Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

A Really Fun Movie

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle…

Might be one of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time.

Kris and I, after a long WMG meeting, headed into the valley to get me a Mac keyboard for my large iPad Plus. Then I went picking while she did some reading, then a nice dinner and then a late movie.

After the movie Kris sat and read while I tore apart two standees for decoration at our north store.

So a really fun evening and night, capped by the movie. We saw the original Robin Williams movie and remembered not being that impressed by it. But trust me folks, this one is a stunner and great fun, especially for writers. The script is taking a cliche and great actors and playing against the cliche while using the cliche. And it has wonderful heart and message.

Did I say it was funny? Couple times I thought I was going to roll out of my chair laughing. Not kidding. These four actors chewed up the scenery. Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillam, and The Rock.


A First

I deleted yesterday’s post. Wasn’t much, but ah well… First time I have done that. Very weird. Wrote right over the top of it.


January and February Online Workshops Are Now Up on Teachable.

I sent out all letters this weekend to everyone signed up for a January Regular Workshop through me. If you signed up directly on Teachable, no reason for a letter.

All first week videos are now available.

If you have credits from the Kickstarter, you need to write me to sign up. You can also sign up through me and use Paypal just like normal. Or you can go directly to Teachable and sign up there for any workshop using either Paypal or a credit card.

To see all the courses, just hit the link at the top of the Teachable page that says “All Courses” and it will show you all the lectures and workshops available.

Class #1… Jan 2nd … Depth #3: Research
Class #2… Jan 2nd … Author Voice
Class #3… Jan 2nd … Business
Class #4… Jan 2nd … Writing into the Dark
Class #5… Jan 2nd … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #6… Jan 2nd … Think Like a Publisher
Class #7… Jan 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #8… Jan 3rd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #9… Jan 3rd … (empty)
Class #10… Jan 3rd … Pacing Your Novel
Class #11… Jan 3rd … Novel Structure
Class #12… Jan 3rd … Writing Fantasy

Class #13… Feb 6th … Think Like a Publisher
Class #14… Feb 6th … Endings
Class #15… Feb 6th … Point of View
Class #16… Feb 6th … Writing Mysteries
Class #17… Feb 6th … Speed
Class #18… Feb 6th … Teams in Fiction
Class #19… Feb 7th … Depth in Writing
Class #20… Feb 7th … How to Edit Your Own Work
Class #21… Feb 7th … Character Development
Class #22… Feb 7th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Class #23… Feb 7th … Advanced Depth
Class #24… Feb 7th … Novel Structure

Full information about any workshop or March and April schedule is under Online Workshops on the sidebar.


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  • Harvey

    Good to hear, Dean. After having slipped pretty much off Heinlein’s Rules in mid-October, I’m back to writing now, a “legend” I’ve wanted to write for a very long time. Writing the origin novel now, and it too is based on a short story from long ago. Thanks in part to you, as always.

  • Diane

    I loved that movie too.

    So, I’m reading your book Writing into the Dark again. I’m not sure if you intended for it to be as funny as it is or not, but from the very first paragraph it’s pretty funny.

    I’m still, years later, trying to get myself to write into the dark. Outlining is sucking my will to live.

    • dwsmith

      Diane, just my natural voice. I tend, in many books, to have a low level of humor and attitude. And, of course, in my Marble Grant series and Poker Boy series, the humor is right out on the surface. I was never known to readers as a humor writer, even though I did write Men in Black and Shadow Warrior among other things. And humor is always in the eye of the beholder.

      So thanks. And why are you outlining? What fear is causing you to not be able to just sit down and let the characters tell you a story? Ask yourself that and you might get out of the outlining hell that not only sucks life from the room, but life from any story.

      • Teri Babcock

        Dean, reminds me that over the holidays, I heard the first use of the term ‘writing into the dark’ on CBC (Canadian national public radio) by a writer who explained that was the technique she used, after her normal practice of outlining resulted in a stillborn novel.
        That was on Writer’s & Company, hosted by Eleanor Wachtel, an extremely long-running and influential program on books, and one deeply rooted in trad-pub myths. (I recall one episode in which Eleanor was clearly amazed by an author who had written 275,000 words in a year).
        The writer being interviewed (female, don’t recall her name) said she had shared a panel with another writer at a Vancouver writer’s conference who had talked about writing into the dark. She didn’t say their name, but I thought it was likely Dean at the Surrey conference a few years back.