Based on my 40s so far, projecting anything over an entire year is difficult. I’m going to try anyway. In the last three months of 2013, I proved I can maintain the pace needed to produce a significant body of work. I’d like to think the quality is high enough to be worth reading by someone who isn’t family. While I’ve sold short fiction in the past, and hope I continue to do so, the jury is still out on my novel length work, so I’m focusing a lot of effort there this year.
Writing Goals for 2014
Rather than setting a daily goal, I’ve got specific project goals. My “day” job lets me project out very well, at least in terms of what days I have off and whether I’m working days or nights. This lets me set daily or weekly targets and estimates of what is reasonable based on how much time I might have. Into this, I’ve fit projects with healthy safety margins.
The project list:
- The Godhead Trilogy – this was my goal to have plotted by the end of 2013. Successful, so now it’s time to write the books, one per quarter, finishing the third by the end of September, or so the theory goes.
- Becoming Alien – the fourth quarter novel. Yes, that means I intend to write four novels this year. This is a stretch goal. I’ll be more than happy just to finish the first draft of the Godhead.
- Skip To My Luu getting some tweaks and a little smoothing out.
- Manifest Destiny – Editing to beta reader stage. This is the biggest editing project for 2014.
- The Novelette Project – where I spent my drafting time in December, this is another major editing project for this year, but I need to finish the first drafts of the last two novelettes. One is close. One has at least 10,000 words to go.
- The Undead – zombies and vampires get all the love. They’ll be included in this collection of stories, but there are plenty of other undead monsters. Don’t expect an awful lot of horror here, though there may be some horrific elements. Planned as a 6-8 month stretch of short fiction with lengths varying from flash to novelette. I have a few stories that already qualify, but need something around 70k words to be where I want things to be.
- Speculative Emotion – beginning another themed collection of stories, these ones tied to the categorizations in Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions. Since there are 32 stories here, and short fiction gets far less focus than novel form for this year, Speculative Emotion is a longer term project, probably stretching 9-12 months and not starting until after The Undead drafts are finished, meaning this one starts late in the year and spills over into 2015.
- Short fiction clean up – furthering the polishing of the short fiction backlog. This is what becomes necessary when you just draft and don’t edit for a couple of years. But I get to pick and choose what I like.
Publishing Goals for 2014
Which I’m breaking into two groups.
- Small Realities 1-4. Small collections of my short fiction targeted at 28-30,000 words each and published in March, June, September, and December.
- “Turn the World Around”. 35,000 word Science Fiction novella/short novel. Figuring on late summer for this.
- “Thorvald’s Wyrd”. Epic fantasy told in 100-word scenes. Late in the fall. It’s a wintery kind of tale.
- “Where the Water Tastes Funny”, a 6,000-ish short story that needs to be of the illustrated variety. Sometime in the fall.
These may look familiar. That’s because I wanted to do them last year. I still want to do them. We’ll try again. I may add a full novel to this list.
I’m going to shop three things this year
- Ancient Runes – I’m really pleased with how this turned out and want to try finding an audience for it.
- Graceland – a themed collection with each story inspired by a song from Paul Simon’s album of the same name.
- Heroes Inc. – 73,000 words of super hero novel.
As far as things go, I’m not sure I have the patience for traditional publishing, at least at the Big Publisher level. Dinosaurs who seem to be refusing to move into the 21st century for the most part. Processes stuck decades in the past, before computers, before the internet, before people learned to expect things to happen quickly. Smaller presses are quicker to adapt and quite a few of those are doing awesome work. I wonder if I can find the right publisher for my particular brand of awesome. If not, I’ve got a backup plan there, too.
And There You Have It
I have stopped to figure out an actual word count projection, and it’s crazy. Half a million words. Of fiction. Two and a half times what I actually achieved this year.
That doesn’t count editing, plotting, blogging, or my genealogy project. Really.
But all I need to do is continue the pace I’ve set for the last three months for another twelve. Simple, right?