The Journal, Sunday, 3/19

Hey Folks,

Probably this will be another non-writing day. We’ll see.

Yep, nonwriting day.

Topic: Dean’s Lectures

Okay, first, you can see all of Dean’s lectures (with complete descriptions) at

On the surface, lectures are more attractive because they cost less. Of course, you get a great deal more bang for your buck (in most cases) from the online workshops.

So bearing that in mind, here are the lectures I recommend. If I don’t list a price beside them, they’re $50. Those with (KKR) are presented by Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

*****Heinlein’s Rules — 15 vids, $75 — Yes, even if you’ve downloaded my free annotated take on Heinlein’s Rules, I still recommend this. Worth every penny. For my money, actually, it’s worth as much as his classic workshops.

*****Master Plot Formula: How and Why It Works Today — This isn’t so you’ll plot a work before you write. This is to imbed the plot points in your subconscious so you “plot” while you’re writing. Excellent.

*****How to Think Like a Science Fiction Writer (KKR) — This is absolutely excellent. A lot about focus, on or off Earth. If I remember correctly, this is where she first mentions her “five senses exercise.”

*****How to Write a Page Turning Novel or Story: Basics and Tricks — Some great tips in this one.

****Endings: How to Write Them and Understand What Makes a Good Ending — This greatly enhanced my understanding.

*****Paying the Price: A Working Writer’s Mindset — Again, invaluable. And he isn’t talking about the price you pay in money. A lot here about setting priorities.

*****Short Stories to Novels — Not to sound like a broken record, but another excellent lecture. A lot of “how-to” and a lot of “should or should not.”

****Your Writing as an Investment — Almost every writer I know desperately needs this. I know I did.

Buy Dean’s Book Instead

The Stages of a Fiction Writer: How to Know Where You Are In Learning and How To Move Upward

Writing into the Dark: The Tricks and Methods of Writing Without an Outline

What Might Be Good

How to Research for Fiction Writers (KKR) — 14 vids, $75 — I haven’t taken this one, but I’m betting it’s well worth the money. Kris speaks quietly, so turn up the volume.

How to Write a Short Story: The Basics (KKR) — If you don’t write shorts but want to, I can’t think of a better place to learn. Seriously.

If you design or want to design your own book covers, the publisher Allyson Longueira also offers lectures on basic cover design.

And thus ends my recommendations re Dean’s stuff.

Any questions or if you want elaboration on anything above, email me.

Today, and (Not) Writing

Rolled out at 3:30. Nothing to report today, except a trip to retrieve my boys (son and grandson) from about an hour away. Blowout on my Tacoma, which they used to go over Middlemarch Pass, and the spare was low. Spare inflated, installed, back home. A minor adventure, and all is well.

Back tomorrow.

Of Interest

Some great comments and resources at Dean’s “Freedom in This New Publishing World.” See

Then see his “Back to Writing” at

Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 530 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 530

Writing of Novel Two

Day 1…… 978 words. Total words to date…… 978
Day 2…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX

Total fiction words for the month……… 33439
Total fiction words for the year………… 185305
Total nonfiction words for the month… 11210
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 47800

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 233105

1 thought on “The Journal, Sunday, 3/19”

  1. Mast Plot Formula was well worth the money for the single biggest tip for me on scene length. Way too many writers ask “How long should a scene be?” and get something silly like “How long is a piece of string?” Until I watched that lecture, I didn’t know where to stop a scene. Now I don’t even need to think about it.

    Do the short story lecture first if you plan to do the short story workshop.

    Research one is very good. I’ve struggled with doing research because of how its generally taught to fiction writers. Almost every [writer] treats research like you were doing a term paper and mistakes are to be greatly feared, so it has to be perfect. The lecture addresses it from the fiction writer perspective and has a number of shortcuts.

    How to [Think] Like a Science Fiction Writer is also very good. It tells you how to do this if you aren’t a scientist.

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