Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Novel Four: Day Two


(As a reminder, the overall monthly challenge is to write four novels and gain distance every week on my step count, starting the first week at an average of 11,000 steps per day.)

Want to Hear Me Talk About Being Prolific?

I know some of you come by here to watch this crazy challenge. But if interested, a great guy and writer by the name of Ryan Pelton does a blog about being prolific. And he was crazy enough to get me on his program. And, well, you know me, I’m blunt.

So if you are interested in a fun bit of time with me talking about all the stuff I do as a writer, and about being prolific, check it out and check out his podcast regularly. It’s one of the fun ones.

The Day Went Like This…

Got up at 2:30 p.m., did an hour of e-mail and got to WMG around 4:30 p.m. The guys at the store there helped me unpack my car from my picking trip. I had a couple of lark buys, but mostly I did all right.

I stayed there until 8 p.m. working on workshop stuff. Home to nap, cook dinner and then back in here to work on e-mail and more workshop stuff and some reading on the challenge stories.

Then I got to the writing around 12 midnight again, right on time.

The Writing Went Like This…

Book is going great when I sit down to write. I have no idea where it is going, but I am enjoying the hell out of the twisted path the characters are following to solve this ancient cold case. It’s like I get to read a little bit of a book every night.

I did 1,100 words before 1 a.m. and then went to watch the vote in the Senate live. So that took some time and I didn’t get back to writing until around 2 a.m.

I got another 1,400 words done before 2:45 a.m., going like crazy for me. Took a quick break and did another 1,000 words before going to watch the morning political shows.

Then back around 3:45 a.m. and got another 1,300 words by 4:30 a.m.

Short break, another short break and 1,400 more words by 5:30 a.m.

6,200 words in 5 sessions. (Could have been so much more but got distracted.)


Just Went Past 200,000 words written for the month.

Almost 140,000 of that is fiction. Four days left in the challenge.


Novel #1…The Writing of TOMBSTONE CANYON: A Thunder Mountain Novel

 Challenge Day 1… Words written… 6,600.  Total so far… 6,600 words.
Challenge Day 2… Words written… 6,700.  Total so far… 13,300 words.
Challenge Day 3… Words written… 6,100.  Total so far… 19,400 words.
Challenge Day 4… Words written… 6,200.  Total so far… 25,600 words.
Challenge Day 5… Words written… 6,200.  Total so far…, 31,800 words.
Challenge Day 6… Words written… 6,100.  Total so far…, 37,900 words.
Challenge Day 7… Words written… 3,200.  Final Total…, 41,100 words. (Novel count is 38,000)


Challenge Novel #2


Novel #2…The Writing of DEATH TAKES A DIAMOND: A Mary Jo Assassin Novel

 Challenge Day 8… Words written… 6,400.  Total so far… 6,400 words.
 Challenge Day 9… Words written… 6,100.  Total so far… 12,500 words.
 Challenge Day 10… Words written… 3,200.  Total so far… 15,700 words.
 Challenge Day 11… Words written… 2,900.  Total written so far… 18,600 words.
 Challenge Day 12… Words written… 3,100.  Total written so far… 21,700 words.
 Challenge Day 13… Words written… 6,100.  Total written so far… 27,800 words.
 Challenge Day 14… Words written… 3,300.  Total written so far… 31,100 words.
 Challenge Day 15… Words written… 6,200.  Total written so far… 37,300 words.
 Challenge Day 16… Words written… 6,500.  Final total written… 43,800 words. (Novel is no where near that long and might get shorter still after Kris reads it.)


Challenge Novel #3


Novel #3…The Writing of DRY CREEK CROSSING: A Thunder Mountain Novel

 Challenge Day 17… Words written… 3,100.  Total so far… 3,100 words.
 Challenge Day 18… Words written… 3,400.  Total so far… 6,500 words.
 Challenge Day 19… Words written… 2,900.  Total so far… 9,400 words.
 Challenge Day 20… Words written… 6,200.  Total so far… 15,600 words.
 Challenge Day 21… Words written… 6,300.  Total so far… 21,900 words.
 Challenge Day 22… Words written… 6,100.  Total so far… 28,000 words.
 Challenge Day 23… Words written… 6,000.  Total so far… 34,000 words.
 Challenge Day 24… Words written… 3,100.  Total so far… 37,100 words.
 Challenge Day 25… Words written… 3,300.  Final total writer… 40,400 words. (Novel is not that long.)


Challenge Novel #4


Novel #4…The Writing of BURN CARD: A Cold Poker Gang Mystery

 Challenge Day 26 … Words written… 7,300  Total so far… 7,300 words.
 Challenge Day 27 … Words written… 6,200  Total so far… 13,500 words.


The Day Breakdown

4.5 hours writing… 6,200 words
.5 hours exercise plus normal movement… 5,200 steps
6.5 hours of work for workshops and e-mails and meetings and such.

The rest is television and cooking and travel and so on. Plus 8 hours of sleep. One 10 minute nap.


Days over 6,000 words… 17 of 27
Days over 11,000 steps… 11 of 27

32 hours of regular job work this week. Today is week day six.


Tracking Word Counts… July 27th, 2017
Writing in Public blog streak… Day 1,408

— Daily Fiction: 6,200 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 138,800 words  
— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 700 words
— Blog Posts: 500 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 13,200 words
— E-mail: 19 e-mails.  Approx. 1,200 original words.  E-mails month-to date: 813 e-mails. Approx. 48,100 words



All have openings at the moment. Information at

Any questions at all, feel free to write me. And if you are confused as to which workshop to take first, we have a full curriculum posted on its own page.

Class #13… Aug 8th … Depth #3: Research
Class #14… Aug 8th … Endings
Class #15… Aug 8th … Point of View
Class #16… Aug 8th … Writing Mysteries
Class #17… Aug 8th … Speed
Class #18… Aug 8th … Teams in Fiction
Class #19… Aug 9th … Depth in Writing
Class #20… Aug 9th … How to Edit Your Own Work
Class #21… Aug 9th … Character Development
Class #22… Aug 9th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Class #23… Aug 9th … Advanced Depth
Class #24… Aug 9th … Writing Fantasy


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  • Russ

    Dean – that podcast with you was wonderful. It was great to hear you discuss the points you’ve been stating in your blog and expand on them further. Thank you for sharing that. I have forwarded the link to a couple of my writing friends and will listen to it again myself. It was a motivating podcast

  • Peggy

    Amazing to see the 200K stack up!
    I’ve been wondering for a while: how did you get into picking?

    • dwsmith

      Been doing it my entire life. It is the adrenaline rush of finding something that one person thinks is junk and another person thinks it is a diamond and I am between. If I had known you could make a living at it, I never would have been a writer. Not kidding.

      Also, at this age, the safest adrenaline rush I can get. (grin)

  • allynh

    Listening to the podcast, your comment about “work” reminded me of a song.

    When I was a kid growing up in Silver City, NM, we had access to cable TV from Phoenix. There was a kid’s show called The Wallace and Ladmo Show. They created a fake rock group called Hub Kapp and the Wheels. The song that they played on a regular basis was Work, Work. The key lyrics were, “Work, work, a dirty word. The dirtiest word I ever heard.” I took that to heart as a kid, and have embraced it my whole life. HA!

    Work Work – Hubb Kapp & The Wheels


    Hub Kapp And The Wheels – Work, Work (1964)


    Pat McMahon talks about Hub Kapp and the Wheels

    Wiki – The Wallace and Ladmo Show

    To many people “work” is a four letter word. To others “fail” is as well. To others “play” seems to rank up there near the top. I routinely use these, and many other, four letter words to get me through the day.

  • Vera Soroka

    That reminded me of my daughter’s high school grad where one of the people giving speeches said to choose a career that you are passionate about and you will never work a day in your life. LOL.