There are two new ones starting in May. The Business of Writing and Writing Fiction Sales Copy.
And yes, Writing Fiction Sales Copy is very, very, very different from the old pitches and blurbs workshop, which we offered for the last time in March. It will be deleted at the beginning of May.
All regular workshops are now limited only to 5 writers each class except for the two new workshops. Those are limited to 12 writers for May.
Class #41… May 2nd … Author Voice
Class #42… May 2nd … How to Write Thrillers
Class #43… May 2nd … Adding Suspense to Your Writing
Class #44… May 2nd … Plotting With Depth
Class #45… May 3rd … Character Development
Class #46… May 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #47… May 3rd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #48… May 4th … Cliffhangers
Class #49… May 4th … The Business of Writing (New!)
Class #50… May 4th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy (New!)
Classic Workshops and Lectures are also available at any time.
Full descriptions of the workshops and how to sign up under the Online Workshop tab above.
Wednesday is meeting day, so made it to the WMG office by 1:30 and then to the meeting by 2 p.m. Then back to WMG to work on stuff in the new store.
And I also did the Smith’s Monthly cover for the new novel I started yesterday. That is below.
Home to cook dinner at 7 p.m., then did e-mail until around 9 p.m. Then a nap, then read Kris’s new blog (really good) and then went to the new novel around 11:15 p.m..
I did about 900 words before I went to watch television at midnight.
Back at 1:30 a.m. and got another 1,200 words done by 2:15 a.m.
Short break, back for another 1,150 words by 3 a.m.
Another short break, another 1,250 words by 4 a.m.
So got 4,400 words for the night. Good second day, ramping up.
Topic of the Night: De Plane! De Plane!
Somewhere back in the mists of time, when Kris and I and Keven J. Anderson and Dave Farland and all the rest of our group were young novelists, Kevin said something along the lines that his novels felt like planes lined up on a runway ready to take off.
That metaphor (or image) really stuck with me.
At the time I was just starting to really power at media books and had contracts to do six or seven books. And I honestly was having troubles remembering all the books I had to write under contract, let alone the ones I wanted to write.
So I went to a magazine and found an image of a private jet sitting on a runway. The image was from the side. I went down to my local copy shop and copied the image, then blew it up so the plane was about ten inches long and five inches high.
Then I whited out the windows on the side and made a stack of copies and cut out the planes. (That was work, let me tell you. (grin))
So basically I had a bunch of paper planes with a big white space on the side.
I wrote in big block letters on the side of the plane the name of a novel I had under contract, but hadn’t started yet and put it up near my ceiling in my office. (Leaving on the wheels.)
I did that with all my contracted novels and then all the novels I hoped to write some day when I found the time.
It filled one entire wall of my office along the ceiling. They really did look like planes lined up ready to take off.
Then I cut the wheels off of one and taped it on another wall near the ceiling with the name of the novel I was working on. I pointed the nose of the jet upward, indicating it was climbing to altitude.
Then I took the last five novels I had just finished, but were not published yet, cut off the wheels on those and pasted them in level flight on another wall.
So three walls of paper planes around the office. Those waiting on the runway to take off, one plane taking off, and the planes in flight but not published yet.
When a book was finished, it moved to the inflight wall. When published, I took the plane down. And when I started a new book, I cut the wheels off and put it on the inflight wall.
I remember that the written (but not published) wall at one point had twelve novels in flight, all sold, all written, none published yet. (That was how much faster I could write than traditional publishing could publish my books.)
And at my worst I had nine books under contract and another dozen planes behind those lined up on the runway.
It was an amazingly simple and a very, very clear way to keep track of a massive amount of writing and books and projects.
I, of course, kept track of the projects and books in other ways, but every day when I walked into my office I knew at a glance where I was in my projects.
Simple cut-out paper airplanes with a novel’s name in big letters on it.
What would have been interesting with being all caught up with projects that I mentioned yesterday was that there would have been, until yesterday, no planes waiting to take off, none climbing to altitude, and only about three in the air waiting for publication.
I’m thinking I might fire back up this system, add in all book projects including the Smith’s Monthly Magazine and a new collection series I’ve been hoping to start.
Might help me in this new world to keep things straight once again.
Why do I need to keep things straight? Well, let me tell you a secret that shouldn’t be a secret, but I haven’t mentioned it yet.
In March I had 37 books hit print.
Yeah, that is not a typo.
37 books. 32 of them were the individual short stories from Stories from July are all up now standalone. One was Smith’s Monthly, another was a novel, one was a nonfiction book, and one was a novella.
And two other projects hit audio for the first time in March as well.
I think I need the planes just to keep track of my major work.
Why do I think this worked for me?
Well, it let me focus on the plane climbing to altitude, it let me clearly see other projects and not forget some of them or let them slip away. And the publication wall was great fun, letting me see how much I had accomplished.
In this new indie world, I think I might have a fourth wall of planes in the air and in promotion over the first year of book’s life. That would be all kinds of cool as well.
The planes around my ceiling in my writing office gave me lots of fun for a very long time and the only reason I stopped the habit was because I moved offices.
So as Mr. Roarke used to say, “Smiles everyone, smiles.”
Keep having fun.