New Year, New Goals

*shakes off the dust and clingy shittiness of 2013*

Right! New Year, New Goals. I was going to write this post anyways, but saw that David Farland had a post up about Writing Goals, so I modified my original idea to break it down into lists. (yay organization!)

Editor cat

Pre-Writing

Novel 2 – The Novelling Deepens

Research into necessary historical issues: societal, military, organizational and scientific practices.

World Build the nations, economy, conflicts and societies where the story takes place.

Develop the Characters who live in this world: who they are, who they want to be and what’s stopping them from being that.

Outline the major plot points and then work from large to small: breaking down the major events into arcs and then chapters.

Short stories

Research into medical proceedures, nanotechnology and medical complications.

World Build for 1) Gaslight Fantasy, 2) Sci Fi system, 3) Blood Curses.

Develop the Characters and their story arcs.

Outline the major plot points.

Writing

Quality

Style – Work on smoothing out style. Less jerkiness from topic to topic, unless it sylistically contributes to the scene/story at hand. Must be intentional.

Grammar – Break out the ol’ CP Stylebook and do a thourough comb-through of all stories and novels.

Story – Needs to be a story vs a situation. Characters need to have agency, rather than just react to events going on around them.

Quantity

Novel – SpyFi 

Complete Draft 2.1 by Ad Astra (April 4th) [Essentially a full re-write] – 40%

Short stories to Finish

Water’s Way – 50%
Ghak the Great – 30%
Goetia – 30%
Rejection – 30%
The Cold Ones – 10%
Personal Demons – 10%
Rosie n’ Punt Make a Man – 10%
Hollow Girl – 0%
Don’t Know Jack – 0%
Homecoming Queen – 0%

Consistency

Daily

Write between 500-1000 words per day.

Monthly

Draft at least one short story per month.

Revise the previous month’s and submit it. 

Quarterly

Enter WotF until I’m ineligible (either through winning or sales, either would count as a success!)

Finish a draft of a novel. (likely revised drafts)

Editing & Rewriting

Novel – SpyFi

Have a version of the novel that is ready for submissions by Year’s end, either for Angry Robot’s Open Door, or to get an Agent.

Short stories

Use the following system for EVERY short story:

  1. Draft
  2. Story Pass
  3. Beta readers/Critiques
  4. Character Pass
  5. Dialogue
  6. Proof/Copy

Training

Blogs

TerribleMinds‘ Flash Fridays at least twice a month.

David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants

Critique Group(s)

 Continue to work with critique group(s)

Conventions

Ad Astra – Attend as many relevant panels as possible and as many parties as possible and sleep… sometime.
Dragon*ConWriter’s Track (not sure about this website though, looks like it might be out of date)
Can-Con – hopefully be on some panels again, though not sure how I’m going to top last year’s dinner with Derek and David Hartwell. That was kind of awesome.

Workshops

Dragon*con has some workshops listed, and if they’re offered again this year I’m hoping to make it out to some of them.

Advertisements

2013: In which I actually submitted things.

Okay. So I think I’m not alone in saying ‘holy hell 2013 you’re a mean drunk’. After seeing someone summarize their year when it comes to writing on a forum I frequent, I thought it’d be a good way to see where I started and where I am now. Especially since I’ve been struggling a bit in the last couple months (yay Plague!)

The Good

Smiling Shark

Technically I submitted my first story in 2012 to The Hero Comes Home 2. But I also submitted it on Dec 31st, so I’m counting that as 2013 regardless.

Before 2013 I’d never thought I could submit anything and have it considered being close to ‘good’. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a long way to go before I am considered ‘good’, but there was this weird invisible fence that I’d made up that kept me back from trying to get published.

Then this dude came up to me and tried to sell me this lady‘s book, and got all pushy about joining this writing thing called Nanowrimo. So I went and met a whole bunch of lovely people, who told me about markets and I joined the facebook groups and learned about what kind of markets look for what kind of stories.

I’d started writing a horror story about pomegranates when the Hero Comes Home 2 crossed my inbox and so I sat down and wrote, edited and sent off the story in 5 days. #thatshowIroll. Totally expected it to get sent back with a ‘definitely not. never. ever.’ in red text. Instead I got a personal rejection.

The pomegranate story received an offer, which I can tell you was even more surprising.

Call it beginner’s luck, or call it 15 years of writing in my basement and on RP sites finally paying off, but I’ve had a number of personal rejections this year that are crazy elating.

Cons Attended: Ad Astra, WorldCon, CanCon [panelist]
Total Submissions:
23
Form Rejections: 13
Personal Rejections: 6 (including 2 ‘you made it to the final cut’ heartbreakers)
WOTF: Q3 – Honourable Mention, Q4 – SEMI FINALIST
Pending: 2
Sales: 1!!

The Bad

So like I said at the top of the post, 2013 was a mean drunk. I lost a total of 4 family members in the first half of the year alone, including my grandfather and an aunt. To say that I was emotionally exhausted would be a bit of an understatement. While at first I kept writing, I realised that grief was taking a toll on the tone in my stories, so I set it aside for a while.

Sad Cat

I didn’t want to ruin work that had potential by infusing it with a sadness when the story didn’t warrant it. I think that this was the right decision, although it did set off a cascade of missed writing goals in the last quarter of the year. Continue reading

Good News Everyone!

Awesome stuff has been happening over the last week and I thought I’d share with you fine folk. As well, there’s Can-Con coming up which will be equally awesome and you can find my schedule (such as it is) below.

Writers of the Future – Q3 Hono[u]rable Mention!

I’m pretty happy about this. I mean, it’s still my first year being ‘out’ as a writer, writing stories for submission and going out and meeting other writers like a big girl. But… I’ve put in hours. I’ve been a writer in the real sense of ‘I write’ since before I knew how to actually make my letters. (Sorry mom.) 

But in all seriousness, I have been writing for hours every day for nearly the last ten years. It’s kind of exciting to see that I’ve wound up at a place where the stories I write and how I write them are fairly interesting to other people.

So yeah, I’m pretty pleased.

ALSO.

Can-Con.

I’m going to be a panelist, awh yeah!

Friday at 7pm – “So this is your first [Lit] Con!” with Kate Heartfield, Geoff Gander, Nicole Lavigne and Natasha Bertrand. Look out for comparisons to the popular Comic Cons and Anime Cons and me wondering often what the hell is with the ribbons. I still don’t get it.

Saturday at 5pm – “Multiculturalism in Science Fiction” with Matthew Johsnon, Yves Menard, David Hartwell (!!!) and Jean-Lousis Trudel. 

Saturday ALSO at 5pm – Critiquing Groups. This is a lie, I actually have a good friend Mary Pletsch taking my place who writes awesome things and puts up with my poop jokes and ‘dumb reader’ moments in our own crit group. She’s pretty awesome and if it wasn’t ast the exact same time as my Multicultural panel I’d totally encourage you to go see her. But it is. So come to the Multicultural panel instead.

DO IT.

Also! Whenever people are bored, looking for food, or between events, check out the Royal Oak that’s just on the same block as the Minto Suites Hotel. There’s an informal ‘beers with writers” going on all weekend because as much as I’d like to arrange something all official-like I just don’t have the time this year. Next year. 

Saturday at 8pm – I will somehow be involved with Marie Bilodeau’s Paper airplanes. I don’t know how yet but the word ‘goon’ was mentioned.

Sunday – Recovery and trying to sober catch up on sleep in vain before work Monday.

Con-tober and Nano-vember

Oh Sweet baby Jesus I’m about to not sleep for a month. 

Contober

So I do costuming as well as writing, which is eating up most of October with a trip to NYC for New York Comic Con (although I will definitely be trying to seek out writers and books), followed by the Ottawa Geek Market where I’ll be selling jewelry and things, and probably harassing people to go to Marie‘s table and buy books.

Can-Con logo

But before ALL of that, I’m going to this local con called Can-Con. it’s no big deal, just y’know, hosting the Auroras this year, and has a kind of awesome science track.

I’ll also be a panelist for the first time ever, covering the below:

  • So it’s your first Con
  • Multiculturalism in Science Fiction.

Excuse me while I go panic. But hey, I can totally sleep in November right?

nanowrimo logo

NOPE.