Cave Creek,  Challenge,  Writing in Public

What Is Writing In Public?

Got That Question Twice Today…

Because I mentioned it when talking about writing the first Cave Creek novel. So even though I will show this and talk about it later this week when I start the novel, here is what I mean.

I have, over time, basically did a chronicle here of my day, most of the details, and how much writing I got on a certain project. I did that when I wrote the novel in five days while traveling, and that is the name of the book that came out of the blog posts.

And I started the practice when I wrote a novel in ten days as a major ghost book. (Again a book.)

I also do it when I am writing 30 short stories in a month (done that a number of times, but you can read it all, including the stories in a book titled Stories From July).

I wrote those four novels in one month and blogged about it here, just never turned that into a book.

Basically “Writing in Public” is what I call it when every night here I just talk about the day, the ups and down, the amount of words, the progress on the book, and so on.

Basically a day or a week or a month in the life of a professional fiction writer.

So with the first novel in Cave Creek (which we are running as a Kickstarter right now), I will write the book and chronicle every day here, including my thoughts on the writing, the word count, when I get stuck, and so on and so on.

Even naps and doing assignments for workshops are recorded. (grin)

Going to start that up in a few days as soon as I finish the book I am working on now. So stay tuned.

And I hope you will support Cave Creek Kickstarter. Or at least jump into the Shared World Class.


  • Mike

    Dean – congrats on the project, looks like a ton of fun!

    I’m wondering about something though, mainly to hear it articulated and to see how you think about it (if you do) …

    Obviously you are writing this first novel into the dark. Presumably using the Card Sharp Silver title as your trigger, as you’ve done in the past (though looking through the Kickstarter details, Cave Creek seems pretty solidly set in your mind, so maybe that is wrong).

    Any “concern” at all that you get into the story and, for whatever reason, it isn’t a Cave Creek story? Like your subconscious takes a zig when you expected a zag?

    (Concern is probably the wrong word, since I don’t think you consider writing a novel that turns into, say, a Thunder Mountain novel instead of a Cave Creek novel to be a real risk … but hopefully you know what I mean).

    I am guessing that Cave Creek is in your “natural wheelhouse,” similar to how you have talked about the Men In Black universe basically being tailor made for your voice. So in all likelihood, this turns into the exact story you want it to be (obviously, you could always just finish the novel and write another one as the series bible, so again, no big downside).

    Curious because I kind of just accidentally started a series recently. But I was intending to write a few stories in another series, which seemed it wasn’t yet ready to come out yet 🙂

    Just wondering how to “guarantee” this novel is the one to kick off the shared world, of if you even think about it that way.

    • dwsmith

      Mike, think direction. You want to drive to a nearby town, you put yourself on the road that gets to the nearby town.

      That’s the same with how you direct the creative voice. You don’t plan or outline or anything, you just say, “I want to go that way. It will be fun.” And get on the road and see what happens along the way.

      What I do plan is that I won’t have any idea what’s going to happen along the way but I know it will be fun. So like going into an amusement part, I plan on having fun. Not sure how, or where, but it will be fun. And there will be surprises.

      Cave Creek is set up to be Twilight Zone’s home town. So nothing planned past the fact that things will be surprising and weird at a certain level. And sure, why wouldn’t I set up something I will have fun editing in and writing in? I don’t do things for money, I do them because they are fun. For me, Cave Creek will be great fun. And I hope that love and enjoyment shows through in everything I write in the place and every story I buy for the anthologies.

      Planning is the death of originality. But sure is impossible to explain that to newer writers who think they have to outline to make something work. Actually, it is exactly the opposite.

      Thanks for the great question.

      • Mike N

        Thank you for the great response! Makes perfect sense.

        I was lucky to have found this site years ago, which really helped me cut down my time frame for thinking outlines were necessary.

        I actually read your site very early on and turned away from the advice, only to wither away with outlines and “pre-writing” for about 1.5 years.

        Came back ready to give your advice a try 🙂 And am continually amazed at how much more fun it is to write into the dark and enjoy the ride.

      • Mark Kuhn

        Now THIS right here is where I get stuck.
        Thanks for clearing this up and thanks to Mike for the great question!