Tag: 2013

2013 Writing Recap

2013 Writing Recap

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It’s been a turbulent year in some ways, but I’ve had worse in recent memory. Creatively speaking, the year has had equal parts frantic activity and abysmal nothingness. It rounds out not too badly.

First, a quick re-cap, pulling a few choice bits of information from blog posts and plans of a year ago and reality measured up.

 

Writing Goals for 2013

1,000 words per day of new fiction, totalling 365,000 words, but with the relaxing caveat of every day being a new one and only the new target matters.

Somewhere in this total, the first draft of Tashiik Dreams or Dreams of Freedom.

Reality:

  • I wrote no new fiction for almost half the year. Between 20 April at 01 October, I managed a grand total of 3,290 words of fiction, and none at all in June, July, or August. In September, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started to put things back together, kicking things into high gear. The end of the year fiction count still came in at 200,432 words, beating 2012 by almost 60k and coming within striking distance of 2011’s word count.
  • I didn’t write either Tashiik Dreams or Dreams of Freedom.
  • I did, however, write Universal Destiny, which might be the first book in a series or might stand well on its own. I’m leaning towards at least a couple more stories in the universe.

 

Editing Goals for 2013

  • Skip To My Luu getting some tweaks and a little smoothing out.
  • Warforge: Caledonia to get a second draft.
  • Ancient Runes to go through multiple drafts and be ready for beta readers by the end of the year.
  • Tashiik Dreams or Dreams of Freedom (whichever got the first draft done), second draft.

Reality:

  • Skip To My Luu never got touched.
  • Something about Warforge: Caledonia is broken. I set it down near the end of April and didn’t pick it up again. I’m still not sure what isn’t working for me.
  • Ancient Runes is ready for beta readers. Now I just need beta readers.
  • Since I finished Universal Destiny near the end of November, I haven’t gotten to the second draft yet.

Publishing Goals for 2013

  • 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. I’ve already picked the stories for the first one, and I’m thinking about cover art and author’s notes.
  • “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.

Reality:

  • Epic fail. Did none of them.

 

So, some good, some bad. Mostly not so good, though.

However, I feel like I picked up the ball and hit my stride in the last quarter of 2013, and I’m going to try to maintain that in 2014. This year’s goals are extremely aggressive and will include some of last years. I’ll post about those tomorrow.

Be well, everyone.

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Writing Report, December 2013 and the Whole of Q4

Writing Report, December 2013 and the Whole of Q4

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So many words, so little time.

I’m going to make this a quick post, I hope, as I’ve got a lot to accomplish in the few days I’m off this week, and a lot of it isn’t writing related. As usual, there are numbers involved, so if those bore you, skip ahead to the end. (Note that these are all as of going to bed New Year’s Eve. I did write a little yesterday.)

December’s targets versus reality:

Project

Target

Actual

Untitled Novelette Project

40,000

43,156

words
Short Fiction: included in Novelette goals

2,158

Godhead, Book 2 plotting

50/50

51/50

scenes
Short Fiction Cleanup

 

Breaking things out:

  1. Untitled Novelette Project scored some significant wordage this month, but isn’t as complete as I’d like. Not regretting the project, as I’m having fun with all of the stories, but it’s turned out to be a slightly larger project than I expected.
    1. “Trollsign”, the second novelette (I’m counting “Thorvald’s Wyrd” as part of the set) is the only one so far to come in inside the word budget of 12-15k (at 12,536).
    2. “Last of the Sorcerer Kings” is actually a novella at 21,465 words.
    3. “A Gathering of Heroes” is scraping at 13.5k mark with fivee scenes to go. This one is going to be a novella, too, and I think it may brush up against 20k.
    4. “Company of the Dead” (the bonus novelette) is a little under 1,900 words and is a couple of hundred words into the third scene (of 15 planned). I still have a small hope that this will stay under 15k, but I’m not holding my breath yet.
    5. The short fiction total got rolled into the main project goal for the month, but I still managed a pair of flash pieces towards the upcoming Undead project.
    6. Barely got the final novel plotting done for The Godhead and, honestly, it isn’t really. Most of one of the three major character arcs is plotted out to the level of one sentence per scene. December has been a busy month. I’m still comfortable to have started drafting this, though.
    7. Short Fiction cleanup saw two final drafts, a third draft, and two second drafts of previously written stories. I also dug out an 11,000-word SF novelette that proved to be surprisingly readable, though suffers from a couple of dated points, but that’s always a risk when you’re writing near future SF. Made a few notes. Short fiction cleanup stays on the list for all of Q1 of 2014, so I’m going to make a run at this one.

Overall word production:

Drafting

45,314

Editing

690

Plotting

5,000

Blog Posts

5,071

Non-fiction

4,832

Which comes to a grand total of 60,907 words for the month, making it the second best month of the quarter, beating November by more than 2,500 words. This in spite of taking three days completely off to look for a new vehicle to replace our aging zombie van and two more for Christmas related activities.

Not bad at all. And, just because I love numbers, totals for the Experimental Quarter shape up like so:

Drafting

127,596

Editing

2854

Plotting

18,785

Blog Posts

15,226

Non-fiction

20,024

Totalling 184,485 words. Considering the middle of the year, that’s pretty good in my eyes.

So while I’ve done some re-forecasting for the first quarter of 2014, I’m not going to lay the whole year out here, just the high points for January.

  1. First draft to begin on The Godhead.
  2. Short fiction work to consist of trying to finish off the two remaining novelettes. “A Gathering of Heroes” should be no problem, but “Company of the Dead” is likely to stretch in February. This pushes the real beginning of the Undead short fiction project (more on which another time) back a month.
  3. And the Short Fiction Cleanup continues.

I’d originally thought to do revision notes and start the second draft for Universal Destiny, but I’ve decided to hit the short fiction clean up a little harder and let UD rest another month. Aggressive, but that’s okay. Big goals are important as long as you can be happy with the actual achievements on the way. And it can be pretty awesome when you do hit them.

Be well, everyone.

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Reading Goals for 2013

Reading Goals for 2013

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And, to round things out, reading. I haven’t been reading enough for pleasure in the last few years. There was a time, long ago before I became a parent or a serious writer, or a fully functioning adult, when I read a lot more. Through most of my 20s, I read 150-200 novels per year, haunting bookstores new and used alike (and not just because I tended to work in them). Those days are gone. Most of my short fiction consumption (and there’s still a fair bit of that) is online these days, but I read thirteen novels last year.

When I closed out my career with Chapters, I had about five years worth of projected reading material, some of it fiction and some not. There are quite a few of those books I never opened and may never. I’ve picked up plenty of other stuff in the years since, but my life has also had a lot of changes in the same time.

But this year I want to do more reading than I’ve made time for in the recent past. For the number-obsessed geek in me, that means setting some goals. So…

Fiction: I’m after 26 novels this year. Yup, doubling last year. A novel every two weeks doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. I brought quite a few home from World Fantasy, have lots more lying around, and have put about twenty electronic editions on my phone. No excuses. And audio counts.

Martial Arts: karate has grown to be a very important part of my life and activity over the last couple of years. It is my intention to read at least six martial arts related books this year. I’ve picked them out already and have five of them in my possession.

Comic Books: a couple of years back, I started doing some comic book rereads, finding old friends and catching up. I used to collect comics when I was younger and had disposable income (i.e. no responsibilities). I’ve spent most of that time with the X-men, working my way from the beginning up to the late 1980s. I hope to hit 1995 by the end of the year. Not too lofty a goal, hmm? If I make it, that’s going to carry me pretty close to the end of my collection and I’ll have to make a decision or two at that point.

Other reading: I do a lot of non-fiction reading, mostly on the internet, either news or for research. I’m not going to set a goal here as it’s something I do almost every day, but it’s worth noting. While we’re at it, there are a dozen or so web comics I read regularly, checking in a couple of times each month to read every page published since the last time I was there. I am still reading, it just mostly hasn’t been the same stuff I used to read. But I’d like to fix that a bit.

That rounds out my primary writing related goals for the year (and if you don’t think reading relates, we should talk about feeding the creativity beast within). As per usual, I’m crazy. But that’s okay. The attempt is more important than the success, although success on all fronts would be pretty cool. I’ll post monthly status updates and you can check my progress on the reading goal on Good Reads any time. Please go ahead and friend me while you’re there.

Be well, everyone.

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