On Writing,  publishing,  Topic of the Night,  workshops

Topic of the Night: A New Online Workshop: Teams in Fiction

Kris and I have decided, once again, to tackle a really, really important area of fiction, but one we believe most writers flat don’t understand or even realize exists.

Teams in Fiction

Basically, when Lester Dent (under a pen name) invented Doc Savage, he broke an old fiction tradition of one character and a sidekick. With Doc Savage, he created five team members that worked around Doc and by doing so set the template for all modern fiction.

Think about your favorite shows. NCIS, the number one show on television, has Gibbs in the middle and his team around him. Captain Kirk and his team. Luke and his team in Star Wars. Harry Potter and his team.  And on and on and on.

So Kris and I decided we would try to see how many people are interested in taking their fiction to another level by learning how teams in modern fiction work. This will be a difficult craft and awareness workshop.

It will be done a lot like the depth workshop, with lots of examples and lots of writing in assignments. We only barely touched on teams in the thriller workshop, barely. We didn’t even begin to talk about how each team member plays a part, a very specific part that readers are expecting to read.

And that villains have teams as well.

If you know how to create the team characters and the center character in your stories to give readers what they want and expect, you will make a lot more sales.

So here is the official blurb on the workshop. We are offering it June, July, and August. Limited to 12 in June and 5 each in July and August, so only 22 spots open on this workshop for the summer.

Information on how to sign up under the Online Workshop tab above.



In the modern world of fiction, teams of characters around a central figure play a critical part of the success of any novel or series. From NCIS to Star Trek to Harry Potter and Star Wars, teams form the center of most western fiction and storytelling

This workshop gives all the techniques and methods of building a successful team in your fiction, a team that readers will want to rejoin again and again, story after story.

This workshop will take a comprehensive look at how teams have come into our fiction and storytelling. From Lester Dent with Doc Savage to modern binge-watching shows, they all have teams.

In fact, in our modern world, readers and viewers are often uncomfortable when a team is not built quickly in a story.

And each character in the team plays a set role that you must be aware of as a writer before you can control the team in your own story. Readers are aware of a team member’s role, so being able to use that reader awareness to your advantage in your stories give you a massive advantage in sales.

This is a craft workshop similar to the depth workshop, with many examples of how teams are put together and built to bring in thousands of readers. And an awareness workshop. Once you see the roles of teams in fiction, you will never not be able to see it or use it in your own work.

This workshop will change your writing, just as the depth workshop did. Don’t miss this one.


  • Patrick R

    Hi Dean

    Is it running for only three months (June-Aug)…or will continue beyond summer?

    Are there differences in how teams that originate on TV come and stay together, and are structured, compared to either only in print or that started in print?



    • dwsmith

      It will run as long as there is interest, so can’t say if it will go past August or not. And nope, not a lot of difference. Story is story is story.