Writing in Public: Month 8, Day 6

Month 8, Day 6 of this Writing in Public challenge.

Back today to a far more productive day than yesterday. Not a lot of new words, but productive.

Rolled out too early once again, still having trouble getting the schedule back into place. But getting closer by the day. This time I was up at 10:30 a.m. even though I crashed out around 3:30 a.m.

I did a bunch of e-mail and other stuff, then headed for the snail mail and to the WMG offices. Talked with the fine folks there for a time until Kris and Allyson and I headed off to a lunch meeting.

Then back at 3 p.m. for more productive meetings at the office. Lots of stuff to talk about after this last week.

Finally headed home at 5:30 p.m., did a little more e-mail, then headed for a nap with the white cat, dinner, news, and dishes.

Back in this writing and internet office around 10 p.m.. After dinner Kris and I got talking some more about one of the problems we saw happening in general at the big workshop last week. It seems that when faced with an idea, so many professional writers just grab for what Kris calls “Low Hanging Fruit.”

That means, basically, that the writers don’t really know how to get to their own original ideas and voices and thus they end up writing the same basic thing everyone else does. And trust me, in fiction, sameness does not sell. (Although in New York editors and agents want you to write the next Harry Potter/Twilight/Shades of whatever clone. And so younger writers and younger professionals think they need to do that.)

But sameness never sells. I saw this last week at the workshop as some great stories were passed on by editors, me included, because the stories were just like everyone else’s stories. They had little or no originality, even though the writing was stunning. And that bothered me and Kris. We have been talking about it in various ways since the workshop, until we finally (yesterday and today) came up with a way to teach originality.

Until this workshop this last week, it never dawned on either of us that it needed to be taught or could be taught. But last week even some of the most original voices in the workshop decided to go to sameness. Wow.

So around 10 p.m. I was excited about the new workshop idea and started to put it together, checking it with Kris as I went. Then I went downstairs around 11:30 p.m. to watch some television, getting back up here around 2 a.m.  I kept working on the new workshop and got it all ready and announced. (See post above on the new Originality workshop. It will be an amazing workshop, I promise.)

We also cancelled the Audio workshop on consultation with Jane at WMG Publishing this afternoon because of changes going on in the ACX program. We might bring the workshop back later if things settle.

So I’m excited about the new Originality workshop and didn’t get everything done on it until around 2:30 a.m.  Then I headed over to my writing computer and started in on the new novel idea instead of working on the novella as I should have been doing. (Bad writer…)

The new novel with Captain Brian Saber has me excited. I ended up rereading the four stories I have in that universe and figured out a way to sort of use some of them to form the basis of the novel and jump forward. I wrote about a thousand words, tossed half of it out, wrote a little more, and decided I had enough to put it away until I got the novella done. That’s due on Monday. (grin)

So a new workshop and the novel figured out and some great meetings up at WMG Publishing where a bunch of stuff was decided and the company moved forward.

A great day. Not a lot of new words, but enough for a good day. Nature of the beast at times.

And now I suppose you folks want a cat picture.

Kris tells me I need more cat pictures. So here’s me holding our cat Molly in my internet computer chair in this office. She was a rescue who lost her back hip as a kitten and we got her before they could put her down and donated money back to the charity that paid for her surgery to save her. She’s a diva.

Now that makes the day perfect. Figured out a book, some great meetings, started a new workshop, and a cat picture.

Photo on 2014-02-13 at 19.07 #4


Totals For Month 8, Day 6

– Daily Fiction: 1,100 words. Fiction month-to-date: 6,500 words

– Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 400 words

– Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 2,400 words

– E-mail: 17 e-mails. Approx. 1,050 new words. E-mails month-to date: 162 e-mails. Approx. 6,300 words

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

For projects finished in the first seven months (in a day or so I’ll have February in there) and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.

For projects finished in the first seven months 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.

Stories and Projects Finished This Month So Far

In order of production with the most recent at the top.


—Finished The Slots of Saturn: A Poker Boy novel. It will appear in Smith’s Monthly #7 in April and in June in book form. 58,000 words.

This entry was posted in Challenge, On Writing, publishing, Writing in Public and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Writing in Public: Month 8, Day 6

  1. Vera Soroka says:

    Oh I agree more cat pictures. I’m such a cat person-I have six felines. I’m interested in that originality course. It seems interesting giving that there is a lot of sameness out there-especially in YA.

  2. Nancy Beck says:

    Awww…Molly’s gorgeous! :-) Yeah, I’m a sucker for cat pictures (dogs too), lol.

    And I just bought Dust and Kisses. Reading the first few paras made it a sale for me.

  3. That new workshop sounds amazing. It’s definitely going on my list to hopefully take someday. I never thought originality would be something you could teach!

    Molly is gorgeous. She looks like a sweet cuddle kitty!

  4. Kati says:

    yay more cat pictures!!! I’m definitely a fan of this idea!! :D

  5. We also cancelled the Audio workshop on consultation with Jane at WMG Publishing this afternoon because of changes going on in the ACX program.

    I’d been wondering about what impact the changes at Audible might have on the workshop. The reduction in author share from Audible has given me severe pause in my own plans to get into Audio! Time to move toward a plan B!

    • dwsmith says:

      J.M., I wouldn’t change plans yet, just hold for a few months and let the dust settle. It is only a slight percentage change and a logical business decision for ACX, but it might change the dynamic with voice artists. It might not. We shall see.

  6. Teri Babcock says:

    Well, I was really keen to take the Audio, but over the course of the last… two? days with the change in % and then realizing that I couldn’t go to ACX directly because I don’t reside in the US, I decided it made no sense for me to do right now.

    Looks like I’m still going to be spending that money in the same place though :)

    And thank you for the kitty photo.

    • dwsmith says:

      Yeah, we all need to let the dust settle on these changes to see what is going to happen. So if we offer it, we’ll have good information that will work.

  7. Sharon says:

    What are you and Kris trying to do?!!! I’m a dog person! Yet I found myself looking up Birmans on the internet yesterday!!!! My dogs are giving me worried looks…
    Count me in on the “How to Avoid Low Hanging Fruit Class” (I know I’m one of the reasons you’re offering it, and I really appreciate it).
    Check’ll be in the mail today…

    • dwsmith says:

      When you have over 40 professional writers in the room and most of them went for the easy solution, it stunned us. Even major unique voices that were there, that normally do things off edges, half the time went for low-hanging easy stories. An editor can buy one story, maybe two, that are “same” but the rest of the anthology has to be filled with different. That’s why it took me waiting for other editors to reject stories before I could fill my anthology with stories that were different. That’s why the workshop.

      It never would have occurred to us to do without this last week. However, with traditional book publishers constantly wanting the same stuff that sold before, and agents pushing writers to write the same crap over and over, and classes in colleges forcing writers to rewrite until a story is bland and same, it should not have surprised us. But it sure did.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>