Challenge,  On Writing,  workshops

Workshop Question…

Would Anyone Be Interested In a Pulp Speed Workshop?

No requirement to take it, I’m just trying to find out if there is interest.

In the Making a Living with Novels workshop, I talked about Pulp Speed, described it in one video. And I have described it here on this blog a bunch of times over the years.

But not once have I explained to anyone how to reach pulp speed. I do it so naturally over decades, I guess I just sort of thought that if a person wanted to do it, they could just do it. I sort of forgot what it took for me to build up to that production level.

And I am discovering that on some of the questions in the novel workshop, that is not the case. People honestly don’t know the tons of tricks of writing at production speed regularly. And some people honestly wouldn’t know what to do if they did reach that speed with all the IP they produced. (Numbers said that and I understand completely.)

A few actually talk about how for one week or one story, they hit pulp speed, but could not imagine maintaining it for an entire year. But Pulp Speed is not a single sprint, but has to be maintained over one year. 1 million consumable words per year is Pulp 1.

So it dawned on me that maybe I should ask here… Is anyone interested in a full, regular, six-week class on how to build up production to Pulp 1? And what to do with the IP once you hit that level.

And I am not talking about that production speed for a month or one project, but learning how to hit that production level over not only a year but many years in a row.

It would take all six weeks and would be very, very different than the speed workshop. That workshop is focused on how to increase your productive speed in writing and getting out of your own way while writing. Pulp 1 would be focused on all the tricks and techniques it takes to hit that Pulp 1 yearly amount of production no matter how fast or slowly you type.

So write me or leave a comment here if interested. Again, I will not hold you to taking the class if you say you want it, and this is not signing up. Just feedback for me and Kris to move forward or not move forward on this.




    • Terry Mixon

      I would take this workshop in a heartbeat. I would love to make the jump to that level of production long term but haven’t been able to get there yet.

  • Nathan Haines

    You know, I think I have a handle on speed, but I was looking at the math and sort of wondering how many covers I’d have to do at pulp speed with a mixture of novels, short stories and all that. And I know it can be done: a friend was doing pulp speed 3 rates for a while.

    So I’d love a workshop on this. Workshops on things I sort of already know help to affirm what I’m doing right, while they point out the occasional thing I’m doing wrong, the real magic is when they bring what I’m doing right into sharp focus or, even better, when they mention a new angle I’d never even considered.

  • David+Ai

    Yes. The times I have been most productive have been in bursts of activity when an entire book is written in 4 weeks at 6000+ words a day – and like you – when I’ve been working fulltime. But sustaining it has always been the problem. Those tricks would be invaluable to me. It’s not the writing that stops me, it’s the next steps in the production process while also writing (and working) that de-rail me.

  • Lena Bourne

    I’d be interested! Also, have you ever considered doing something on planning/scheduling for authors? I don’t know how extensive that could be, I just know I’m really bad at it.

    • dwsmith

      We are amazingly good at that, but it came hard learned over the years and then these last 12 years Allyson has taken us up to a level I couldn’t imagine existing in scheduling and publishing schedules. I think of it as juggling twenty things. So with Allyson’s help, Kris and I might be able to put together something on scheduling and planning. Might be a side class after the Pulp Speed class. Very good point. We’ll do some of it in the pulp speed, Some basics, but amazingly it is a major topic at a certain production rate.

      By the way, Kris also writes at Pulp Speed, so imagine Allyson having two Pulp Speed writers, plus all the other projects we do that Kris and I don’t write, to schedule and keep on track. Yeah, she is a master.

      • Charlotte

        I would really, really love that. I write fiction at pulp speed now, no big deal, and clean publishable copy, too, inviting no one in until it’s done. But publishing at that speed, managing reader expectations and keeping track of all the new IP is another beast entirely (and I do have spreadsheets). I’ve been working on a system but probably just fail for lack of standards. I might need a clear example to look up to, the kind of nuts and bolts things you’ve been explaining so wonderfully on the writing side of speed.

      • Lena Bourne

        I’d say juggling 2 Pulp Speed writers is a full time job for several people, so Allyson must truly be a master. I’m sure she tons of insight into the topic, as do you and Kris!

        I’m glad the topic jogged your interest, and I’m looking forward to hearing your lessons on it. I’m not a planner at writing, or anything else really, and a solid, workable publishing schedule has eluded me thus far, but I’m hoping to change that in 2022.

  • Kat

    I’d love this kind of workshop. Especially tricks for handling all the IP. Getting to pulp speed seems like marathon training, a matter of training up to that level, but if I’m going to fall down on one of Heinlein’s Rules, it’s 4, so tips and tricks for handling the IP would be greatly appreciated.

  • Sarah

    I’m interested, but probably wouldn’t get to it for a while. I second what Nathan said in his second paragraphs about workshops in general.

  • E. R. Paskey

    Count me in–I would be very interested in learning more about the nuts and bolts of how to work up to Pulp Speed and stay there.

    I’m in writing for the long haul. The Making a Living With Novels workshop has been absolutely amazing so far–I have a clear idea of where I am and what it’s going to take to get to where I want to be.

    And where I would ultimately like to be in a few years is writing at Pulp Speed and also managing the covers and publishing side of things as well.

    • dwsmith

      Yes, that’s why it will take six weeks. It is all a part. I often get questions from people on how I can take only 20 minutes or so to do a cover. There are some basics and some tricks. And working at Pulp Speed, you need all of that, otherwise you just fall behind and then you slow the writing down because the other stuff isn’t keeping up. Also a lot of attitude involved.

  • Topaz

    A workshop on how get to and stay at pulpspeed one would be great.
    Over the past years I managed to write more words per day, but regularity is lacking.

    Also: I’d love to learn what to do with that much IP. I’m constantly behind publishing everything I write.
    Just the other day I realized I did publish 96 stories in the last three year. They are mostly short stories, but wow. I was impressed realizing I did write so many words, edited them, created covers and published them.

    Thanks to you and Kris, all your workshops and blogposts. Without you I wouldn’t have ever reached “the end” in my first novel or published anything myself. Thank you very very very much.

  • Rob Cornell

    I admit I’m intrigued, though I don’t think I am quite at the place where I could do it right now. I’m currently prepping to try for 500k next year. So pulp speed 0.5. ? That’s already a big step up for me.

  • Zoe Cannon

    I’ve been beating my head against the wall trying to figure out how to get the rest of my Great Challenge stories up in collections and on their own without compromising on the amount of new fiction I want to write next year, so yes please.

  • emmiD

    Yes! Not until mid January at the earliest.

    I almost hit 1million in 2019, but I felt stressed–construction and painting and moving. Then 2020 had other distractions in addition to the corona coaster. This year will be strong but no where near 2019’s level. I feel like I’m spinning wheels some days. So this class will be a great motivator.

  • Mark Kuhn

    I would be interested. Personal events of 2021 hit me like a torpedo I did not see coming. I’m writing again but at Space Normal Speed, getting my feet underneath me, making sure Creative Voice feels safe.

  • Petals

    I’m more than just interested. I’d pay for a workshop that’ll teach me the skills to maintain pulp speed for a year and beyond. I get close to pulp speed for a few weeks during Nanowrimo. But I need to know how to: (1) write continuously at 3,000 words a day, and (2) sustain it (while holding a day job).

    • dwsmith

      Publishable words. Not first draft sloppy stuff. Finished publishable words are the only words that count in any pulp speed.

  • Kate+Pavelle

    Missed this while on the road. Yes, I’d definitely take this, both the pulp speed tricks and the organizational aspect of things. I lack consistency. Working on ground effect now, and right now my plane is bouncing off the runway in giant hops.