Challenge,  On Writing,  workshops

Some Clean Up… And Writing Stuff

Special Workshop Codes Are Out…

First, if you signed up for a special workshop in the last Kickstarter, either Making Place a Character or How to Use the Rule of Three, the links and codes are out. If you were signed up for one or both of those workshops, and didn’t get a letter from me with the Subject Line “Special Workshop” (or Workshops), please check your spam filter over the next day or so. If not there, no worries, we have time. Write me and I will get you the codes when I get back later in the week.

Second, refunds on the Diving Game are slow, and I won’t get to about half of them until I get back from Writers of the Future later in the week. Slow process. Wow.

Third, Tuesday we are launching a Kickstarter for the Holiday Spectacular 2021. That is such a fantastic idea to get an original story per day sent to you to read from the end of November to January 1st. 38 stories this year. And yes, I wrote one or two and Kris wrote a couple. And so did 30 plus other writers. Fantastic stories.

And Kris’s editing on this project is just stunning. And how the crew at WMG Publishing manages to pull it off with all the tech and delivery stuff is nothing short of amazing.

And you get a new original holiday story to read every day. A fiction advent calendar.

And not only will we have some fantastic stretch goals like normal in the Kickstarter, but two special workshops that will teach you a bunch of great writing stuff and give you a chance in both to write for next year’s Holiday Spectacular. Kris will be reading the stories from both and for the 2021 year (this holiday) she got a number of stories from the classes last year.

Fourth, writing stuff.

As I have been saying, I have been working on Green Valley, a Thunder Mountain Novel. As I have been writing, I was coming to realize that this book depended some on another Thunder Mountain novel called The Taft Ranch that I published over five years ago. My normal memory sucks, but clearly my creative voice can remember damn near anything over long periods of time.

And as I kept writing, I realized at one point toward the end, I jumped the characters almost 200 years of living forward after they were with the characters from The Taft Ranch. And there was no sign of it ending, but it should have ended there. Oh, oh…

I fought it, I really did. Fought and fought, but finally allowed myself to admit I had committed a trilogy inside my Thunder Mountain series. Taft Ranch published five years ago with the big problem an open ending, Green Valley now, with an ending, but the big problem still open, and a sequel I sort have started to write.

So for Smith’s Monthly Issue #54 I am publishing The Taft Ranch again. Then Green Valley in #55, and then untitled third novel in #56.

I have watched Kris fight this a number of times. I never had it happen before. Three stand-alone novels that fit together with one big story. Great fun. Annoying as hell until I realized what was happening.



  • Mihnea+Manduteanu

    Speaking of unexpected trilogies, I am in need of a bit of advice. I wrote two books in a series and started on the third. As i advanced with it I realised it needed to be the second novel in the trilogy actually, a tie in ebtween the other two, for the storie’s sake. I am already at 40k with it, ending in sight, but I am having troubles with the ending because of the middle novel issue. I mean its sort of against the writing in the dark principles because I know where it needs to end and it feels like I can’t find the final link between this and the next novel, just the final step. What do I do? It’s a bit of a writing in the dark paradox.

    • dwsmith

      No advice from me. That’s all plot stuff with your story. And I don’t want to be in the middle of anyone else’s story. Just have fun with it. Not life or death. Just part of the fun writing challenges.


    • Kate+Pavelle

      I did something of the same to myself with a series, where I inserted a #3, switched #4 and #5, and added a bunch of short stories. I didn’t number the shorts, but I published them in collections (both shorts only, and a chronologically ordered bundle of long and short pieces.) I ended up having to update the book covers, change the front and back matter, and let my readers know what I was doing and why. It was extra work, sure, but it was worth it and nobody killed me in my sleep over it. So do whatever you need to do with your story, and once you are done, update your pertinent details and make the process a newsletter feature. Your readers will want to know, and it gives you an excuse to boost the new series. (Kris says not to publish until you’re done writing, then reshuffle as needed. That’s so hard, I’m spoiled by indie!) You got this, it will turn out great.

      • Mihnea Manduteanu

        Wow thanks for this. I not there yet, in terms of readers, so I am really safe. I’ve indie published short stories and collections and these will be the first novels that I publish, this trilogy. Luckly I hadn’t published any of them yet, wanted to have the entire trilogy before.
        As we speak I am very happy with how novel nr 2 turned out and like you said, I have to update the pertinent details in novel number 3 and just send them into the world.
        Without knowing, I took Kris’ advice 😀
        Once again, thanks.
        indeed, it’s not life and death.