Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing


That’s Right, I Started A New Series Character…

I did not mean to. Honest. Just sitting there in a restaurant sipping on an iced tea and eating some sort of chip appetizer while Kris was exercising and out came this character.  It is in the same world as my Poker Boy, Ghost of a Chance, and Marble Grant series.

Damn I love writing in that world. Can you tell?

The Day

Kris and I headed out around 11 a.m. to go to the gym where there is an indoor running track where Kris can run. It’s record heat here right now. We are both members of the gym, so while she ran, I talked to a trainer to start working later in the summer on some strength work.

I also spent about an hour in a nearby restaurant writing.

When she was done we had lunch, then headed for an adventure neither of us will ever repeat. IKEA. A store. A monster store, the only one in Las Vegas.

IKEA lives, I am sure, at the end of my Bryant Street world. I am deathly afraid of subdivisions which is why I write my weird Twilight Zone in a subdivision stories I call Bryant Street. We walked through the front door and were lost instantly. Three times we asked for directions from very nice, smiling people that might have been zombies for all we knew.

Three times we got lost.

We tried to follow the maps that were not really maps. No luck.

We needed a yellow-brick road and a wicked witch.

We finally decided to get out, make a run for it, and that took us another 15 minutes following all the “exit” signs. Someone could do an entire horror series set in one of those stores.

Maybe with flying monkeys to take customers where the stuff they are looking for might be.

So to celebrate our survival, we headed to get cupcakes and doughnuts that Kris can eat and which are stunningly good, then headed home. Dinner and television and then I went back to writing.

The Story

I had my iPad open in this nice restaurant and across the room a woman sat in a corner, looking like she was afraid of everything.

So I went to depth and started describing a fake restaurant with that woman sitting in the corner waiting and attitude came out. Character voice and atttitude and my brand new series character came walking through the door. Sky Tate, a superhero detective with an attitude. She has seen it all in two hundred years of being a detective. And the woman in the corner is waiting for Sky.

And the story went from there. I decided the title needed to be “Dead Woman Walking” and put that at the top with “A Sky Tate Story” under it.

I wrote about 900 words sitting in the restaurant in an hour while also eating and watching people.

Then after we got home from the horror of IKEA I wrote another four hundred words before taking a nap.

Then tonight in about an hour, I finished it at 2,100 words long. So two more stories in two days of traveling and first day here. I need a two story day real soon now.

19 stories done, 11 to do.



All the details we have right now are in a couple posts below this one. Both the Master Business Class in October and the Anthology workshop will be moving to the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. I will be contacting everyone already signed up in the next week.

Still room in both workshops. Write me with questions.


Day One… Scared Money… 2,700 words…. Total April words… 2,700 words.
Day Two… Rainbow Peak… 4,900 words…. Total April words… 7,600 words.
Day Three… A Beautiful History… 2,300 words…. Total April words… 9,900 words.
Day Four… A Song For The Old Memory… 2,050 words…. Total April words… 11,950 words.
Day Five… A Brush with Intent… 1,000 words…. Total April words… 12,950 words.
Day Six… Ghost Diet… 2,700 words…. Total April words… 15,650 words.
Day Seven… Rescue Two… 3,300 words…. Total April words… 18,950 words.
Day Eight… The Woman Who Knew The Time… 3,200 words…. Total April words… 22,150 words.
Day Nine… Long Hair Henry… 4,400 words…. Total April words… 26,550 words.
Day Ten… I’ll See You… 1,500 words…. Total April words… 28,050 words.
Day Eleven… Girl on the Bed… 2,000 words…. Total April words… 30,050 words.
Day Twelve… Everything Got Colder… 2,050 words…. Total April words… 32,100 words.
Day Thirteen… (did not write)… 00 words…. Total April words… 32,100 words.
Day Fourteen… (did not write)… 00 words…. Total April words… 32,100 words.
Day Fifteen… Old Memories… 2,700 words…. Total April words… 34,800 words.
Day Sixteen… Models’ Four.. 1,900 words…. Total April words… 36,700 words.
Day Seventeen… (did not write).. 00 words…. Total April words… 36,700 words.
Day Eighteen… Green Canyon.. 2,500 words…. Total April words… 39,200 words.
Day Nineteen… (did not write).. 00 words…. Total April words… 39,200 words.
Day Twenty… Something In My Darling.. 1,600 words…. Total April words… 40,800 words.
Day Twenty-one… (did not write).. 00 words…. Total April words… 40,800 words.
Day Twenty-two… Reluctant With Intent.. 2,000 words…. Total April words… 42,800 words.
Day Twenty-three… (did not write).. 00 words…. Total April words… 42,800 words.
Day Twenty-four… Two-Handeed Stand.. 2,150words…. Total April words… 44,950 words.
Day Twenty-five… Dead Woman Walking.. 2,100 words…. Total April words… 47,050 words.



— 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.

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


  • Topaz

    Hello Dean,

    Congratulations to escapeing the store and writing a new story.
    Looking over my stories all are with different characters in different worlds. Looking at yours, they all seem to be in a handfull of series.
    I’d like to write multiple stories in one world, or tell a second story with a character I had earlier. Somehow I can’t do it with writing into the dark.

    Any ideas or suggestions on how to start telling multippe stories in the same world?

    • dwsmith

      Topaz, for me I tend to have no choice. Things just fall into a series and I was annoyed actually I came up with a new character that would be series. So honestly not a clue on that. I just go where my creative voice wants me to go. I don’t even pretend anymore than I can control it. (Grin)

  • Michelle

    Oh boy, I love people’s IKEA stories! Last year I read Horrorstör, which is about an IKEA knock off. It’s short, and pretty funny along with the horror plot.

    Glad you are coming along with your challenge.

  • Kris Rusch

    Dean, you left out that scary moment when the young male employee told us no one had escaped the building since it was built. (I am not making this up.) Yeah, the kid thought it was funny. We believed him…

  • JM

    I know what you mean about subdivisions. I took a what I *thought* was a shortcut through a subdivision less than a mile from where I live, and it took me ten minutes and three cul-de-sacs to find my way back out again.

    I’ve never dared to go into an IKEA.

  • Mary

    I love IKEAs, and I’m so excited to be moving back to a place that has one nearby. I’ve never gotten lost in one though, so clearly my brain works with it. I do have a horror of suburbia though.

    On a side note, Dean, I recommended your Depth workshop to someone in a writing group I’m in. She’s in it now and just told me that it’s the best writing course she’s ever taken. Just thought I’d pass that compliment on.

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Mary. Glad it is helping. Always a risk to recommend these workshops because often the person doesn’t want to learn, but only be patted on the head. We don’t tend to pat people on the head that don’t deserve it. (Grin) So thanks for passing that along.