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
A good beginning to the writing year: 31 writing days out of a possible 31.
Accomplishments in January:
- Welkiri Corps: now coming in at 39,443 words, and I think it’s going to just tick 50k by the time I’m done, although it might be a little lower. I seem to be careening towards the end point right now.
- Battlefield: just broke the 43k mark today (43,352). Currently forecasting a 77k first draft, which is tighter than usual for a first draft plot for me, drifting only 5k from the original 72k estimate with the 25th (of 46) chapter almost complete.
- Editing: finished the final draft of Hero’s Life. Hopefully drafting the third book in the trilogy, Fallen Heroes, this year.
- Also editing: all but one short and two novelettes of the chosen Undead stories are at least at third draft status, with 8 out of 40 at final. The short (currently 5400 words) will probably finish 3rd draft tomorrow.
- Still editing: working my way through the “make it pretty” draft of Fractured Unity, just over half way through chapter 9 (of 20).
- 17 blog posts.
- 12 journal entries.
Total word count for the month of 81,661, averaging over 2.6k words per day. I think this was an above average month for what I’m expecting for the rest of the year, even with missing a commuting day due to have to replace a car battery. I worked from home that day and lost the dictation word count, doing some editing in the evening. However, I did also do two solo trips to Ottawa, once using about half the trip for dictation for 6k words and once using all of it to hit 12.7k, so there’s pair of significant boosts there. I don’t expect those trips to be normal, at least not going on my own.
On the publishing side, things were a bit lighter than I originally intended.
- I did get all of “Between a Rock and a Klingon” posted on Wattpad.
- I also mostly did the cover design for “Thorvald’s Wyrd” but haven’t managed the internal layout yet.
Next up: February Goals. The open ones, at least. These are heavily reduced due to the vacation my wife and I are taking. Not bringing a computer along.
Goals for February:
- Short Fiction: it’s just possible that I’ll get Welkiri Corps done by the end of Feb, but with the vacation it’s more likely that it will take a week or so into March. Looking for at least 6k here.
- Battlefield: 12,000 words. There are only 19 commuting days in February for me, with no vacation involved. Looking at the time I’m taking off for flights and recovery, I’m down to only 12.
- Short fiction editing: the last Undead stories to 3rd draft, and start into the final drafts of the 32 that aren’t there already.
- Third draft of Fractured Unity to be completed.
- Non-fiction word count goal for the month is a mere 5000 words.
Switching over to publishing:
- I do still want to try to get 10 short story submissions in.
- The first batch of query letters will go out for Ancient Runes. Yeah, that was supposed to happen in January.
- “Thorvald’s Wyrd” layout to be finished so that it can actually become an ebook and start posting on Wattpad.
- Cover design and layout for Skip To My Luu. I’d like to get this up and rolling as well.
The total word goal for the month is only 23k. Very low, but in line with time off and other plans for the month. A vacation that costs only a week of commutes will drop the monthly goals by 9250 words. I’ll adjust accordingly. I’m taking 7 working days and there’s a stat holiday in February, too. March is back to normal and I’ll likely be looking for a similar set of word count goals as I’d originally set for January, something around 40k.
Be well, everyone.by
This is going to be quicker than usual, I think. Way too much going on.
The Godhead, Book 1
26,181 words written of 30,000 target. A clean miss, but a pretty good number. I’m also no longer projecting this as a 90k novel, but 100k. Surprise.
“A Gathering of Heroes”
3rd of the 4 novelettes, complete at 22,031 words of an originally projected 15,000. Interesting how that works. This makes exactly one of the 4 novelettes that’s actually fallen into novelette count. Not this one, obviously.
“Company of the Dead”
4th of the 4 novelettes, complete at 7,711 words written of a projected 15,000. And eight scenes left to write. How much would you like to bet this one’s going to hit 20k, too?
Total short fiction work of 14,448 words, surpassing the target by almost exactly what I missed the novel target by. There is balance here.
In chronological order of accomplishment:
Third draft of “The King’s Blessing”, taking it to 3,099 words.
Second drafts of two flash pieces: “The Werewolf Movie”, and “Alphabet Fantasy”.
Second draft of “The Vyrian Child”, now at 11,602 words. Not that big a change in length, but some heavy revisions inside the story. Intact, but reads much better.
Final draft of “The King’s Blessing”, now standing at 3,120 words.
Fleshed out the plotting of Book 3 of The Godhead. No more single sentence chapters in the outline.
Non-fiction including scripting for “Days of Geek”, blog posts (not that there were many), and several other things: 10,769 words.
Total for the Month
Not too shabby, considering:
I took three days off of primary fiction writing to re-start my podcast (“Days of Geek”)
There were actually seven days in total I spent no time on my primary fiction WIP (three of which I also ignored the secondaries). But I still wrote something every single day in the month of January. Makes me happy.
Always with the re-forecasting, me, but always in motion is the future and only the goals for February actually matter for the moment:
Another 30,000 words on book 1 of The Godhead.
Finish “Company of the Dead”. Pushing serious work on The Undead collection stories back another month, unless I finish CotD early. Not likely considering the last two supposed novelettes.
The Short Fiction Cleanup continues. Slowly. I have a couple of actual short stories (as in under 5,000 words) I’d like to finalize, but primarily I want to get the third draft of “The Vyrian Child” done.
Revision notes for Universal Destiny. This entails reading the story and making notes about all the things that are wrong or I want to change. The second draft is to fix these, and there will probably be a lot of them.
I’m going to shoot for 10 blog posts to go up in February. If I count this one, three of them are already written. I’m counting this one.
Two episodes (three, if I’m smart) of “Days of Geek” produced, but without taking all of my spare time for a week to do it.
Still cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Which would be even more apparent if I mentioned a couple of other projects I’m thinking about.
Be well, everyone.
by So, as promised, here’s the first Writing Update for 2013, covering the month of January.
Total Words of New Fiction: 15,740
Of which 6798 were in Dreams of Freedom. Considering the goal was 20,000, that’s not all that impressive, however more on that in a minute.
1021 were the first half of a new scene in Warforge: Caledonia.
The remaining 7,921 words went into “Klaatu Barada Nikto, Baby!” and a Warforge short story tentatively titled “Closing Time”. Neither of these stories are actually complete at this point and the overall word count left me 604 words short on this month’s short fiction goal.
On the editing side of things:
I did a full read of Ancient Runes, making revision notes all the way, 5200 words worth for a 67,000 word novel. And I finished them with three days to spare. I wonder how long the second draft will end up being. By the time this posts, I’ll have already started.
The slow 2nd draft of Warforge: Caledonia is just a touch slower than originally projected, at least so far, with me getting 68% of the distance I wanted to into the manuscript.
Between here and Renaissance Ninja, I’ve written 10 blog posts, including most of this one, totaling 5020 words. Plus book reviews for the first four Star Trek: Titan novels (a discussion for another day), and a partial draft of the author’s notes for the stories to be in the first issue of Small Realities.
So, the final total, counting everything but editing as new words, is 28,197 for January. Not too shabby, really, even if, from a goals perspective, it works out to only 2 met out of 6 with the other 4 missed by varying degrees.
It’s also worth noting that I received two story acceptances this month (“Strength of Stone” at Sorcerous Signals, and “Dragonomics” at Cast of Wonders), but didn’t manage to actually send any submissions out. Need to fix that for February.
Speaking of February, I’ve done the breakout for specific goals and have set the new fiction goal very lightly for the month in order to focus on the second draft of Ancient Runes as much as possible. But aside from that, I have to do the real prep work for the first issue of Small Realities, and I have no idea what kind of time commitment the Cyborg Bunnies Podcast is going to need.
A good month, and one I’m counting as successful. All goals are a moving target, and to paraphrase something I read once, if you shoot for the stars and fail, you might still make orbit.
Be well, everyone, and stay tuned.by