martian Lover. I might get back to them at some point, I might not.

Shrug. I feel no pressure to. But I have a hunch I will finish Martian Lover since that novel has been hanging around and bothering me for a decade now.

A couple keys to switching out on a project:

1) Never do it because you think a book sucks. I actually think what I wrote on Martian Lover is fine, if I had to make a judgment call, which I try not to do. And am often wrong with my own work.

If you stop at the 1/3 point, which is where most writers lose faith in a book and think it sucks, then you will always stop there with every book. Power on though and finish at that point.

2) Never look at switching projects as a failure. I switched out because I flat couldn’t get the Thunder Mountain universe out of my head and it was annoying me. And the book I was writing was humor and at the moment I don’t feel too damned funny. (grin)

3) Never switch out a book because you are bored. Change the damn book itself, make the book exciting to write. This happens the most often it seems when writers feel they need to outline. They have created the book in the outline, thus writing the book is boring after they get it started. If that happens, stop outlining and write into the dark.

4) If you switch out books very often, you more than likely have another issue you are not dealing with. I have written seventeen novels in the last 16 months or so. I have started and switched out of three others along the way. One out of every five or six feels decent to me.

5) Trust your subconscious to tell you what you are passionate about. Learn to listen to that little voice. I finished the other Thunder Mountain book a few days ago and figured I needed to write something else. That was my critical voice talking instead of listening to my creative voice which wanted to go on in the Thunder Mountain world. I finally listened.

Now it is after 7 a.m. and I need to listen to the little voice telling me to go get some damned sleep.

And switch out this day for a new one tomorrow.

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS ONLY

LAKE ROOSEVELT done.
Day 1…. 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 4,850 words
MARTIAN LOVER started.
Day 2…. 3,600 words. Total words to date…. 8,450 words
Day 3…. 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 12,650 words
Day 4…. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 16,050 words
WARM SPRINGS started.
Day 5…. 4,250 words. Total words to date…. 20,100 words

(I would need to be at 25,000 novel words to be on the monthly target at this point.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 5, Day 5

– Daily Fiction: 4,250 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 20,100 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,000 words

– Blog Posts: 1,300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 4,100 words

– E-mail: 19 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 104 e-mails. Approx. 3,800 words

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

HOURS
Day Job Work… 3.5 hours… Total for month… 28 hours
Exercise… .5 hours… Total for month… 3.5 hours
Television and naps… 8 hours… Total for month… 23 hours
Writing time... 5 hours… Total for month… 22.5 hours
(The rest of the time is sleeping and showers and stuff like that…Day Job includes e-mail and errands. This blog time is about one hour tonight and included in the writing hours because I might put part of it into a book later. I will break this down at the end of every week to show the weekly totals.)

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.

Continue reading

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Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 5, Day 4

Year 2, Month 5, Day 4 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Third Day of writing the humorous science fiction novel Martian Lover.

Not much of a day for writing. Up around 1 (too early) because of the housecleaner coming, off to run errands at 2 p.m. Standard stuff for running a business.

Kris and I then headed to Newport for lunch and run more business errands. We made it back around 6 p.m. in time for me to take a nap with the white cat, dinner, some television, and then dishes.

Then up to the WMG offices to finish the new lecture coming on Writing into the Dark and also work on workshop stuff. I was there from 8:30 until 11 p.m. Watched some more television when I got home, then got in here about 1 a.m. to finish e-mails and such. By 1:30 I went to take a short nap, then back in here attempting to go at humor while really tired.

We shall see how that came out. (grin) But I managed about 3,400 words before tossing in the towel after three sessions with short breaks. I did that from 2 a.m. until 5:30 a.m. This book will power if I just give it time.

So only 3,400 words today.

Topic of the Night: The Power of Average.

The Pulp Speed topic I put up last night (below this post) is based on a yearly outcome. Of course, a year is too long to hold in our minds, so we need to break it down into months and then into a daily goal as I did in the post.

But in the end, Pulp Speed is a yearly measuring stick, broken down into monthly measuring sticks, then daily measuring stick goals.

For example, in fiction writing alone last month, I hit Pulp Speed Two with 107,000 words of fiction.

For all of my writing, I hit Pulp Speed Five last month with over 150,000 words of total writing.

But now, that’s only for one month. Writing has ups and downs over the year, as we all know.

A Pulp Speed writer needs to be happy with attaining it for a month, but then look at the total for a year.

I had some really bad fiction writing months last winter. So if I take my full year total (you can see all this back at the first of this month), I wrote a total of 1,273,875 words from December 1st, 2013 to November 30th, 2014.

That’s a solid Pulp Speed Two for all my writing for an entire year.

But now, let’s look at fiction writing only. For those same twelve months, with the really bad months included of course, I wrote 718,225 original words of fiction. Not even close to Pulp Speed.

But if I do the math and have the next three months the same size or bigger than November, that gets those bad months out of the year equation and I would be right at Pulp Speed One.

The power of average over a year.

Of course, to keep climbing on that, I’m going to have to eliminate the three other months that were around or under 50,000 original fiction words per month and replace them with over 100,000 word months.  Possible. We shall see.

The point of all this is that hitting monthly goals are great. But if you hit the monthly goal like a November writing challenge and then stop writing for the year, it does no good and that does not make you a Pulp Speed writer.

Pulp Speed is measure over a year. The monthly marks are great and need to be done. But the key is how are you doing for a full twelve months.

I was at Pulp Speed Two for all of my writing combined over the last twelve months. But for fiction writing only, I was a distance away from any Pulp Speed. But as the next few months go on, I’ll make note of how my yearly average is doing at the end of every month.

The power of the average. A wonderful thing.

—-

MONTHLY TOTAL ON NOVELS ONLY

Day 1…. 4,850 words. Total words to date…. 4,850 words
LAKE ROOSEVELT done.
Day 2…. 3,600 words. Total words to date…. 8,450 words
MARTIAN LOVER started.
Day 3…. 4,200 words. Total words to date…. 12,650 words
Day 4…. 3,400 words. Total words to date…. 16,050 words

(I would need to be at 20,000 novel words to be on the monthly target at this point.)

——–

Totals For Year 2, Month 5, Day 4

– Daily Fiction: 3,400 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 16,050 words  

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 1,000 words

– Blog Posts: 700 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 2,800 words

– E-mail: 15 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words. E-mails month-to date: 85 e-mails. Approx. 3,400 words

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

HOURS
Day Job Work… 7 hours… Total for month… 24.5 hours
Exercise… 0 hours… Total for month… 3 hours
Television and naps… 4 hours… Total for month… 15 hours
Writing time... 3.5 hours… Total for month… 17.5 hours
(The rest of the time is sleeping and showers and stuff like that…Day Job includes e-mail and errands. This blog time is about thirty minutes tonight and included in the work hours. I will break this down at the end of every week to show the weekly totals.)

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.

Continue reading

Posted in Challenge, On Writing, publishing, Topic of the Night, Writing in Public | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

The New World of Writing: Pulp Speed

Pulp Speed

I’ve mentioned this concept a number of times on my nightly blog and in the Topic of the Night little sections. But since Pulp Speed was almost impossible in the new traditional world, it belongs as a post in this series.

Not at all sure why this idea sort of hits me right. I think because it flies in the face of all the myths. A writer has to have all myths under control to even attempt this. So this post might just make you angry because it hits at belief systems I’m afraid.

The second reason I can’t shake this idea is because for all of my life I have idolized pulp writers. I used to study them and their lives. (And yet, even with all that knowledge, I still spent seven years in the rewriting to death trap. Go figure.)

Many, many of the great writers of the past that we still read and enjoy were pulp writers. And there are many pulp writers working today. More than you might imagine, even through the rough times of the last twenty years in traditional publishing.

Now, right here, before I get started, I’m going to repeat what I always say. No writer is the same as any other writer.

And most writers could never do what I am about to talk about.

Pulp Speed writing is a mind-set for writers who have cleared out damn never every myth and belief taught to them about writing by English teachers. A Pulp Speed writer loves to just tell stories, one right after another. So remember, no writer is the same as another writer. And if this hits you wrong, it might not be for you to even think about in any fashion.

But for others, this might just be the ticket to a bright new future, just to learn this is possible and happening.

Some History.

There have been writers for as long as there have been stories that have had work ethics, meaning they spend a lot of time writing. In our modern world, we call writers who spend a lot of time producing new words “fast” writers.

But fast has nothing to do with it. Just a work ethic and a love of stories.

Dickens was one of the early great Pulp Writers. And there were many along the way before the turn of 1900. It was then that the “literary” group split from the “writing for the masses” group of writers.

To the literary group, their writing had to be important, something to struggle to read, and only be published in leather hardbound books.

The masses group of writers just wanted to tell stories that would entertain readers.

Around this split period of 1900, the pulp magazines were coming in, and with the pulp magazine expansion, stories were needed to fill the pages of the exploding pulp magazine field. And the writers who could write sellable stories quickly discovered they could become very rich writing for one cent per word.

Word production equaled money.

The pulp magazines lasted for over half a century. Each issue of every title contained many short stories and often a novel or two and sometimes serialized novels. Novels in those days ranged from 30,000 words to 50,000 words. 20,000 to 30,000 words was called a short novel. Short stories were under 20,000 words.

Novels that were in the pulps almost never made it out of the pulps. They lasted on the stands for one week or maybe two weeks or a month and were gone. A few pulp writers started their own publishing companies. One example is Burroughs. His son got his novels into books. But most novels just stayed in the pulps until the late 1940s when the paperback form started to take off and novels were needed for that form.

Doc Savage was a pulp character created mostly by Lester Dent and his publisher under a magazine house name. He wrote 159 of the Doc Savage novels for the Doc Savage pulp magazine, among many other books under other names, including his own name. There was a novel from Dent in most issues of Doc Savage Magazine for a decade or more. You can still buy Doc Savage novels by Dent today.

Some pulp writers got so famous, they were some of the richest people in the country. One year in the 1940s, the pen name Max Brand had thirteen movies in production from his books. Some of you may even remember Max Brand’s Dr. Kildare from television. Either the first television series or the second.

But Dr. Kildare was also a movie series in the 1930s and 1940s and then a radio series before the two television series. (Bet you thought Max Brand was all westerns huh?)

By the way, the author behind Max Brand was Frederick Faust. Faust had a bunch of other prolific pen names besides Brand. For just one magazine group in the 1920s he wrote over a million words per year for the entire decade. Plus other stories and novels for other magazines. (He did this after having a major heart attack and having heart issues until killed in WWII as a war correspondent.) He supposedly wrote well over 500 novels and even more short stories, and it is said that a book of his is reprinted today every week in one place or another. (not documented, just belief)

I admire true storytellers such as Max Brand and Lester Dent who are still being read and enjoyed by millions well over a hundred years past when they started publishing.

When the pulps finally died in the late 1950s, Pulp Speed writers turned to paperbacks through the 1960s and 1970s and wrote everything a publisher wanted. There were lots and lots of Pulp Speed writers producing upwards of 30 novels a year if not more. And most books were under many pen names and across many genres. Novels in this time period were still in the 40,000 word range.

In the 1980s publishers started to artificially inflate the size of novels because of the publisher’s need to charge more for a paperback. Pulp Speed writers kept on.  Numbers worked the category romance field, many worked westerns which had kept their smaller size.

And as normal, Pulp Speed writers worked across all genres. Fewer titles produced, but more words per book, so same production. Many Pulp Speed writers worked series novels for publishers during this period. And a lot of media novels.

But by the 1990s and early this century, most of the Pulp Speed writers had retired and very few new writers understood that Pulp Speed world was out there. It was almost impossible to understand when publishers limited a writer to one book per year. But some Pulp Speed writers still existed and worked through the period.

But now, with the advent of the indie world, Pulp Speed writers are coming back. It is possible again. And fun.

The golden age of fiction for readers has returned.

The crap rules the traditional publishers forced on writers are gone for writers smart enough to escape them. Just as with the pulp era, writers are free to write stories again at whatever pace they want to write. And readers are free to read what they want without some snobby person telling them it is good or bad.

The second pulp era is upon us.

How to Pick Up Speed In Your Writing

Well, since we all type about the same speed when writing, the way to pick up speed is to spend more time in the writing chair. However, to do that in this modern world takes a vast amount of getting rid of all the crap we were taught by non-writers.

And it takes a real love of telling stories and an ability to write one draft fiction. Rewriting kills Pulp Speed completely. None of the great Pulp Writers you read today and many of the great literary writers never rewrote anything. They told people they did starting in the 1970s and afterward when the rewriting craze started to hit, but they never did in reality.

Remember, to them words were money. One cent per word made them rich. The more words in sellable fiction, the richer they got.

Also, Pulp Speed writing takes a love of learning about writing and a love of learning how to keep improving on telling stories.

We have set up a workshop on Productivity that deals with the demons of critical voice and fears we all fight. That might help. But otherwise, since every writer is different, every writer must fight their own battles between their own ears.

And once again, Pulp Speed thinking may not be right for you. In fact, chances are, it is not.

Or maybe you are the type of writer who just produces Pulp Speed amount of words, but never thinks about it. That’s fine as well. Don’t think about this.

So What Is Pulp Speed? 

After discussion with a half dozen writers about this, I’ve decided to just set the amounts like Warp Drive in Star Trek. (Remember, I wrote a lot of Star Trek novels in every series.)

Just as with Warp Drive in Star Trek, each level up gets factors more difficult.

Again, I am just setting these numbers from talking with other writers and studying history of what consisted good word counts in the pulp era for the successful writers.

PULP SPEED ONE

About 1,000,000 (1 million) original words per year. This averages to about 2,750 words a day for 365 days. (numbers rounded)

Or about 83,300 words per month.  So if you do 3,000 words a day and over 84,000 words per month ON AVERAGE for a year, you are writing at PULP SPEED ONE. (if you take days off, then your daily word count has to go up on your writing days. Do your own math for your schedule.)

PULP SPEED TWO

1,200,000 words in a year. 100,000 words per month. Last month I hit PULP SPEED TWO, for the month, but the key is holding it for the year. The yearly total is the key. Average is the key.

And remember, that is about 3,400 words per day. If you can write 1,000 words average an hour, that’s 3.5 hours per day.

PULP SPEED THREE

1,400,000 words in a year.  To hit this, you need to be about 120,000 words per month (rounded up) or about 4,000 words per day average. Again, at this level, the difficulty factor starts increasing. Maintaining gets more difficult on the engines to keep at this speed for an entire year. (Max Brand wrote at this pace for decades, not missing.)

PULP SPEED FOUR

1,600,000 words per year. That’s about 135,000 words per month or about 4,500 words per day without a day off.

PULP SPEED FIVE

1,800,000 words per year.  About 150,000 words per month. 5,000 words per day without missing a day.

PULP SPEED SIX

2 million words and more per year. 170,000 words or so per month. About 5,500 words per day average.

The engines are shaking and Scotty is looking panicked.

But I know a few writers who did this through the traditional publishing crunch on writers in the early part of this century. It can be done.

But if you think it can’t be done, ask yourself why? Why is your belief system telling you that?

Say you wanted to write for 8 hours per day for five days a week. (40 hours of writing. You know, like a work ethic.) This allows you to take the weekends off with your family. You write 1,000 words per hour. 8 hours is 8,000 words per writing day. 40,000 words per week.

So you do that, take two weeks off for a vacation. 50 weeks x 40,000 words per week = 2 million words.

Writers who write in these top speeds have a real work ethic with their writing and love to tell stories, one right after another.

As I said earlier, you need to have everything cleaned out of the myth side of the brain.

Pulp Speed Six is what full-time writers manage. Writers who work eight hours a day, five days per week, 50 weeks per year.

This is not for everyone. And you can’t just jump to these speeds, it takes time to work up to them. But it is possible once again for more than just a few in this new indie publishing reality.

Stay tuned to my blog and we’ll see how it goes for me.

Just remember, every writer has a different method, a different path. No one way is right for every writer. I am not saying anyone should attempt these speeds (hours writing). I just wanted to make sure the knowledge of these kinds of speeds were out there.

And I thought it would be fun to hang the Pulp Speed name on them. (grin)

 

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