• Writing

    February Writing Report

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    Just over 19k words for February which was a little higher than January, but still on the low side for the last year or so. Not horrible, and still mostly editing, but still a decent month overall.

    And I even finished a story.

    February accomplishments:

    1. Work on the 3rd Draft of the Troll World Quintet is a bit slower than I would like, but it’s progressing. I’m still in Book 2, about 60% done, and having added almost 5,000 words so far. It’s slower going than I’d like, but between the dictation clean up and the making it pretty part of things, it’s some fairly heavy rewriting.
    2. Two short fanfic novels and two novelettes (again, the second batch of shorter Star Trek fiction) moved from second draft to third. If they make final in March, I’ll be ready well in time for the next serial to start in April.
    3. A few transcriptions of things from paper. Not nearly as much as there should have been, but a couple of thousand words worth.
    4. One short first draft complete. I think I still have two in progress.
    5. Finally published the third volume in The Citizen trilogy, Fallen Heroes. Yes, it is about time.
    6. Blog posts: February was even lighter than January with only 6 for the month.

    Targets for February:

    1. Editing: I hope to get the 3rd Draft complete on Shrine, and then pass into Forest, the second and third Troll World books, respectively. I also hope to get the final drafts done on the second batch of shorter Star Trek fanfic.
    2. Finish the basic outline for the Draugr Rising sequel, Kami Falling. Yup, didn’t get to it in February. We’ll try again for March.
    3. Short Stories. I need to pick up the pace if I hope to meet the goal for 2021.
    4. Blog posts. Need to get a little farther here, too, though these are more of an outlet than a specific goal. Sometimes I have things I want to talk about or just work out in my head. Sometimes I want to publicly keep myself honest about what my writing is accomplishing.
    5. Publishing. Two things planned to actually publish in March: the Citizen Trilogy as a set and a short story. April is planned to be heavier. Between the first of March and the 30th of June, I have nine things of various lengths I want to release. Covers are complete for two of those and images have been found for five more. Lots to do.

    As I mentioned in the January report, the focus for writing in 2021 is editing things I’ve already written and building my publishing efforts. That remains the plan, and I’ve fleshed out the basics of the publishing piece to the end of the year. The editing goals are flexible, though I very specifically want to have the Troll World books all at final draft by the end of the year. Anything more than that might be a bonus, but we’ll see how things go.

    Stay safe and be well, everyone.

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  • Writing

    January Writing Report

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    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.

    January accomplishments:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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
    5. No publishing in January, but I’ve worked out cover imagery for half a dozen things, and I’m happy with that.
    6. I’ve also done some significant market research to gear up for short fiction submission again.
    7. 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.
    8. 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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Blog posts. Same basic pace planned. If more happen, great.
    5. 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.

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  • Publishing

    Publishing Goals For 2021

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    Like the writing goals for this year, the publishing ones are significant. But they’re also a lot more organized than last year. With the exception of the short fiction piece, all works to be published I’ve been picked out already.

    Also like the writing goals, there are standard goals, stretch goals, and super-stretch goals. The rough details:

    1. Short Fiction, which, for publishing purposes, I define as anything shorter than a short novel (novella), but I generally won’t do something under about 5k words by itself.
      1. Goal = 6
      1. Stretch = 9
      1. Super-Stretch =12
    2. Long Fiction. The definition for novella or short novel varies depending on who you ask. For me, stuff that hits the various definitions tends to be on the order of 20,000 words or more. So that’s this category, more or less.
      1. Goal = 4
      1. Stretch = 5
      1. Super-Stretch = 6
    3. Collections. Either a group of short stories or a gathering of poetry. Both things fit in here.
      1. Goal = 1
      1. Stretch = 2
      1. Super-Stretch = 3
    4. Fanfic. And I’m still enjoying this so why shouldn’t I continue? So far, my efforts here all fall into the Star Trek prime universe in the original series era. The four stories in the standard goal are already drafted and fit in that sandbox. I have some thoughts in a different vein, though, so I might explore a whole different universe at some point.
      1. Goal = 4
      1. Stretch = 6
      1. Super-Stretch = 8

    There may be secret goals here. Well, there are a couple, but they’ll stay secret until the unlikely event comes to pass that they’re within striking distance.

    Marketing, such as it is, should get a mention while we’re at it. I don’t consider most of this marketing, just a natural extension of my writing efforts.

    1. The Blog continues, of course. Whether anyone actually reads it or not is irrelevant. It’s a nice outlet for me.
    2. Facebook is what it is. Expected, perhaps, but also not a big chunk of time, so why not? I know the blog gets a few clicks through from it.
    3. Newsletter. I keep promising this and I really want to do it. I’ve picked the software and I’ve roughed out the format
    4. Instagram is going to come back when I get a new phone momentarily. This is as much just fun as anything else.

    There may be a secret goal here, too. Maybe more than one. Whether those come about will depend a lot on the student thing.

    Actually, how much progress I make on anything listed here depends a lot on the student thing, which has got to be my primary focus for the next several years, and I honestly won’t be sure just how many of my waking hours that’s going to involve until my classes begin in May. I’m guessing a lot, but there has to be some time left over, right?

    Stay safe and be well, everyone.

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  • Writing

    Writing Goals For 2021

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    The goals this year are significant, particularly when put in a light of my return to post-secondary education as a full-time student. But I think I need to aim high. If I don’t, I’ll settle for less than I’m capable of handling and probably less than my best work at the same time.

    The editing focus is going to continue at the novel level. Things I’d like to get to final draft this year:

    1. Troll World = a current total length of 320k, the Troll World novels consist of five separate books. Once the editing is complete, and there are a few things I have to add here and there, I expect the length to increase by about 10% overall.
    2. Welkiri Corps, a novel I wrote without plotting and finished the first draft on in March of 2019.
    3. Pride of Andor and Interrupted Shore Leave. Two short Star Trek fan fiction novels that will round out to somewhere between 28 and 30k words each.

    If I actually manage all of these, I’ll be “caught up” on the novel front, exclusive of anything I draft in 2021. That said, I’m actually planning to focus a lot on short fiction this year rather than novel-length work. My plan is for 50 short stories and 50 flash pieces in 2021, part of my “50 at 50” objectives (more on that in a couple of days).

    But there will be some heavy non-fiction, too. I’m planning for a minimum of 100 standard blog posts this year. Yes, that will be less than I’ve done in 2020, but there’s also a non-fiction project that I’m going to keep secret for just a little longer.

    And, of course, there are the publishing and marketing sides of things, but in the interest of keeping it short today – it is still the Holidays after all – I’ll save those for tomorrow.

    Be well, everyone.

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