Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

A Day of Stuff

Regular Day…

A few people wrote me and asked if I was going to continue to do daily reports. The answer is sometimes. Why sometimes? Because my days are pretty much like everyone’s day unless I am pushing on some writing project or another.

But I can detail out some of the fun stuff I did today to show you that without the writing, there is no context to the day.

Started off the day around 11 a.m and headed out to our south stores. Delivered about ten boxes of books and a couple boxes of glass stuff to our bookstore there. Stuff I had packed here from our living room, including a large box plus of first edition Stephen King novels.

Then talked with the landlord out there on our new location (4th store and storage) and he and I worked over some details on the new place. Then checked in with the other store there to see how the inventory of a large collection we got in on Wednesday was doing.

Then to our north store and WMG offices to deliver three more boxes of stuff there. Did a few errands after a time, then had a conference call meeting finalizing some of the small details on the hotel for the Master Business Class in October in Las Vegas.

Then I headed out to do some walking with a friend. Then to the grocery store, then home.

I worked here on email some, but a lot of what I did was pack boxes.

I made myself dinner and also watched some television and news along the way.

Now here doing this blog.  I could have worked in some writing, but for a few days I want to stay focused on packing and moving and workshops.

So see, not much reason to detail out that kind of day. But I will do it at times as I have writing stuff or updates on projects.


Thanks for the nice thoughts and comments about the challenge. I really appreciate them.

And tonight, just so the world would give me some perspective, I spotted a book in the stuff I was packing. It is a very small press book that is basically letters and details about an author by the name or pen name of John Milton Edwards. It is called The Fiction Factory and it is rough, basically scanned in stuff done by this author tracking his sales from year to year for 22 years. Not a clue how it was written or when exactly. It is an odd duck.

He wrote short stories, serials, and what were called nickel novels, which are also called “dime novels” in their time. (about 30,000 words)

Amazing stuff in here including a bunch of letters from publishers and Edwards opinion of different types of writers. Also he talks about how he kept track of his work and even how he mailed it all.

One thing I found interesting.

“During 1893, he wrote his stories twice; first a rough draft and then the printer’s copy. In 1894 he began making his first copies clean enough for the compositor. Had he not done this he could never have accomplished such a large amount of work.”

Well, ain’t that interesting. Writing into the dark, one finished draft, on a typewriter.

This book details out every year, sometimes month-by-month, sometimes with summary of his total earnings for his Fiction Factory as he and his wife called his work.

He has some wonderful ways of looking at things. At one point he says … Inspiration is nothing more than industry (meaning work).

Now you all just watched me write a short story a day (average) for thirty days. Edwards wrote two 30,000 novels PER WEEK for months at a time. (Remember, this is on a typewriter.) And he wrote under a ton of pen names.

For 22 years.

And in the middle of it all he got really sick for years and often wrote from bed.

See why I study the old pulp writers and the dime novel writers from before the pulps? They make us with our shortcuts and modern computers look like we don’t write. Real perspective.


In Person Workshops.

Early Bird Discounts to Get into the Vegas Master Business Class or Anthology are ending!!!  A day or so leeway on this before the price jumps to $750. Write me with questions if interested.



Tomorrow I will be sending out passwords to get into these workshops to those who used credits. First week’s videos start on Sunday afternoon and the first webinar meeting for both of them is the 13th. Serial fiction at 11 a.m. West Coast US time and the Detective at 1 p.m. West Coast US Time. Again, that is on the 13th. You have to do the first week’s videos and assignment before we have anything to talk about. (grin)

— Insider’s Guide to Writing Serial Fiction (2,000 word parts of a novel) (Starts May 6th)
— Insider’s Guide to Writing Detective Fiction. (Starts May 6th)

$300 each, limited to ten writers plus lifetime subscribers. One time workshops. They will not be regular. Sorry. But Lifetime Subscribers have access to them of course going forward.




Sign up directly through Teachable or if you have a credit, write me directly to sign up. These workshops have just started. Still Time To Jump In!

Class #49… May 1st … Depth #3: Research
Class #50… May 1st … Author Voice
Class #51… May 1st … Dialog
Class #52… May 1st … Writing into the Dark
Class #53… May 1st … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #54… May 1st … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #55… May 2nd … Depth in Writing
Class #56… May 2nd … Business
Class #57… May 2nd … (open)
Class #58… May 2nd … (open)
Class #59… May 2nd … Novel Structure
Class #60… May 2nd … Writing Fantasy


  • Kenny

    Wow, John Milton Edwards really could produce.

    I can see how studying the nuts and bolts of nickel and pulp writers could really pay off.

  • Tony DeCastro

    Just a heads up to your readers. If they are interested, The Fiction Factory is available for free download at the Project Gutenberg (It is Public Domain so completely legal). Edward is a pen name for early pulpster William Wallace Cook. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of the Fiction Factory…it can get a bit repetitive at places, but I actually think that is part of the point. He got up, everyday and did the work.

  • David

    I read Fiction Factory a couple of years ago. I found it really interesting and inspiring. Lots of data about his production. Not as fun to read as Gruber’s The Pulp Jungle, but worth reading for re-calibrating what’s possible.

  • JayG

    The Fiction factory is one of my favourite books that I’ve read about old Pulp writers. The pulp jungle is great as well.

    Do you have any other recommendations for books about old pulp writers?

  • Stefon Mears

    I’ve read The Fiction Factory. My copy is attributed to William Wallace Cook, which is the name I think you’ll recognize. Cook also has one other nonfiction book that I know of: Plotto. It’s basically a complex, three hundred something page random plot generator. Interesting though.

  • Scott Gordon

    Dean, I would love to hear more about Edwards’ letters. Some really good stuff in the excerpt you provided.

    (Dean here… Scott, thanks for the updates going along with my challenge. Let people know here where you are blogging going forward on the updates so people can follow you.)