Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

The Voice Once Again

And I Still Got a Little Writing Done…

Which I find stunning. I was hoping to have the Marble Grant novel done tonight, but not going to make it, so going to switch to another book for the next ten days, then come back to Marble Grant. I will explain my reasons as I go along.

Today was a day of running around, a ton of errands, meetings, then finishing up some workshop stuff on the March Pop-Up Weekender workshops that start this Thursday morning at 12:01 a.m.

Then finished up the February regular workshop assignments and the first week of the March regular workshop assignments, then watched an hour of The Voice.

Once again the real key, like in writing, is uniqueness for the artists who get picked. Some who got picked didn’t have perfect performances by a long ways, yet they were different in some fashion or another. It’s a constant stream of comments from the superstars about that topic. In the blind auditions, they can’t see the singers, only listen to their voice.

How does this apply to writing? I get that question every time I tell a writer to watch The Voice.

Writer after writer work to polish their writing until it reads and sounds just like everyone else’s writing. And you know what perfect grammar does? Makes your characters sound the same and dull. But heaven help me if I suggest anything like that to newer writers.

Sameness never sells.

So to drive this concept home, I tell writers struggling to always rewrite and polish, to watch The Voice and actually listen. Never really helps, but I do what I can do.

Also, watching The Voice makes me feel that we fiction writers are not only lucky but frighteningly lazy compared to what some of these singers have gone through to get to the 90 second audition. It always humbles me and makes me want to write more.

Anyhow, a last hour of the blind editions of The Voice tonight and from the looks of how they are doing the battle rounds, they are expanding the amount of coaching which is where the wonderful writing comments really come out. Going to be a great season for learning and relearning writing stuff.


Promotions Package

We offered at Superstars ten spots in the Promotions Package over the ones we had signed up and only one person jumped on board. So at the anthology workshop we offered the still open spots that no one at Superstars wanted and again only one person jumped on board. (We spent a bunch of time trying to figure out how to add in those ten spots before we offered the openings.)

So we are closing this off for the last time here in the next few days since we are starting into the scheduling to start getting ready all the packages of those signed up. We have had one sign up since yesterday is all.

So Last Call!! If you are interested in having WMG Publishing do an entire promotions package for one of your novels, jump in now. (First read what it is about at Promotions Post and then write me.)




March 15-18th

That’s THIS week, on Thursday morning. Only four quick days.

— Adding Tension to Your Writing
— Making a Living in 2018/19 With Your Fiction
— Controlling Fear of Failure

Sign up directly through Teachable. When a class reaches five I will close it. (Lifetime Subscribers are exempt from that limit. You can just join without even signing up. And yes, you can use a kickstarter or challenge credit.)


INSIDER’S GUIDE Workshops Now Available…

— Insider’s Guide to Selling Short Fiction in 2018/2019 (Starts April 8th)
— Insider’s Guide to Writing Successful Space Opera (Starts April 8th)
— 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. These will fill so don’t wait for the last minute on these. And yes, you can use your credits.



They all just started. Still time to jump into any of the workshops.

Sign up directly through Teachable or if you have a credit, write me.

Class #25… Mar 6th … Depth #3: Research
Class #26… Mar 6th … Author Voice
Class #27… Mar 6th … (empty slot)
Class #28… Mar 6th … Writing into the Dark
Class #29… Mar 6th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #30… Mar 6th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #31… Mar 7th … Depth in Writing
Class #32… Mar 7th …(empty slot)
Class #33… Mar 7th … Cliffhangers
Class #34… Mar 7th … Pacing Your Novel
Class #35… Mar 7th … Novel Structure
Class #36… Mar 7th … Writing Fantasy

April workshops now also available on Teachable and I have the schedule through June up now. Some new regular workshops will be added into July, but nothing new over the next few months in the regular workshops.

All the new stuff will be in the Pop-Up workshops and Insider’s Guide Series of Workshops for the next two months.



  • Annie Reed

    I’m still playing catch up on The Voice since the winter/spring season always starts during the Anthology workshop. *g* Just finished watching the guy who sang “My Girl.” That was simply stunning. Talk about an original, emotional, heart-felt take on that song. No belting out lyrics, no trying to impress anyone with an over-the-top performance. Just a singer, a keyboard, and an emotional connection that came through loud and clear. No wonder he got an almost immediate four-chair turn. Wow.

    Yeah. I learn a lot as a writer watching The Voice. And one of the best lessons? Emotion trumps technical prowess every time.

    • Mike

      I once heard a quote along these lines, which was attributed to Ezra Pound (though I haven’t been able to verify)…


      I made up a computer desktop background image with it so I can see it often.

      When you re-read a book that really grabbed you and start to see some of the “flaws” (aka, the emotion and the voice) in it, it really drives that point home.

      • dwsmith

        When a book really grabbed you and worked, to you that should be a perfect book. Of course there is no perfect book, but to each of us readers, there are perfect books. So we writers can just do the best we can and move on and let the readers decide.

  • LInda Maye Adams

    Years and years ago, on Star Search (with Ed McMahon), there was a singer who won week after week. He was fantastic singer with a lot of range, and I remember that no matter how fancy his costume was, he wore sneakers. He got to the end of the season and won it all, which landed him a record contract.

    And it didn’t sell. He was a fantastic singer, but he was like all the other singers. There was nothing special about him. So he disappeared pretty fast after his big win.

    • dwsmith

      Yeah, that tended to happen on that show. It was a lot of hype type of show. No focused on the voice and making these your professionals into long-term professionals.