A Year of Sprinting

I’ve been using Chris Fox’s technique of sprints for about a year now, and the results are pretty impressive. Since August of last year, I’ve published five books with another unpublished manuscript waiting in the wings. I’m a quarter of the way through a new manuscript that I’ll publish before year’s end too. Plus I have a bunch of finished short stories that I’m gathering up for release sometime down the road; once I have enough to put into a collection.

I’ve written more than 380,000 new words since I started. Compare that with my old rate of production, which netted me around 80,000 words annually. Maybe 100,000 words on a good year.

That’s a huge productivity increase.

But sprints are only half of the story. I also adopted Dean Wesley Smith’s method of “cycling” and not rewriting which allowed me time to edit, proofread, and publish all those words.

I’ve had a ton of fun writing all these books this year, and I’ve learned a lot by doing. I even crossed the million word written mark, a huge achievement for me.

I’m looking forward to another great year of writing even more books. Hopefully, you’ll come along with me for the ride.

DWS on Perspective

Great article by Dean Wesley Smith on newer indie writers and their perspective on the business of writing…


I know that I did really well during the Kindle “Gold Rush” and I did not have the skill to back it up. My expectations got skewed and I got kinda down on things when sales dropped off. But I didn’t quit; instead I focused more than ever before on the writing and paying my dues. I’ve learned what works for me and, most importantly, I’ve learned how to have fun at it again.

Dean’s taught me a lot, even though he doesn’t know it. If you’re a writer and you’re not following this guy you’re missing out on some of the best advice in the business; no exaggeration.

Twelve Days Into Familiar Lies

I thought it might be effective to show the progress on this novel, mostly to illustrate how an hour a day of consistent work adds up:


I’m twelve days in and writing at a respectable but not astonishing pace. Not even two weeks and I’m already 20% into this 75,000 word novel (around 60 pages).

I’m on schedule to finish this one probably mid-March and with my proofread-as-you-go approach, I won’t have any tedious rewriting left on it when the book is finished. I wish I’d started this rewriting approach sooner than halfway through the last novel. Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose.

By the way, this godsend of a technique is due in no small part to this article by Dean Wesley Smith. And a nod to Lawrence Block, who also does it this way.

And now I’m off to watch the new X-Files before bed. 🙂


Into the Dark with Familiar Lies

Familiar Lies

I’m planning on writing Familiar Lies without an outline. I know I go back and forth on that, but I think on this one I should discover what happens to Max Williamson’s son the same way he does.

Dean Wesley Smith calls this writing into the dark. He’s even written a book on it. I don’t know that every book should be written with or without an outline, but I now know that every book is a little different. Sometimes, I think, the approach will vary. It has for me, at least. This will be my tenth novel, so maybe I’m getting good enough at this whole writing thing to feel confident enough to go at it with no map. 🙂

I honestly don’t know what happened to the son. Was it foul play? Not sure. I don’t know what Max is going to find out. I have some suspicions, but I’ll have to wait and see if they’re confirmed. I do know that Kevin Williamson was not the person his father–or anyone else, for that matter–thought he was.

I also know that Max is not who he thinks he is.

A lot of people are like that.

It should be great fun. I’ll post more about how the process is going once I’m further into it.