Writer Delusion



There Are Numbers of Them…

But only going to talk about one at the moment. However, just like myths, writers have many, many delusions that hold them back.

Delusion: A fiction writer knows for a fact they can write good sales copy.

Reason for the Delusion: After all, they are fiction writers and it is their story.

Fact: I know of maybe a handful of fiction writers who know how to write good sales copy. And not one New York fiction editor.

But most writers have the delusion that they can write sales copy, the second most important element in sales after the cover. And then wonder why their books are not selling as well as they like.

— There are many forms of sales copy for novels or stories, but fiction writers don’t know the forms, or even want to learn them.

— Fiction writers do not use hype because it makes them feel uncomfortable.

— Fiction writers often don’t bother to tell the reader in the sales copy what genre their story fits in.

— Fiction writers use passive verbs to tell the readers their stories are dull and boring, and to make it active fiction writers hide the passive verb in a contraction which is worse. Most fiction writers can’t even see passive verbs.

— Fiction writers will often give away the entire story in a plot-filled blurb instead of giving the reader the chance to read the story and discover the plot.

— Fiction writers often never bother to mention their character’s names in the blurbs, not understanding that all fiction is about character.

Believing they know how to write good sales copy is just one of many delusions fiction writers have. This is not the biggest delusion, but it may be the most important to sales. And the most difficult to get past.


Anthology Workshop News and A Cat Picture



On Teachable Now for Assignments

If you are in the anthology workshop and did not get a letter from me tonight (Sunday) on how to get into the anthology workshop on Teachable to get the third assignment, write me.


Two in two days, although the Santa Run wasn’t much of a push because with that many people, running was almost impossible. Too much fun, anyway.  But today was another matter.

I was up before the sun came up and we were going off the starting line in Henderson at 8 am. Cold, wind in our faces, and uphill for exactly 1.5 miles. Without a break. Brutal. But I decided I was going to push it, so managed to stay with some men I thought were in my age category, turns out they were much younger, but they looked old.

But by me staying with the younger guys and then getting ahead of them on the downhill part of the course and finishing ahead of them, I ended up getting second in my old-guy category and a nifty tree ornament award.

No records set, but considering that I have been nursing a bad hip from twisting it when I fell off a curb carrying a 40 pound box, I was happy. A few more pictures, of course.

First one is Cheeps wondering why we were up before dawn.

Second is me staring at the map of the course wondering if I should just go nap in the car.

Finisher’s medals. Nifty.

Kris finishing.


Promised Pictures of Craziness



10,000 or More Santas…

In one place. Running and walking 5K.

At one point about four blocks into the run, I climbed up on some courthouse steps. As far as I could see in both lanes of Las Vegas Blvd, headed toward the Strip, were Santas.

And as far as I could see, stretching back into downtown Las Vegas and Fremont Street, there were Santas.

Kids in Santa suits, dogs in Santa suits, all sizes of humans in Santa Suits. We did this last year and that was one of the first moments I knew I was going to love this crazy city more than I already had over the years. This year’s run was even more fun than last year.

So some pictures, starting from the condo to the starting line. 10,000 plus Santas. Totally nuts. And great fun.

First one in the condo of me and Gavin trying to figure out the jacket and belt.

Second one of Kris showing off for Cheeps.

Third one of me and Steph and Kris on Fremont Street. We got there about 45 minutes early.

Four professional fiction writers standing on Las Vegas Blvd waiting for the start. Stephanie Writt, Val Brook, Kris, and me.

Santas gathering on Fremont Street

Santas leaving Fremont Street onto Las Vegas and the staring line

Santas ahead of us and the starting line almost a block away.

Another Friday Night With Nothing To Say



I’ve Been Reading Challenge Stories…

Working to get caught up. And enjoying it, actually. Just slow because of bad eyes.

Also not running much this week letting a muscle pull heal from falling off a curb while carrying a 40 pound box, but tomorrow is a fun run and then another on Sunday, so there will be pictures and I will try not to strain the muscle again.

Beyond that I am working on getting ready for 2020 and beyond. And doing some recording of workshop videos and such. So busy, just not much to write about here on a Friday night.

Maybe tomorrow…

Licensing Transition Videos



And All December Workshops Started…

That’s right, I have seven of the bunch of videos I will be doing this month in the Licensing Transition Class up. I emailed those in the group, but I noticed that a lot of those who signed up opted out of email notices, so nothing I can do on that.

Most of these seven are just historical stuff about me and Kris and how looking at a decade is possible and impossible at the same time.

Licensing takes time, got to learn how to think longer-term, something most writers find almost impossible to do.

And also the December regular workshops have all started up. Still time to get in.

All on Teachable.

And that’s it for the night tonight. I have more reading to do on the Great Challenge and I want to finish the Trademark book.


Tip of the Week Has Ended



Tonight I Posted the Last Five Weeks…

And I opened up all the tips from January 1st, 2018 all the way through to those who are signed up right now. And killed the $10 per month charging fee.

After two years of weekly tips, I am done in that format. I will be announcing something new and different for 2020 later this month which will have tips as well as much, much more.

So anyone who is has been taking Tip of the Week now and was signed up now has access to all 104 writing tips.

However, I had two people ask me if they could get all 104 tips even though they had not been signed up. So we figured out a way to make it live for anyone for the price of a regular workshop.

So it is available under Tip of the Week on Teachable now.

And if along the way over the last two years you subscribed for one quarter or less, use the code Tip104Week1Q to get $30 off the $300 price.

If you took the Tip of the Week for a half year or more, use the code Tip104Week2Q to get $60 off the full $300 price.

I have also put the entire thing into the Lifetime Lecture subscription.

This Tip of the Week lasting two years is another example of the power of streaks.

104 writing tips. Some weeks I was excited about doing it, other weeks I was slightly late, other weeks it was like pulling teeth to get me to do one. You know, typical streak.

But I am very proud of those 104 tips. Two years is a long, long time to do that.

As I said at one point about the Tip of the Week… “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

So if interested in 104 writing tips, check it out. That’s a lot of video. Well over 10 hours worth.

(And yes, if you have a $300 workshop credit from a challenge or Kickstarter, you can use it for this.)


In A Hurry



All Writers Early On Are In A Hurry…

I know for a fact I was no exception to that fact when I started publishing. And I have talked about this here and in workshops a lot of times in a lot of different ways.

But today and tonight I had a couple reminders. Two reminders from writers, one reminder as I was recording some new videos for the Licensing Transition (they are not posted yet. More to record tomorrow.)

One aspect about licensing is that nothing happens fast. And it often will take years to build a good license with a partner. I will talk about that more in the class. And wow, in the master class, that became very, very clear.

But book sales is where in this modern world of indie publishing you see this rush. Lots of writers think they can write a few novels and bam start making a lot of money. If I was silly enough to play the lottery, that would be like saying, I will buy a ticket on Saturday and be rich by next week. Nope. It happens, but it is not a business plan.

Part of this business and of licensing is to try new things, take some risks. Let me give you an example you can see right now.

For about a decade Kris had this nifty idea of sending subscribers a story per day for a period of time. And for a decade we talked about the idea, through ups and down, through all the inventions of the indie movement, even though Kris being sick. It was always this great idea that Kris has a vision for.

So last year at this time we decided to go for it, finally, because we felt the technology was in place to make it happen for readers and also the wonderful gang at WMG Publishing was up for the task.

So Kris took the editing reins getting the great stories and off we went. And you are seeing now the first year of this with the Holiday Spectacular where you can get a holiday story by a professional writer arrive in your inbox every day.

You can’t believe the amount of behind-the-scenes problems that had to be solved to make it seem so simple and easy to the readers. But it is working.

And I find it cool, better than I had even imagined it would be.

So timing on this  was that we thought about the idea for a decade, started it a year ago, and are now having it come out. But having it come out is far, far from the end of the project, because the plan on this is to let it build, do it every year, with more holidays.

So an omnibus of the first stories will be out in July followed by the three books in October for everyone to buy, and then it starts again.

The long-term plan is to have this Holiday Spectacular be a regular and fun thing and the plan extends years in to the future.

In other words, things take time.

If we had been in a hurry on this idea, we would have launched it before the time was right, before technology was up for the task, and screwed it up and ruined it.

Sometimes good licensing ideas just take time to build.

And sales take time to build.

And your writing skill level takes time to improve.

We are all headed to a new decade.

Where do you want to be in December 2029??

Don’t answer me, just think and plan for that. And this month I will be talking a lot about this planning for both next year and the next decade. Stay tuned.

Holiday Workshop Also Starting




The December session is starting. The only way to sign up for this workshop was back when we did the Kickstarter for the fantastic Holiday Spectacular. Everyone who signed up for the three-week workshop should have gotten an email from me with codes.

You can’t get into that workshop if you are not already signed up, but you can still get into the Holiday Spectacular to have a story delivered every day if you want. Not only do you get all the 30 stories or so that are still coming over this entire month, but you get the ones that are already up.

So jump on board. 35 Holiday Stories, one per day delivered to the device of your choice until January 1st. Great fiction, great holiday celebration. As one person wrote me and said, “It’s a wonderful fiction advent calendar.” Yup. Only no religion, just all kinds of different holiday stories.

WMG Holiday Spectacular 2019

Workshops and More Workshops



Cyber Monday…

Got a hunch everyone is shopping for all kinds of nifty things today online. But in that spirit, besides the fact that seven new Classic Workshops are now available and two Classic Workshop bundles available only for December, I wanted to remind those interested that the December workshops start Tuesday and Wednesday.

Information on the Classic Workshop Bundles in yesterday’s post right below this.

And all of you who got the special How to Write a Holiday Story workshop in the Kickstarter should have gotten a letter from me last week with the ability to pick which of the two sessions (December or January) you want to take and a code for both. December session will start on Tuesday.

The regular December workshops also start on Tuesday and here is the list.

Class #51… Dec 3rd … Endings
Class #52… Dec 3rd … Attitude
Class #54… Dec 3rd … Speed
Class #55… Dec 3rd … Teams in Fiction
Class #56… Dec 4th … Depth in Writing
Class #59… Dec 4th… Information Flow

You can sign up for the regular workshops or other Classic workshops or lectures on Teachable.

I will have up the schedule for January-March shortly.

Classic Workshops



And Two December Specials!!!

All seven of the new classic workshops are now up and available.

Classic workshops are workshops that have been moved from regular workshops to make more room and are half the original price ($150). But you do not turn in the assignments, just do them for yourself at your own pace.

We now have 29 Classic Workshops available.

And seven of them are newly in Classic status. So, for only the month of December, we put all seven in a bundle and reduced the price. You can still buy them one-at-a-time on Teachable for $150 each. But you can also get all seven in a bundle, but only for the month of December. Then the bundle goes away.

CLASSIC BUNDLE includes the following seven new classic workshops:

Author Voice
Novel Structure
Point of View
Character Development
Writing Westerns
Writing Time Travel

The cost for the bundle is $700. But if you have already taken one or two or more of the workshops when they were in regular form, there is a code on the introduction to the workshop to get $100 or $200 off that price.

Get everything on Teachable.

LIFETIME WORKSHOP SUBSCRIBERS will have the bundles put into their subscription and they will remain there even after December.


We noticed that we now have six different genre writing Classic Workshops, so for the month of December only, we put them into a bundle as well.

GENRE CLASSIC BUNDLE includes the following six classic workshops.

Writing Westerns
Writing Time Travel
Writing Science Fiction
Writing Mystery
Writing Fantasy
Writing Thrillers

So if you are interested in writing any or all of the genres, for the month of December only you can get the six genre workshops in a bundle. The cost is $600, but if you have taken one or more of the workshops already, there is a code in the description to get $100 off.

Two December specials. And once you have them on your Teachable dashboard, you can study them for years to come. But the offer to get the bundle will only last until the end of December.

Don’t miss this special.

(And if you want both, just use the code that gets you each bundle for $500 per bundle. That way you get 11 different Classic Workshops for $1,000.)

Get any workshop or these bundles on Teachable. Just hit “see all courses” to find all workshops and lectures available.