Holy word count, Batman! Going back through my records, this was actually my best month for word count ever, and the first time I’ve ever broken 100,000 words in a month. Distant number 2 was January this year at under 82k, and 3rd place was September last year at a touch over 81k. I know I’ve said my goal is progress rather than word count, but wow.
Accomplishments in March:
- Battlefield: complete at 74.4k, but with a lot of dictation cleanup still to be done. Of course, that’s goes along with the previous two novels in the set, so there’s still a lot of work to be done there.
- Welkiri Corps: complete at 60,003 words, but only about 60% dictation clean. Only 10k more than I’d been thinking it would finish at, and very briefly, the projected finish date was the same as for Battlefield. Reality was two days after.
- Still on the novel front, I started in hard on Big Hair Day. After a little struggling in the first couple of chapters, I think I’ve found the character’s voice, and I’m not stressing over the outline. Currently at 23,285 words with a projection of 46-50,000 in a very bare bones first draft.
- And, since I didn’t have any short fiction in my skull screaming to be written at the time, I started in on Fallen Heroes, the third book in the Citizen trilogy, and broke 14k on the weekend working on it as a secondary project.
- Editing: all of the Undead stories now resting at final draft, with the last one getting there just a couple of days ago. The cover I’ve envisioned for this one needs some original artwork, and I’m toying with a bit of internal, too. Not releasing for a while, but I’m happy to have the stories complete.
- Still editing: finished the final draft of Fractured Unity the night before last, and definitely ahead of the original schedule. Cover design needed there, too, but I’m hoping to Wattpad this awesome work of Star Trek fan fiction in June.
- Fan Fiction: the conversion from Audio Drama to first draft prose novel of A Matter of Honour, is about 54% complete. Slow going as this is a “spare moments” conversion that really wasn’t on this year’s list, but I’m hoping to have this one converted before the end of May. Original Series Star Trek, if that surprises you. Or if it doesn’t.
- 11 blog posts. A little light again, but I missed a whole week.
- 14 journal entries. More here than I expected, as I was originally aiming for a minimum of one per week. Averaging 3 most of the time.
Total word count for the month of 100,981 which seriously kicks the planned 40k. It was already going to be a solid month when a solo trip to Ottawa with zero side trips gave me a 9k day and an hour’s worth of podcast listening at 2x normal speed.
I don’t expect to produce at this rate every month. I didn’t expect to produce at this rate this month. The week that borders April and May is a vacation week, and I’m sure I’ll take more time off somewhere. Remembering always that life happens. But even looking at the week and a half I spent on vacation in February, my average month of word production in 2019 is a little over 76k.
The problem with that, of course, is that I’m generating new words far faster than I can polish most of them. Not a bad problem to have, but still.
On the indie publishing side, I’ve made some progress here on a bunch of projects. My goal is to get to the point where I’m working about two months ahead.
- “Thorvald’s Wyrd” is available on Amazon as both an ebook and a paperback. Heroic Fantasy novelette.
- So is Skip to My Luu. Full-length Science Fiction novel.
- Turn the World Around is ready to go and just needs uploading. Science Fiction novella, within visual distance of being a novel.
- Cover re-design and upload for “Babysitting the Taran-Saurus”. Ebook slotted for May.
- On the fanfic side, “Breath Control”, a ST:TOS fanfic starring Dr. Chapel, is complete on Wattpad or available here.
- Also fanfic, “Wolves and Sheep Dogs”, a ST:TOS story starring Lieutenant Leslie, is ready to go and will release in April.
Next up, primary writing goals for April. I’m going to keep them light
- Primary Novel project: 21,000 words on Big Hair Day would make me happy. Having a similar primary novel word count as in March might get me to the end of the plot, and that would make me ecstatic.
- Secondary Novel project: see point number 3 in this list, but I’m going to set the word count target here at 5k.
- Short Fiction: looking to write two short fiction stories, in the 2-5k range each.
- Plotting: Unified Destiny (3rd book in a trilogy) plotted out to the scene level and ready to pick up the first draft right after I draft its predecessor, Converging Destiny.
- Plotting: start the plotting of the novel where Curaçao figures as a primary setting.
- Editing: I’m going to start on the read-throughs of volumes 2-5 of Troll World, remembering that what’s currently volume two is going to get split at the appropriate point. This is a quarter of a million words in rough (dictation clean up not done) first draft, so I expect this to take a few months. Hoping to devote enough time to cover 50k per month on clean up and note making.
- Non-fiction word count goal for the month 10000 words. Blog and journal, mainly.
Switching over to publishing:
- 10 short story submissions. This is going to be a standard target, but I’m going to keep mentioning it to keep myself honest and because I haven’t actually hit it yet this year.
- Keeping working on finding a home for Ancient Runes. Traditional publishing, so this goal is going to get repeated a lot, I think.
- Serialization continues for “Thorvald’s Wyrd” and Skip to My Luu, continues for “Thorvald’s Wyrd”, and runs completely for “Wolves and Sheepdogs”.
- Ebooks for “Babysitting the Taran-Saurus” and “Wolves and Sheepdogs”. I actually could have done both of these last month, and they’re both essentially ready, but while I want to produce steady content, I’m not looking to flood things.
- Design and layout for Heroes Inc. (Superhero novel), “Graceland” (linked collection), “Babysitting the Taran-saurus” (SF novelette, and Fractured Unity (ST:TOS fanfic novel).
The total word goal for the month is about 45k, depending on the length of those two short stories, and the publishing side should be doable. Just keep swimming.
Be well, everyone.by
by This is late in coming. March had some additional real world stresses built into it, as well as a vacation where I chose to spend the time with my kids rather than in front of the keyboard. No regrets on the latter, and most of the former has been lifted in the last few days. April will be better, but probably still below target. May should be back up to par, I hope, or even a little above.
But, for a very quick overview of what I actually did accomplish in February, 2014:
The Godhead, Book 1
15,062 words written of 30,000 target. Which is okay. I’m at 61% complete on my original outline and 75% my original word count for that point. Current projection says 117,000 words against the 94,500 estimate. Slight difference.
“Company of the Dead”
4th of the 4 planned fantasy novelettes finally complete at 18,202 words written and a scene I left unwritten because I decided it wasn’t necessary to the overall story. Might change my mind when I get to the editing point.
I’m still thinking about expanding this project, but over a longer term. There are plenty of subgenres to explore, and I’ve got thoughts on a couple of things that would fit into the 10-20,000 word zone.
It was a light month for short fiction for me, with another story started, but not finished, for The Undead. And pretty much no editing done on previous shorts.
Managed a whole five blog posts in March, a little bit of non-fiction, a little bit of script work on a new project and a revived one. The revived one could probably have waited for a year, but it felt good to have my hands back on it.
This category covers a grand total of 7,676 words, including blog posts (which takes in most of this one).
Total for the Month
26,082 words. Very light compared to the last few months, but still a decent total looking at the last couple of years. Considering life and the real world, this is perfectly fine.
Looking ahead, the goals for April:
- Back on track with 30,000 words on book 1 of The Godhead to getting within sight of the book’s finale. I’m debating now whether I do want to write all three backs one right after the other or work on something else for a couple of months in between. Still thinking.
- I’m looking for 10,000 words on stories for The Undead. Stretching here considering April’s slow start, but always aim high.
- Revision notes for Universal Destiny.
- Another shot at 10 blog posts for the month. This counts as one, and I know what four more of them are about, not that I’ve started writing them yet.
Wish me limber fingers.
Be well, everyone.by
So the targets I set for March were aggressive considering a family vacation and what I met and missed is a bit scattered. I didn’t really contend with the level of exhaustion when I got back from vacation and didn’t predict a small hardware failure (and fried flash drive) resulting in the loss of several days work (yes, I’ve been lazy about backups lately) or taking a week off after that hardware failure. Or the amount of time the girls and I have spent prepping for Ad Astra next weekend.
All of which is okay. Especially the last one. That’s better than okay, it’s awesome.
But to focus on writing, the original targets for March:
- Dreams of Freedom = 5,000 words
- Short Fiction = 5,000 words
- Ancient Runes = finish 2nd draft (there are only 4 chapters left of 35)
- Warforge: Caledonia 2nd Draft = 4,000 new words and 20k editing
- Blog = 3,565 words
- Overall goal of 18,815 new words.
The actual achievements:
- Dreams of Freedom: 1,100 words. Far short, especially considering the flash drive failure, but it depresses me having to redraft things. I’m over it now, but it took a few days (or maybe a week).
- Short Fiction: 896 words, “Klaatu Barada Nikto, Baby!” got a little longer and, at this moment, sits at 10,407 words. Same note as for Dreams of Freedom.
- Ancient Runes 2nd Draft is complete, though a quick skim shows me several things I’d like to go back and layer in.
- Warforge: Caledonia 2nd Draft, I did finish the transitional scene applicable to where I am in the story right now, but lost a fair bit of editing progress. I worked through 3,898 words of revised scenes. Twice.
- Blog = 2,368 words, including this post. All of that is in the last couple of days for things that haven’t posted yet. I actually managed to go through March without posting a single entry to either blog. Depressing, but April will already be better.
- Draugur Rising: 9,134 words. Wait, what the heck is this? Well, it’s a novel that I started while on vacation. I’d planned to work on “Klaatu Barada Nikto, Baby!” by hand in Cuba, maybe getting it finished between lying on the beach and plane rides, but instead decided I’d start on something new, picking up an idea that had been bouncing around in my head for a year or so and letting it loose. It’s taken on a life of its own.
- Overall = 15,601, which isn’t horrible even if it misses what I planned and most of the fiction wasn’t on projects I’d planned.
And I’m still not caught up on book reviews, but I did get one done.
I’ve put Small Realities on hold for the moment while I work some things out in my head.
Submissions: 0, which makes me ask what the hell is wrong with me? Oh yeah, I took half the month off.
Revised goals for April:
- Dreams of Freedom: 5,000 words, and I mean it this time.
- “Klaatu Barada Nikto, Baby!” has 3-4k left, I think. It would be nice to finish it this month.
- Warforge: Caledonia 2nd Draft: 20,000 words of editing progress which, looking at the scenes ahead, includes one new scene probably about 2,000 words long.
- Blogging: targeted at 3,450 words.
- Draugur Rising: I don’t know. I’m trying an experiment with this one, dictating for part of my commute each day then doing a quick touch up to fix what the software didn’t make sense of. I have 21 work days this month and wonder if 500 words on each of those is reasonable. Let’s go with 10k for April.
Cyborg Bunnies is proceeding. We may conduct some interviews at Ad Astra if we can find some willing victims participants.
Be well, everyone, and stay tuned.by