Posts tagged challenge

The Challenge Continues

Going Onward… The Writing Continues 

Way back on the last day of June, I started off by writing a short story I called a warm-up story. It was a Poker Boy story actually, for a nifty idea called “The Uncollected Anthology.”

So, if you want to read that very first story, 33 stories ago, it is now available along with five other stories by other authors on the same theme.

On the Uncollected Anthology page, the idea is explained and you can buy five other stories besides mine about magical libraries. Authors include professional writers Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dayle A. Dermatis, Michele Lang, Annie Reed, and Leslie Claire Walker.

The other 32 stories I wrote in July will be available September 15th. But for right now, go buy that first story from June and also grab the other five Uncollected Anthology stories while you are at it. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

YESTERDAY

Yesterday actually was the end of the July short story challenge to do a story per day. And it was also the end of two straight years of Writing in Public blogs.

730 days without missing.

Now that’s a streak.

And it’s a streak I’m going to continue.

So going onward, I will be doing a blog on different things about the day, topics of the night, and my writing. However, the titles of each day’s blog will change. That “Writing in Public” title got really old after 730 days. (grin)

I will also talk some about my days, sometimes in details, sometimes in general terms. That way you can stay in on the ups and downs of a professional writer’s life.

This coming week I will also put up the final chapter of Stages of a Fiction Writer. Then I am going to start through a brand new nonfiction writing book which should be great fun to follow. Heinlein’s Business Rules of Writing.

THE PROCESS OF DECIDING WHAT TO DO STARTING TODAY

Actually, what I thought I would do going forward changed a bunch of times over the last three days. Yesterday I thought I would just continue writing a story a day until that streak ended. But I knew it would end because I also have a novel due by the 15th of this month.

So when I woke up this morning, I decided I would just focus on getting the novel turned in on time and get the Stages of a Fiction Writer turned in, and get the Stories from July turned in. And get the blurbs for the July stories done as well and write about them here.

Figured that would be enough. So back to novel writing and doing a novel in 14 days because I didn’t work on it today. (grin)

FUN STUFF TODAY

I got the new edition of Smith’s Monthly in the mail. I will get all those off to paper subscribers and to the Patreon subscribers who get paper and the electronic copies to Patreon subscribers as well tonight or tomorrow night.

If you are a regular subscriber and haven’t already gotten Smith’s Monthly #21, let me know.

Also, I went out to the auction tonight. Nothing much, but it was fun to talk with everyone.

Also, at some point over the next few days I will total up all my words I wrote in year two of this blog. Guessing that the total will be around 1.4 million words not counting comments on this blog and the workshop blogs. About 800,000 words of that will be fiction, I think.

I’ll get exact numbers in a day or so.

WORKSHOP UPDATE

All letters to everyone signed up for the August online workshops have gone out. If you are signed up and didn’t get a letter from me, write me.

All ten workshops still have room. The workshops start on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

September workshops are listed under online workshops.

As far as the coast workshops, I still haven’t had time to start the Master Class group list yet. And three spots still open in that workshop as well if interested.

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: The Power of  a Streak

Wow, over the last few days I discovered the fantastic power of a streak. Not only did I have a streak of writing a short story every day for 32 days, but I had this blogging streak that was beyond 730 days without a miss.

The short story streak really pushed me to just keep going and writing new stories every day. But then I looked at the stack of 32 stories, many that I couldn’t even remember, and decided that doing something with those first might be a plan.

As I have said, I always tend to fall down on Heinlein’s Rule #4. I love to write, but the getting the stuff out to readers is sometimes an issue and if I had continued the story per night, that was where I was headed. (grin)

But keeping track of my writing every month has been very, very helpful to me. So that streak of doing these blogs and topics of the nights will continue. This is day 731.

So if you find yourself setting up a streak, it will be amazing the power that the streak has to get you through tough times.

Some writers use 500 new words a day as a streak base. I have seen writers not miss a day for years and years on that streak, without exception. (Yes that includes holidays.)

When I got serious about writing, I set up a challenge to do a short story per week and had numbers of streaks during that time.

So use streaks when you can. Very, very powerful.

Now onward. Next night or so I will start the blurb topic as well. I need to write 32 blurbs for short stories.

And yes, I wrote the blurb for “The Library of Atlantis: A Poker Boy Story.”

———-


Totals For Year 3, Month 1, Day 1

(As with every month, all totals reset.)

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

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

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

— E-mail: 47 e-mails. Approx. 700 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 47 e-mails. Approx. 700 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 0 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 31

Friday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 31 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 31 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 THIRTY-ONE…

Wrapped up the last story of the month tonight, so didn’t miss a day and one day I had two. Crazy thing, of course, is that the story I wrote tonight, even though I started late, turned out to be a fairly long one. Figures.

So almost seven in the morning I am typing this, an hour later than normal.

Day went like this: Up around 1 p.m. after a short night’s sleep, then off to snail mail, banks, and grocery store before heading to WMG Publishing for some hours of meetings.

Then at 5:30 six professional writers went out to dinner. Great fun.

We got done around 7:30 and went back to the office where another ten professional writers joined us. From 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. only writing and publishing discussions among professionals. Fantastic fun. These meetings help keep me on track with where I am going with my writing and I always learn stuff. Thanks, everyone!

Home by midnight and then headed to watch some television, then a very short nap, but even with all that, I didn’t make it in here to write until around 3 a.m. again.

(And I did not get time to do the cover for last night’s story, so will add the last two covers tomorrow night when I talk about going forward into August.)

Went to the half-title pages once again to get started and saw a phrase “Start with” and then I saw another phrase from another decade of old magazines. “A Coffin.”

Slammed those two together to get “Start with a Coffin” and then added “A Captain Brian Saber Story.

My old-people-in-space series of stories. Only thing I have with coffins in the stories. That’s what they call their sleep chambers on their startships.

So you want a sample of the first two paragraphs of the story?  Here they are…

Captain Brian Saber woke with a start. The old clock in his nursing-home room ticked onward, ever forward, counting the seconds of his life draining away like a drip in a leaky faucet.

Faint moonlight colored the blinds white like ghosts hanging over the sliding glass door that led onto the patio in the center of Shady Hills Nursing Home.

I managed to get 1,100 words done by 4 a.m.

A very short break, then another 1,400 words done by 5 a.m.

Another short break and I just kept writing until I finished the story at 6:35 because I was afraid of stopping.

4,450 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris said she liked it. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: All Done with July

Story #32 is all done. 101,750 words of short fiction and another 30,000 words of blog posts. So the book will be around 135,000 words long with an introduction and all the blurbs, which I will be doing in posts here.

Book with all these stories is still scheduled to be out September 15th.

My focus now, of course, is the coming month and what am I going to be writing and so on. But I think I will just leave that for tomorrow night’s topic.

For now, I must say I am surprised that life didn’t derail me at some point in the last month.

And I am surprised as well as to how easy stories came once I got the old brain dusted off and moving forward with titles.

I wrote stories, not planned, but in the hindsight now of 32 short stories, in all but one of my major series. The only one I missed was my thriller series staring Doc Hill. I think I pretty much ended up writing in the rest of the series.

All of these stories were written into the dark, without an ounce of planning for any of them. It seemed that each day I just didn’t think about writing until I sat down at my writing computer. When I am writing novels, I tend to think about the novel and the characters during the day. Not with these short stories.

So I hope those of you following this over the month had fun.

And I hope those reading this in book form are enjoying both the stories and the blogs about the writing of the stories.

It’s been a fun month for me, that’s for sure.

Now onward.

Stories from July will be given free to the Patreon supporters.


———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words 
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words
Story #4… July 4… The Problem of Grapevine Springs…4,550 words
Story #5… July 5… Best Eaten on a Slow Tuesday…3,000 words
Story #6… July 6… A Matter for a Future Year…3,000 words
Story #7… July 7… Roses Around the Moment…4,550 words
Story #8… July 8… For the Delusion that Waited…1,250 words
Story #9… July 8… Here to Stay on the Edge…2,950 words
Story #10… July 9… The Great Alien Vibration…2,400 words
Story #11… July 10… A Great First Day …4,350 words
Story #12… July 11… The Face in the Fullness of Time …1,900 words
Story #13… July 12… Why Delay? Just Rub …2,400 words
Story #14… July 13… The Stone Slept Here …1,650 words
Story #15… July 14… An Obscene Crime Against Passion …3,150 words
Story #16… July 15… Make Myself Just One More …3,350 words
Story #17… July 16… Gods Have History …3,600 words
Story #18… July 17… Idanha Hotel …3,950 words
Story #19… July 18… Something Wasted On …1,850 words
Story #20… July 19… Nobody Slept Here …3,200 words
Story #21… July 20… Leaking Away a Life …5,400 words
Story #22… July 21… Coffee Shop Comedy …2,600 words
Story #23… July 22… The Cavern …4,400 words
Story #24… July 23… A Bad Day for the Dream …2,800 words
Story #25… July 24… The Remodeling of a Life …2,400 words
Story #26… July 25… Dreaming Large …3,150 words
Story #27… July 26… To Remember a Single Minute …1,250 words
Story #28… July 27… The Case of the Lost Treasure …3,200 words
Story #29… July 28… A Study of an Accident …2,300 words
Story #30… July 29… The Lady of Whispering Valley …3,100 words
Story #31… July 30… The Rude Improbable Presumptive …2,700 words
Story #32… July 31… Start With a Coffin …4,450 words

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 31

— Daily Fiction: 4,450 original words. Fiction month-to-date:101,750 words  

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

— Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 29,700 words

— E-mail: 11 e-mails. Approx. 400 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 568 e-mails. Approx. 23,800 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 30 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 30

Thursday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 30 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 30 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 THIRTY…

Once again today I am stunned that I got a story done today. Another one of those crazy days just like the previous two and I only got about six hours sleep last night after five the night before.

And more meetings again tomorrow, so not much hope of a full night’s sleep ahead.

So anyhow, the day went like this: Out of here by 2:30 p.m., hit the snail mail, then headed to a meeting at the Anchor Hotel about workshops. They are making changes and I will announce those later. Nothing major, but it will change a few of our policies that needed changed anyway.

I then went back to WMG office and had some fun conversations with a couple of other professional writers who had stopped by, plus Allyson.

Then I went to my office, did the cover for the story last night, and then worked on workshop stuff.

I got a bunch of the workshops switched around to August and will need to do more tomorrow and Saturday before sending out letters to those signed up for August online workshops on Saturday night.

And yes, there is still room in all ten workshops. Even the two new ones.

Kris got there around 7:15 and we headed home for dinner and news and dishes. I made it back to the WMG offices by 9 p.m.  I worked there on the new workshops until just before midnight once again.

And as I said last night, I am very, very happy how the two new online workshops are developing. I think the careers workshop will be very special when it’s all done. And the Character Development workshop will be like Depth, a do-not-miss workshop.

Then I went to watch some television and got in here around 1 a.m. to do my e-mail which I had not really looked at all day. Then I went out to my chair to take a nap. Kris woke me around 2 a.m.

Got back in here around 2:30 a.m. groggy and by the time I got to my writing computer it was once again 3 a.m. Starting a story at 3 a.m. as I have done the last three nights is sort of silly on the face of it, especially as tired as I am.

As normal, the half-title sheets once again gave me something to play with after a few minutes of scanning them. I noticed the phrase “The Improbable” and then on another sheet I noticed the half-title “Presumptive.”

I knew instantly that if I slammed those two together, I would have a Poker Boy story. So I added one word and came up with the title “The Rude Improbable Presumptive: A Poker Boy Story.”

I did 1,100 words by 4:15 a.m.

Took a short break for something to eat, then finished the story in a long session by 5:15 a.m. (I was afraid being so tired that if I stood up, I would say the hell with it and go to bed.)

2,700 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris said the Buckey story was wonderful. Well, that was a stunner. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Yet Another Point for the Challenge

Story #31 for the month. I most likely will do another tomorrow night to make sure I don’t miss a day, but I have done 31 stories in thirty days. (Actually 32 stories in 31 days, counting the one I did the day before the challenge started.)

I sure hope those out there who were going to try this had a good month as well. Most everyone stopped reporting in, so I have no idea.

The problem with a challenge like this is that it sounds easy when stated in a summary statement. “I want to write a story a day for a month.”

Oh, sure, easy as baking a pie.

Reality of life and control-of-life-events and idea generating and ups and downs of the human body over a month smack right into that simple summary statement like a truck driving over child’s toy. It is seldom pretty. (grin)

Now as I have said before, I also averaged over 50 hours per week at work-stuff outside of any writing. So in essence I did this with a day job.

So if you are having trouble finding time to write, I sort of took those excuses away didn’t I?

If you have trouble with my timing, just extrapolate them. Shift the clock for yourself. My 2 p.m. could be your 8 a.m.

And the simple statement of a story a day means you are completing something every day, seven days a week. No break, no time off.

I knew all this going in. Why? Because I have tried things like this and failed numbers of times before. Failure is a part of writing and learning.

I also knew how long it would take me to do a cover every day, so figured that would be a nifty thing to add in and it has been. Looking at the thirty covers below sort of surprises me more than looking at all the word doc files I have in a folder labeled July Stories.

I look back at many of the stories and flat don’t remember them. The wonder of my mind. I create new, flush the stuff out that is old.

Another point here. I also will waste no time rewriting any of these. Other than a few minutes per story fixing what Kris found for typos, the stories as I did them will go right into the book and right to the copyeditor, just as all my stories since 1982 have been treated. I trust my subconscious and my first reader.

So by my rough count, the Stories from July big collection will have pretty close to a hundred thousand words of short stories of all types, in the order I wrote them. And about thirty thousand words of blogs and an introduction and blurbs for each story. Plus the cover for each story.

In the book it will be organized like this: I will put the Day, like Day Five, then the major part of the blog and the topic of the night, then the cover, the blurb, and then the story written that day.

Repeat.

In essence, I wrote a book of 140,000 words in one month. Now that will mess with English teacher’s minds. (grin)

So one big book. Should be a fun writing book and I hope entertaining with the stories as well. You won’t like every story in it, but I hope you like a lot of them.

Stories from July will be given free to the Patreon supporters.


———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words 
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words
Story #4… July 4… The Problem of Grapevine Springs…4,550 words
Story #5… July 5… Best Eaten on a Slow Tuesday…3,000 words
Story #6… July 6… A Matter for a Future Year…3,000 words
Story #7… July 7… Roses Around the Moment…4,550 words
Story #8… July 8… For the Delusion that Waited…1,250 words
Story #9… July 8… Here to Stay on the Edge…2,950 words
Story #10… July 9… The Great Alien Vibration…2,400 words
Story #11… July 10… A Great First Day …4,350 words
Story #12… July 11… The Face in the Fullness of Time …1,900 words
Story #13… July 12… Why Delay? Just Rub …2,400 words
Story #14… July 13… The Stone Slept Here …1,650 words
Story #15… July 14… An Obscene Crime Against Passion …3,150 words
Story #16… July 15… Make Myself Just One More …3,350 words
Story #17… July 16… Gods Have History …3,600 words
Story #18… July 17… Idanha Hotel …3,950 words
Story #19… July 18… Something Wasted On …1,850 words
Story #20… July 19… Nobody Slept Here …3,200 words
Story #21… July 20… Leaking Away a Life …5,400 words
Story #22… July 21… Coffee Shop Comedy …2,600 words
Story #23… July 22… The Cavern …4,400 words
Story #24… July 23… A Bad Day for the Dream …2,800 words
Story #25… July 24… The Remodeling of a Life …2,400 words
Story #26… July 25… Dreaming Large …3,150 words
Story #27… July 26… To Remember a Single Minute …1,250 words
Story #28… July 27… The Case of the Lost Treasure …3,200 words
Story #29… July 28… A Study of an Accident …2,300 words
Story #30… July 29… The Lady of Whispering Valley …3,100 words
Story #31… July 30… The Rude Improbable Presumptive …2,700 words

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 30

— Daily Fiction: 2,700 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 97,300 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: 28,800 words

— E-mail: 12 e-mails. Approx. 600 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 557 e-mails. Approx. 23,400 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 30 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 29

Wednesday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 29 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 29 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-NINE…

Once again today I am stunned that I got a story done. Another one of those crazy days and I only got about five hours sleep last night.

And I won’t get more than seven hours tonight after I get this done, if that, since I have meetings tomorrow.

So anyhow, off to the snail mail, then to the grocery store deli for lunch, then to WMG Publishing offices. I worked there on first getting the cover done for last night’s story, then I worked CFO stuff for WMG Publishing. You know, all the month-end bills and such.

Kris got there around 7:15 and we headed home for dinner and news. She again offered to do the dishes, so I made it back to the WMG offices by 9 p.m.  I worked there on the new workshops until just before midnight. I am very, very happy how the two new online workshops are developing. I think the careers workshop will be very special when it’s all done.

And still room in both new workshops. Wow, this really is the time of great forgetting.

Then I did my e-mail which I had not really looked at all day. Then I headed to watch the news, then to my chair to take a nap for an hour.

Got back in here around 2:30 a.m. groggy and by the time I got to my writing computer it was once again 3 a.m. Starting a story at 3 a.m. is sort of silly on the face of it, especially as tired as I was.

And let me just say, the ocean was so loud, I couldn’t hear my radio. Pounding surf tonight. Wow.

The half-title sheets once again gave me something to play with after a few minutes of scanning them. I typed in “Whispering Valley” and then searched for something to collide with that. I saw another half-title “The Lady of” and knew I had my title.

And since the last Buckey the Space Pirate story I had written a year or so ago left him with a girlfriend a hundred and fifty years in the past and him asking his talking oak tree friend named Fred to take him back and forth through time to her, I figured I had better continue that idea.

So I typed in the title “The Lady of Whispering Valley: A Buckey the Space Pirate Story” and off I went.

I did 900 words by 3:45 a.m.

Took a short break for more tea, then did 1,200 words by 5 a.m.

A very short break and I finished the story at 5:50 a.m.

3,100 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris said the story was creepy and worked great. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Another Point for the Challenge

Very shortly, meaning in the next day or so, I will start putting these challenge story covers up on a page of their own. And with each challenge story, I will write a blurb for the story that will go along with the story in the big challenge book and be on the online sites and also on the back cover of the paper editions of each story.

Why am I doing this? Because I need to put this big book together to get it to WMG Publishing and hit the September 15th publication date.  And each story in the book needs to have a blurb at the top of it.

So if you want a lesson over the next week in how to write sales copy for your stories, might want to follow along with me putting up all thirty-plus of these stories with blurbs on their own page. It will also let you know what some of these stories are about, besides the title.

I will let you know when that starts, but trust me, most of you need help writing sales blurbs. Not all of you, but most. It is a critical skill in this modern world, even if you are traditionally published. Two traditional writer friends of mine who know how to write sales blurbs write them for their publisher.

One more quick point tonight before I go fall down. This is a story completed that would not have been completed if not for this challenge. As a few of the stories earlier, the challenge drove me to sit down exhausted at three in the morning and write a short story.

So win for the challenge.

30 stories in 29 days. Onward.

Yes, all these blogs and writing articles and all these covers and all the stories will be in the big book Stories from July put together when this is all done. It will be for sale in all forms except audio and will be given free to the Patreon supporters. (Audio will take much more time if the fine folks at WMG Publishing think it is worth it.)


———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words 
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words
Story #4… July 4… The Problem of Grapevine Springs…4,550 words
Story #5… July 5… Best Eaten on a Slow Tuesday…3,000 words
Story #6… July 6… A Matter for a Future Year…3,000 words
Story #7… July 7… Roses Around the Moment…4,550 words
Story #8… July 8… For the Delusion that Waited…1,250 words
Story #9… July 8… Here to Stay on the Edge…2,950 words
Story #10… July 9… The Great Alien Vibration…2,400 words
Story #11… July 10… A Great First Day …4,350 words
Story #12… July 11… The Face in the Fullness of Time …1,900 words
Story #13… July 12… Why Delay? Just Rub …2,400 words
Story #14… July 13… The Stone Slept Here …1,650 words
Story #15… July 14… An Obscene Crime Against Passion …3,150 words
Story #16… July 15… Make Myself Just One More …3,350 words
Story #17… July 16… Gods Have History …3,600 words
Story #18… July 17… Idanha Hotel …3,950 words
Story #19… July 18… Something Wasted On …1,850 words
Story #20… July 19… Nobody Slept Here …3,200 words
Story #21… July 20… Leaking Away a Life …5,400 words
Story #22… July 21… Coffee Shop Comedy …2,600 words
Story #23… July 22… The Cavern …4,400 words
Story #24… July 23… A Bad Day for the Dream …2,800 words
Story #25… July 24… The Remodeling of a Life …2,400 words
Story #26… July 25… Dreaming Large …3,150 words
Story #27… July 26… To Remember a Single Minute …1,250 words
Story #28… July 27… The Case of the Lost Treasure …3,200 words
Story #29… July 28… A Study of an Accident …2,300 words
Story #30… July 29… The Lady of Whispering Valley …3,100 words

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 29

— Daily Fiction: 3,100 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 94,600 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: 27,500 words

— E-mail: 14 e-mails. Approx. 800 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 545 e-mails. Approx. 22,800 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 28 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 28

Tuesday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 28 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 28 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-EIGHT…

Such a crazy busy day, I almost didn’t leave time to do a short story tonight. I managed to get out of the house around 2:30 p.m. after talking collectables with the wonderful woman who cleans our house every week.

Off to snail mail, back to WMG Publishing offices for a very short time, then off to meet Kris for lunch, then back to WMG offices again, then out to the WMG store.

I made it back to the WMG offices around 5 p.m. for the third time. I got the cover done for last night’s story, then headed off to the grocery store and then home.

I managed to watch the news and have dinner before heading back to WMG offices for the fourth time in the day. There I worked on workshop stuff and also worked in one warehouse to dig out some things for the WMG store

Around 11 p.m. I ran that stuff out to the store, then went home.

At 11:30 p.m. I started into the assignments, worked for an hour, went to watch a little bit of television, then back in here to finish the workshop assignments. The third assignment for the Advanced Depth workshop tonight and that’s always a fun one for me, but takes time.

So got done around 2:30 a.m., then went to sit in my chair and rest my one eye for a short time. Kris and I talked about some travel plans for a time and by 3:30 a.m. I sat down to start a story.

Half-title pages from Ellery Queen Magazine in the 1970s  got me the phrase “A Study of”  and then I noticed the phrase “An Accident.”

Jammed those two together for “A Study of an Accident: A Bryant Street Story.” I didn’t add the Bryant Street part until I got to the end and realized it was a Bryant Street story.

I wrote 1,100 words by 4:30 a.m.

I took a very short break and went back at it and finished the story by 5:20 a.m.

2,300 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris said the story worked and was fun. Thanks, Kris!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: More on Learning

As Kris and I put these two new online workshops together, Careers and Character Development, and I record them, I am learning a ton.

Trying to figure out ways to explain something in a clear way can really make a person see new stuff, and I am no exception to that. I am seeing all sorts of new things.

And also, the assignments help me keep learning. Part of one assignment on the Advanced Depth workshop is to find stories that have a certain type of opening.

Now, understand, there are a bunch of ways at coming at openings, and often the ways combine when in the hands of masters. (Stage Four Writers.) So the discussion I get to have with other writers about openings in that workshop is just fantastic for me. I get to study other Stage Four Writers and learn as well.

This is the second time doing that workshop and I am learning as much stuff this second time as I did the first time through.

So back to the Careers workshop that I am working on today and tomorrow. This new world of writing is really changing careers that writers have. I have said numbers of times that I think the successful career writer in twenty years will not resemble the successful career writer of twenty years ago.

And we are flat in the center of this transition from one form of career fiction writer to another.

Since I started over twenty years ago, part of my learning process is unlearning old and now worthless information and ways of doing things.

What’s worthless? Agents? And traditional book publishers, to name two of the large worthless things in this new world of career writers. Both no longer serve a purpose for the career writer of twenty years from now.

Some forms of traditional publishers will still be around in the short fiction world and specialty book world. But the idea of selling a novel forever to a traditional publisher will be stunningly silly to a successful career writer twenty years from now.

As some of you might remember, we started this careers workshop as a workshop with the fifty pitfalls and advice every writer who wants a career should know. That is still the structure.

Some of those pitfalls will be trying to help writers to not fall for silliness like signing an all rights contract for the life of a copyright. Or not fall for the scams of developmental editors and how to even spot one, as we have talked a little about here.

But much of this will also be survival methods to help career writers make it through the ups and downs of a career.

Remember, this workshop is not about making a living. This is about making a career.

And even though I have had a career now for over three decades, by putting this together to teach, I am learning all sorts of new stuff. And a lot of it will help me move toward being that new form of successful career writer in twenty years.

Yes, all these blogs and writing articles and all these covers and all the stories will be in the big book Stories from July put together when this is all done. It will be for sale in all forms except audio and will be given free to the Patreon supporters. (Audio will take much more time if the fine folks at WMG Publishing think it is worth it.)


———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words 
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words
Story #4… July 4… The Problem of Grapevine Springs…4,550 words
Story #5… July 5… Best Eaten on a Slow Tuesday…3,000 words
Story #6… July 6… A Matter for a Future Year…3,000 words
Story #7… July 7… Roses Around the Moment…4,550 words
Story #8… July 8… For the Delusion that Waited…1,250 words
Story #9… July 8… Here to Stay on the Edge…2,950 words
Story #10… July 9… The Great Alien Vibration…2,400 words
Story #11… July 10… A Great First Day …4,350 words
Story #12… July 11… The Face in the Fullness of Time …1,900 words
Story #13… July 12… Why Delay? Just Rub …2,400 words
Story #14… July 13… The Stone Slept Here …1,650 words
Story #15… July 14… An Obscene Crime Against Passion …3,150 words
Story #16… July 15… Make Myself Just One More …3,350 words
Story #17… July 16… Gods Have History …3,600 words
Story #18… July 17… Idanha Hotel …3,950 words
Story #19… July 18… Something Wasted On …1,850 words
Story #20… July 19… Nobody Slept Here …3,200 words
Story #21… July 20… Leaking Away a Life …5,400 words
Story #22… July 21… Coffee Shop Comedy …2,600 words
Story #23… July 22… The Cavern …4,400 words
Story #24… July 23… A Bad Day for the Dream …2,800 words
Story #25… July 24… The Remodeling of a Life …2,400 words
Story #26… July 25… Dreaming Large …3,150 words
Story #27… July 26… To Remember a Single Minute …1,250 words
Story #28… July 27… The Case of the Lost Treasure …3,200 words
Story #29… July 28… A Study of an Accident …2,300 words

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 28

— Daily Fiction: 2,300 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 91,500 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: 27,500 words

— E-mail: 37 e-mails. Approx. 1,800 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 531 e-mails. Approx. 22,000 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 28 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 27

Monday… Year 2, Month 12, Day 27 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Day 27 of the STORIES FROM JULY challenge.

The challenge is to write a short story every day for the month of July and put them all in one massive book, along with these blogs about the writing of the stories.

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN…

Got out of the house around 3 p.m., then went to the snail mail, then headed out to the WMG store with a box of comics I had sorted last night after I got done with writing and this blog.

Then back to walk with another professional writer, then to the grocery store, then to the WMG Publishing offices. I did the cover for the story last night, then worked on workshop stuff until Kris got there around 7 p.m. and we headed home.

I watched a little news with dinner, then got up here to work on workshop stuff. Kris offered to do dishes even though she cooked because she knew I was jamming and tired.

So I managed with an early start like that to get the workshop stuff done by around 10:30 p.m. Then I took a short nap and went to watch a little television, then back up here around 12:30 a.m. to get started on the writing.

I had hoped to start the Master Class e-mail list and still might after I get this done. So if you are signed up for the coast Master Class in October, expect an e-mail from me over the next few days.

And speaking of workshops, all August online workshops have openings and are starting in one week. I’m sort of surprised that neither of the two new workshops even will fill the first month out. I really thought more people would be interested in character development. Guess not.

So at 12:30 a.m. I went to my half-title page and noticed the phrase “Lost Treasure.” I instantly thought that would be a fun case for Pilgrim Hugh, so I typed in the title “The Case of the Lost Treasure: A Pilgrim Hugh Incident” and started typing.

The very first story in this challenge was a Pilgrim Hugh story.

I did 800 words and then took a break and another nap. As I said, I was really tired.

Then after that break I got back in here around 2:30 a.m. and did 1,000 words by 3:15 a.m.

Another short break for more tea and some peanut butter, then another 900 words by 4 a.m.

A short break to give the cats a little snack and eat some lunch meat, then back to finish the story by 4:30 a.m.

3,200 words.

Update on yesterday’s story: Kris really liked the story and said it made her cry again at breakfast. She wanted me to send it to Asimov’s or Analog, and I thought about it.

I really did.

Since the story at 1,250 words would be an easy buy for them and also Kris was right after she talked to me about it. It was a perfect story for them. In hindsight, I could see that.

Also, I figured I was one story ahead on the challenge and could do that. But then, after thinking about it for a time this afternoon, I decided I would stay true to the challenge and put them all in the book. So, thanks, Kris, for the great feedback!

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Some More Comments on Learning

Today I got three letters from people taking me to task a little bit on my suggestions yesterday about finding instructors to learn from.

All three had the same basic sort of point they were trying to make that I find so foul at the core as to not really know what to say.

Their Point: Sometimes a person who does not actually do what they teach can be a great teacher.

No.

And especially in fiction.

If you are trying to learn how to write and improve your work from someone who has not spent the time in the chair and learned fiction through producing millions of words of fiction and selling to millions of readers, you are lost. Sorry, blunt but true.

And one of the great scams to emerge out of indie publishing is the “developmental editor” whatever the hell they are.

Most of these new made-up form of editor are not fiction writers, but instead are someone without any credentials (but maybe an English degree) calling themselves some form of editor.

There was an ad on television that was supposed to be silly. It was an ad about staying at some hotel chain making a person smart enough to be a surgeon or an airline pilot or a firefighter or whatever. Only because they stayed a night in the hotel.

That is how really, really, really silly learning how to be a fiction writer from someone who is not a fiction writer actually is.

That “developmental editor” person stayed at a hotel once and now can tell you how to write.

Uhhh… No.

So when you are thinking of giving your book to someone and paying them money to “help you,” please, please check their credentials as best you can.

I know a few major bestselling fiction writers who help writers with books, Dave Farland being one. Those are worth every penny that they charge because they know what makes a good book.

But if you can’t find anything but a few nonfiction books by the “editor” about how to write fiction and they have published no novels of their own, well, STOP AND THINK.

Use common sense.

Some person with an English degree and a desire to scam writers will not “help you” and could really, really hurt you because you paid them money and feel you should listen to them.

And sadly, these scams are becoming major these days and will destroy writer’s dreams.

So yes, I know some of you are really hungry for knowledge, and I am as well. But for heaven’s sake, you want to know how to be a long term professional fiction writer?

Do three things:

1) Read and understand and follow Heinlein’s Rules.

2) Learn as much as you can, for as long as you can, from writers who are successful and been around a while.

3) Stop being in such a hurry. This is a profession that takes time to learn.

And if this stops just one person out there from being taken by a scam “developmental editor” or  a person telling you that you can “become a bestseller in 90 days,” then this rant was worth it.

Yes, all these blogs and writing articles and all these covers and all the stories will be in the big book Stories from July put together when this is all done. It will be for sale in all forms except audio and will be given free to the Patreon supporters. (Audio will take much more time if the fine folks at WMG Publishing think it is worth it.)


———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words 
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words
Story #4… July 4… The Problem of Grapevine Springs…4,550 words
Story #5… July 5… Best Eaten on a Slow Tuesday…3,000 words
Story #6… July 6… A Matter for a Future Year…3,000 words
Story #7… July 7… Roses Around the Moment…4,550 words
Story #8… July 8… For the Delusion that Waited…1,250 words
Story #9… July 8… Here to Stay on the Edge…2,950 words
Story #10… July 9… The Great Alien Vibration…2,400 words
Story #11… July 10… A Great First Day …4,350 words
Story #12… July 11… The Face in the Fullness of Time …1,900 words
Story #13… July 12… Why Delay? Just Rub …2,400 words
Story #14… July 13… The Stone Slept Here …1,650 words
Story #15… July 14… An Obscene Crime Against Passion …3,150 words
Story #16… July 15… Make Myself Just One More …3,350 words
Story #17… July 16… Gods Have History …3,600 words
Story #18… July 17… Idanha Hotel …3,950 words
Story #19… July 18… Something Wasted On …1,850 words
Story #20… July 19… Nobody Slept Here …3,200 words
Story #21… July 20… Leaking Away a Life …5,400 words
Story #22… July 21… Coffee Shop Comedy …2,600 words
Story #23… July 22… The Cavern …4,400 words
Story #24… July 23… A Bad Day for the Dream …2,800 words
Story #25… July 24… The Remodeling of a Life …2,400 words
Story #26… July 25… Dreaming Large …3,150 words
Story #27… July 26… To Remember a Single Minute …1,250 words
Story #28… July 27… The Case of the Lost Treasure …3,200 words

———-
Totals For Year 2, Month 12, Day 27

— Daily Fiction: 3,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 89,200 words  

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

— Blog Posts: 1,300 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 26,400 words

— E-mail: 29 e-mails. Approx. 1,100 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 494 e-mails. Approx. 20,200 words

— Covers Designed and Finished: 1. Covers finished month-to-date: 27 Covers

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.
Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

 

Writing in Public: Year 2, Month 12, Day 26

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

Day 26 of the STORIES FROM JULY challenge.

The challenge is to write a short story every day for the month of July and put them all in one massive book, along with these blogs about the writing of the stories.

DAY TWENTY-SIX…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1,250 words.

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

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Caution in this New World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Writers with experience are teaching everywhere, folks.

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

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

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

Yes, all these blogs and writing articles and all these covers and all the stories will be in the big book Stories from July put together when this is all done. It will be for sale in all forms except audio and will be given free to the Patreon supporters. (Audio will take much more time if the fine folks at WMG Publishing think it is worth it.)


———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words 
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words
Story #4… July 4… The Problem of Grapevine Springs…4,550 words
Story #5… July 5… Best Eaten on a Slow Tuesday…3,000 words
Story #6… July 6… A Matter for a Future Year…3,000 words
Story #7… July 7… Roses Around the Moment…4,550 words
Story #8… July 8… For the Delusion that Waited…1,250 words
Story #9… July 8… Here to Stay on the Edge…2,950 words
Story #10… July 9… The Great Alien Vibration…2,400 words
Story #11… July 10… A Great First Day …4,350 words
Story #12… July 11… The Face in the Fullness of Time …1,900 words
Story #13… July 12… Why Delay? Just Rub …2,400 words
Story #14… July 13… The Stone Slept Here …1,650 words
Story #15… July 14… An Obscene Crime Against Passion …3,150 words
Story #16… July 15… Make Myself Just One More …3,350 words
Story #17… July 16… Gods Have History …3,600 words
Story #18… July 17… Idanha Hotel …3,950 words
Story #19… July 18… Something Wasted On …1,850 words
Story #20… July 19… Nobody Slept Here …3,200 words
Story #21… July 20… Leaking Away a Life …5,400 words
Story #22… July 21… Coffee Shop Comedy …2,600 words
Story #23… July 22… The Cavern …4,400 words
Story #24… July 23… A Bad Day for the Dream …2,800 words
Story #25… July 24… The Remodeling of a Life …2,400 words
Story #26… July 25… Dreaming Large …3,150 words
Story #27… July 26… To Remember a Single Minute …1,250 words

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

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

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

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

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

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

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.
Oo4th_patreon_name


Tip Jar

 

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

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

Day 25 of the STORIES FROM JULY challenge.

The challenge is to write a short story every day for the month of July and put them all in one massive book, along with these blogs about the writing of the stories.

DAY TWENTY-FIVE…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3,150 words.

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

TOPIC OF THE NIGHT: Update On This Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, all these blogs and writing articles and all these covers and all the stories will be in the big book Stories from July put together when this is all done. It will be for sale in all forms except audio and will be given free to the Patreon supporters. (Audio will take much more time if the fine folks at WMG Publishing think it is worth it.)


———-

STORIES FROM JULY

(Story #0… June 30th… The Library of Atlantis…. 4,000 words.)
Story #1… July 1… The Case of the Dead Lady Blues… 3,700 words 
Story #2… July 2… A Bad Patch of Humanity… 4,050 words 
Story #3… July 3… They Were Divided by Cold Debt…3,450 words
Story #4… July 4… The Problem of Grapevine Springs…4,550 words
Story #5… July 5… Best Eaten on a Slow Tuesday…3,000 words
Story #6… July 6… A Matter for a Future Year…3,000 words
Story #7… July 7… Roses Around the Moment…4,550 words
Story #8… July 8… For the Delusion that Waited…1,250 words
Story #9… July 8… Here to Stay on the Edge…2,950 words
Story #10… July 9… The Great Alien Vibration…2,400 words
Story #11… July 10… A Great First Day …4,350 words
Story #12… July 11… The Face in the Fullness of Time …1,900 words
Story #13… July 12… Why Delay? Just Rub …2,400 words
Story #14… July 13… The Stone Slept Here …1,650 words
Story #15… July 14… An Obscene Crime Against Passion …3,150 words
Story #16… July 15… Make Myself Just One More …3,350 words
Story #17… July 16… Gods Have History …3,600 words
Story #18… July 17… Idanha Hotel …3,950 words
Story #19… July 18… Something Wasted On …1,850 words
Story #20… July 19… Nobody Slept Here …3,200 words
Story #21… July 20… Leaking Away a Life …5,400 words
Story #22… July 21… Coffee Shop Comedy …2,600 words
Story #23… July 22… The Cavern …4,400 words
Story #24… July 23… A Bad Day for the Dream …2,800 words
Story #25… July 24… The Remodeling of a Life …2,400 words
Story #26… July 25… Dreaming Large …3,150 words

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

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

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

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

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

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

——–

You can support this ongoing blog at Patreon on a monthly basis. Not per post. Just click on the Patreon image. Extra stuff for different levels of support and I will be adding in more as time goes on. Thanks for your support.

Or you can just toss a tip into the tip jar with a single donation at PayPal. Either way, your support keeps me going at these crazy posts.

And thanks.
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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.
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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.
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Class #11… Aug 3rd … Advanced Depth
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