On Writing,  publishing,  workshops

Two New Online Workshops Announced!


That’s right, not one but two. Writing Endings will start in January and Writing Secondary Plot Lines will start in February.

And above this is the announcement for a special on online workshops because so many people missed the Kickstarter we did a few months back. It’s a one week special, so don’t miss it. We won’t do anything like it again until the next Kickstarter campaign two years from now.

Besides that, the online workshop schedule is posted now for December through May to help with planning into the new year. You can sign up for any of the workshops on the list at any point.


Most novels have secondary plot lines. 

This workshop helps you understand and build those secondary plot lines.

Ever read a book that you finished and it felt thin? As a reader you wished the author would have also done more with other characters in the book? 

Secondary plot lines are critical in many novels. And not needed in others. Knowing when to add them and how and when to leave them out can be learned.

To learn how to construct secondary plot lines as you write a novel, you must first learn how the interaction of plot lines work inside a novel. That’s the first area we will cover in this workshop. Main plots and secondary plots. And how they work together to form a whole.

In other words, this will be a major workshop on novel plotting in general.

If you do not understand the concept of secondary plot lines, tune in any of the major television dramas such as NCIS or Hawaii Five-O or even comedy such as The Big Bang Theory. All run a major plot thread and a second plot line every episode.

So here are just a few of the areas we will cover in this expansive workshop…

— What is needed in a novel plot and the difference from genre to genre.

— How much do you weigh a secondary plot line in a novel? How much time do you give it?

— How to run more than one secondary plot line at the same time. (Often done in thrillers.)

— The themes and elements of craft needed to hold a secondary plot in place and not make it feel glued onto the main plot thread.

— How do you move from one plot line to another with scene jumps, cliffhangers, pov shifts, and so on.

— Teams and how they work in secondary plot lines. Often it is a team member or two that runs secondary plot lines. (If you are confused about teams and their place in fiction, you might want to take the Teams online workshop before this workshop.)

— When and when-not-to use secondary plot lines in a novel. And how and when to end a secondary plot line without disappointing a reader.

— And most importantly, how do you even write a secondary plot line when writing into the dark? How does that even work?

This is a very expansive workshop covering a lot of plotting elements. It will help you be far, far more comfortable with the novel structure and plotting in general by the time you are finished. We can promise that much at least.



Understanding how to end novels and short stories in every genre.

An old truth about fiction and selling books: Your opening sells the book the reader has in their hands. Your ending sells your next book. 

Most writers don’t understand how to write a satisfying ending. And there is a ton of misinformation about endings as well. A satisfying ending for a mystery would be completely wrong for a romance novel. And so on.

One basic area that will be covered is end-matter, since so many writers are indie publishing their own books these days. And making some horrid mistakes with their end matter, actually turning people off after their story satisfied the reader. This workshop will make sure you are not doing that to start with. A basic thing.

Another old truth in fiction is that if something is wrong in your ending, look to your beginning. This workshop will cover how endings need to build from and often wrap back to the beginning of your story.

So, basically, this workshop will deal with a lot of plotting for different genre ending.

This workshop will be designed to give you a foundation of knowledge to stand on when writing endings. You will know what is needed to help your readers finish your novel and look for more work from you.

Endings are not a mystic art and they are not necessarily formulaic on the other side either.

The knowledge of how to end a story can be learned. That’s what this workshop is all about.

This workshop will be an eye-opener and jump your writing skills forward, as well as your sales, we can promise that.


So take a look at the workshop schedule and how to sign up at the Online Workshop tab above or at www.wmgpublishingworkshops.com.

And then make sure you don’t miss the post above this about a one-week special on online workshops. With some fun extra stuff as well. (grin)

You can sign up for any workshop through May at any point.

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One Comment

  • Mary McKenna

    You’re killing me, Dean. Absolutely killing me. It was already going to take me months (years) to get through the classes I already wanted to take. But I know I have issues with endings. And secondary plot lines…

    And now a sale too… Aagghh. On the plus side, when I get through all the work, I’ll have plenty of issues of Fiction River to read.

    As an aside, I was reading a new book, and if I’d doubted you on anything in the Depth workshop, this would have convinced me. Almost no details, and pretty much all of them fake. The story starts with a high schooler at “the game”. I pictured football; a few pages later I learned it was volleyball. A few pages after that, I learned it was at a beach. I actually was getting annoyed at the author; I just wanted her to tell me something.