On Writing,  publishing,  workshops


Starting in November… NOVEL STRUCTURE

Understanding the basic structure of a modern novel helps make writing novels so much easier and enjoyable.

And each major genre has a structure that can be learned. And when you are writing between genres, understanding the basic structures of each genre’s novels will help you know where to put the book when finished.

This is not a three-act structure or a hero’s journey structure or anything like that. This is real modern-fiction structures that readers come to expect in their books.

This class will be full of techniques and awareness of how a form works.

And more importantly, why a certain form works for a certain genre.

This workshop will incorporate elements of cliffhangers, character development, secondary plot lines, endings, teams and more.

If you fear the novel length, or wonder why your novels you wrote didn’t work the way you wanted, this might be the workshop for you.

And if you get stuck in the middle of novels, this might be the workshop for you.

This is NOT an outlining or planning a novel workshop. This workshop is designed to help you understand at a deep level the structures of the books you are writing so that when writing into the dark on a book, you have confidence the book will be in the right form when finished.

If you have taken the Writing into the Dark workshop, you know I say at one point to trust the process. This workshop will help with that more than you can ever imagine.



All the Workshops…

I am stunned and very pleased that we have developed over the last four years such an amazing bunch of workshops. And we will soon have over ten classic workshops as well. So just for fun I put a list in one place of all the regular monthly workshops we offer right now, not including the classics.

These 18 workshops (all six weeks long) rotate over a two or three month period for the most part. Often only one person is taking a workshop so I get to give them personal attention. That’s always fun. And we cap the workshops at five, although few make that number these days.

Right now we have the schedule out until April. You can sign up for any workshop through April or use Kickstarter Credits from the Pulphouse Fiction Magazine Kickstarter drive to sign up. Including November workshops.

Go to the Online Workshops tab at the top for full details.

A List of All Regular Monthly Workshops (no real order)

Depth in Writing (Start with this one. It is offered every month.)
Advanced Depth
Writing into the Dark
Teams in Fiction
Novel Structure
Author Voice
Dialog (Advanced Character and Dialog)
Writing Fantasy
Writing Mystery
Point of View
Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Research (Depth #3)
Writing Short Stories
How to Edit Your Own Work
Writing Sales Copy
The Business of Writing



In the post below this we announced the new cover workshop that will start in two weeks. Allyson Longueira will be teaching that one. I get to help and present the videos, but she does all the hard work. See the details in the post below.



  • Mike

    I’ve said it before but figured I’d leave a note here in case this is the first time seeing these for anybody. If any of these workshops even remotely interests you, TAKE IT!! (If none of them do, then you might be on the wrong website.)

    You’ll learn in six weeks what would otherwise take you years of focused work and pain to learn. And in many of these, Dean talks about the myths (aka “wrong” ways) and why they are wrong – so even if you disagree, you can at least reason out why that is.

    These workshops are akin to a major league baseball player offering to give you 1-on-1 coaching as Little Leaguer. You think you might learn something??

    Side Note: Dean, I know the cost sometimes is a barrier for people doing these workshops (though I would argue they are FAR more valuable than their cost because they save TIME).

    Have you ever thought about doing a post or series of posts about picking, and how one could use it to bootstrap their writing education or business (workshops, conferences, editors, covers)? Like, if you had to figure out a way to make $300 to take some super-awesome writing course, how would you go about it? With eBay these days, it’s not too far out of reach for anybody to make a few hundred extra dollars if they need it. Just a thought….

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Mike. And yes, I have gotten a url for picking that I keep thinking I’ll fire up. If I do, that focus would be a good one because everyone has a little bit of special knowledge about something or other. They just don’t think the knowledge has value or can be turned into value. Right now we have four eBay stores going. Not kidding. Two of them are major Anchor stores on eBay.

  • Sheila

    I want to do this one. Can’t in November — too much going on. Maybe the new year. But I suspect this will be VERY helpful for me. I seem to be able to write paragraphs or even pages well, but somehow am struggling or missing something in the structure. (At least that is what the bulk of the critiques for the short story challenge appeared to reveal to me). BUT I am really enjoying writing into the dark. So much fun. So, if this is going to be a class which will give some insight into creating an organic and “unstructured” structure arising from intuitive into-the-darkness, then I think this could be great.

    • dwsmith

      Yup, this class will give you the structure so you never have to think about it when writing. That is the key.