January Writing Results
A light word count for the month of a little less than 18k words, but a lot of editing done. That doesn’t always (or even usually) produce a large word count, and I track that by net change to put a number on it. That net change doesn’t tell you much about the effort involved in an editing session, though. Still, I feel like the month worked out well overall.
- Starting the 3rd Draft of the Troll World Quintet, at the end of the month, I was about a quarter of the way through Book 2. This is the heavy lifting draft for this set. A lot of text of these books were dictated during commutes and I did very little tidy up during the second draft, just fixing plot and consistency issues. The 3rd draft is the “make it pretty” draft and involves some pretty heavy editing with dictated material. I anticipate solid word count increases in the remaining books. That worries me for book 4 which is already the longest of the set. Book 5 isn’t that far behind. The first book finishes this draft at about 67k. Books 2 and 3 will probably wind up in the 62k area. Book 4 is 87k sitting at 2nd draft status and the finale is just under 80k. There are no good splits, although there are a couple of scenes in book 4 I could turn into separate pieces of ancillary material without interfering with the actual story.
- Two short fanfic novels and two novelettes (the second batch of Star Trek fiction, which I think I’ve mentioned before) found their way to second draft in January, and I’m working on the third drafts in February. Since these weren’t dictated but rather converted from what were originally intended as audio drama scripts, they’re much cleaner and don’t need nearly as much adjustment at this phase.
- Also on the editing front, I’ve started looking at short fiction I’ve drafted and never taken further than that first draft. Some of it is actually pretty good. Most of the rest deserves a chance to see if it can be good. I took 10 of those from first draft to second in January.
- Two short stories with the first draft complete. I actually have a couple of thousand words that need to be transcribed from odd moments and lying in bed before switching to winding down for sleep, including one complete short, but
- No publishing in January, but I’ve worked out cover imagery for half a dozen things, and I’m happy with that.
- I’ve also done some significant market research to gear up for short fiction submission again.
- Blog posts: only 9 for the month, but that puts me just a hair above the 2 per week I want to maintain for this year.
- Journal entries: 1 so far. Not that impressive against a goal of 50 for the year. Still, there’s lots of time left in 2021, right?
Targets for February:
- Editing: I hope to get the 3rd Draft complete on Shrine, the second Troll World book, as well as the group of short novels and novelettes that I’m calling the second batch of shorter Star Trek fanfic. There are still a lot of short stories languishing as well.
- Finish the basic outline for the Draugr Rising sequel, Kami Falling. I appear to have set this aside during Nano and I’ve never come back to it. Here’s the monthly reminder. It has occurred to me that my hesitation in getting this done might have something to do with the idea that I might be working too far ahead. I already have seven novels plotted that I could start at any time (although one is a sequel to another), so it seems odd to be outlining another.
- Short Stories. Need to get more going here, even though I’ve got lots of year left, I’m a little behind where I would like to be by now.
- Blog posts. Same basic pace planned. If more happen, great.
- Publishing. The basic plan here is to set up the covers and layouts of what I want to publish for most of the rest of the year. This will likely spill into March, but once I’m at that level, I hope to plotting a course that’s two quarters ahead.
The focus for writing in 2021 is editing things I’ve already written and publishing on a couple of fronts. Outside of writing, the focus is on academics. I understand more than I did when I started on this journey and hope to be actually prepared to launch into classes in May. Actually, I hope to be well-prepared and with my eyes open to pay attention this time.
Stay safe and be well, everyone.by