Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Workshop Decisions

Getting the Next Four Months Scheduled…

And I have eight regular workshops a month. Down from twelve a month because a number have been moved to Classic Workshop status. So looking at scheduling a couple new workshops.

But… I have hesitations…

Time of Great Forgetting to start with. Why schedule and record a new workshop that almost no one will look at or even think of taking until August or September? Even lifetime subscribers are busy.

I could easily just leave the schedule at 8 per month instead of 10 per month for the next few months. So that is tempting.

Or I could record something that few will take anyway, but would be fun for me to do and learn from. Some of the possible workshops in that fun area are:

— Time Travel
— Western
— Attitude

All three of those would be a blast for me to record. Time Travel and Western would be writing craft workshops, the Attitude workshop would include writing and publishing sides.

So if I did one of those in June, another in July, then this fall Kris and I could get back to the more advanced stuff like advanced Pacing classes and Romance and Mixed Genres and Creating Memorable Characters that would take a lot more work and time to record.

So suggestions out of those three? I want to post the June workshops and the new schedule through September by the middle of the week.

I will tell you this… I would have fun with all three and I will learn a lot doing them.

No need to promise to take one. Just if one might interest you.

And, of course, the Lifetime Subscribers will automatically be enrolled, so you folks might want to speak up if you have a favorite or two.



  • Mark Kuhn

    Dean, after reading your Cold Poker Gang series, and now being completely drawn into Kris’s Retrieval Artist series, maybe a workshop that covers how to write complicated stories into the dark?
    I’m currently reading “Consequences” . I can’t see how such an incredibly readable story like that can possibly be written into the dark. It is so intricate. As I’m reading it, I asked myself a couple times, what does this have to do with what I just read when I turn the page to a new chapter. Then I continue reading and find out. It’s just heckin amazing, is what it is.
    And without an outline?

    • dwsmith

      Mark, yup, all without outlines. Or even plans for world building. All done while the character explores the world. I have a Pop-Up coming that actually is such a large topic, I having trouble controlling it down into a Pop-Up size about how to write complex characters and complex worlds into the dark. If I can’t contain that and make sense of the topic, that will go to a workshop this fall. Bigger topic than I expected, actually.

    • Harvey Stanbrough

      Mark, (if I may testify) I had exactly the same doubts almost exactly five years ago. I was certain WITD would work fine for such an experienced writer as Dean, but it could never possibly work for me.

      So to prove to myself it wouldn’t work… I tried it. After all, it isn’t like there are any consequences if it doesn’t work, right? (grin)

      Only it DID work. I had to keep pushing down my critical voice at first and just let the characters tell their own story. (After all, they’re the ones who are living it.) But it worked, and it worked big time.

      I established a daily word-count goal, entered the amazing world of WITD (and Heinlein’s Rules) and haven’t looked back. Today, I have over 50 novels and novellas and almost 200 short stories… all in five years.

      Trust yourself, and trust your characters. They can (and will) come up with twists and complications you won’t believe. But if you trust them, quiet your conscious, critical mind and Just Write the Next Sentence, you’ll be amazed at the stories they’ll tell you.

      • dwsmith

        Thanks, Harvey, and what Harvey didn’t say but was implied in every word of his comment is that it is great fun. And exciting and making writing something you want to go play in, even when the story or book is in one of those stressful moments.

  • Céline Malgen

    Time travel is one of my reading cookies, but I’ve always been scared to try to write it (fearing it would be too advanced for me). And afraid it would be difficult to write into the dark.

    So I’d love a workshop, which would give me the incentive to try. And knowing you, I’m sure you would also give lots of tricks on writing Time Travel into the dark.

    • dwsmith

      Time travel in all aspects, Linda, across all genres. Meaning going back or forward in time, more than flashbacks. Information flow and depth are critical and get more focus with time travel. Pacing is part of everything.

  • emmiD

    I’m curious about the attitude workshop, but I’ll be honest and admit I’m running behind on several things and need to catch up before plunging into more.

  • Ann

    Westerns are hard for me. So much of the classic stuff carries toxic attitudes I don’t like, but I do like the themes of justice and honor. How do you write an historical western without the stereotypes?

    • dwsmith

      Ann, you just do it. You are the one holding yourself back there. Westerns without the stereotypes are perfectly fine and I wish more would write them, but so many people have your belief that you have to put them in, but you do not.

  • Ed Knight

    I would probably enjoy the Western one. BUT I will not be taking any workshops in June because I’m going to be offline for most of the month.

  • Marsha

    Time Travel and Attitude for me and definitely all of the advanced ones you and Kris are looking at, especially advanced Pacing and Mixed Genres.

    While I’m here I have a question. There are a couple workshops I’d like to retake, Sales Blurbs being one. Is that permissible for a Lifetime subscriber? (BTW, I’m not forgetting–I’m busy writing. 🙂 )

    • dwsmith

      Marsha, as a lifetime subscriber, you can do anything with the workshops, including sending in the assignments a second time. No problem at all. But on the Sales I would suggest you start from the beginning, even though you have taken in once. That is such a critical workshop and so few have taken it.

  • Johanna Rothman

    I’m greedy. I would love to take all three, in this order:
    1. Time travel. (My head hurts just thinking about it. I would love to be able to do it with no pain 🙂
    2. Attitude.
    3. Western.

    Because we have the weekend to do the homework, I mostly finish the homework even in the summer.

  • Kate Pavelle

    Attitude, and maybe Time Travel. Currently the biggest one on my wish list is Emotion but I didn’t want to start it before I got settled into the Great Challenge.

  • Mike Southern

    I think the western workshop would be interesting… especially if you included a week on mixing other genres with westerns (yes, I really like the Thunder Mountain series) and maybe even some instruction about writing a pulp-style modern western. There are very few recent books on how to write westerns, period, and even fewer that go into any detail about reader expectations and such beyond stressing the need for historical accuracy. (At least, I haven’t found any.)

  • Aniket Gore

    Time travel looks interesting, it crosses so many genres. I’m sure it would be blast.

  • William J. Seymour

    I think Attitude could be a big one. I’m a firm believer that your attitude in all things, not just writing, can be one of the biggest ingredients in your success or failure. Even if people think they have the correct attitude right now since these are put on teachable, after purchasing them they are there for the lifetime of the account. A reminder for when what they learn in the class gets forgotten due to a life roll or two.

    Westerns would intrigue me as well. Time travel…I’m already trying to wrap my mind around the rabbit hole that one can become.

  • Isabo Kelly

    My vote is for Attitude and then Time Travel. As a lifetime subscriber, I would definitely been keen on doing the Attitude workshop over the summer even though I’m traveling for half that time.

  • Edward M. Grant

    Westerns sounds interesting. I’ve thought about writing them and started two, but never finished.

    I still have a few credits I haven’t used and one day I need to get around to upgrading to the lifetime subscription.

  • Carolyn Ivy Stein

    I am so, so behind with both workshops and writing, but I would love the Time Travel workshop.

  • Philip

    Attitude would be awesome. Right now, every other major indie voice says just about the opposite of what you say. These indie gurus have become worse than Trad Pub with all their rules:.write to market, outline everything, go exclusive to Kindle, price low, craft doesn’t matter only Facebook ads and overpriced covers. Sometimes even a major DWG devotee like me gets distracted by all that nice. I’d love tips on the correct attitude. Because if you thought New York was bad in terms of diminishing storytelling in favor of business, they have nothing on the inside gurus today.

    • dwsmith

      Yup, figured that was going to happen and been watching it. Sadly all the get-rich-quick types will be gone in a few years. Those of us just chugging along and having fun and writing the books we love will mostly still be here.