March Goals

I have been so bad. I am sorry. I hang my head in shame. Well, not really, because there were a couple family crises (again) but this time everyone’s okay, if sporting a couple new badass scars.

But holy shit-snacks what happened to February? I know it’s the shortest month, but I have to admit not only did I not get much writing done, but I didn’t meet any more of my goals from January! Nor did I post… anything. At all.

I feel much shame. (Not really).

So here’s March’s Slightly-More-Reasonable-Goals

Novel – SpyFi 

  • Chapter 10  – 40%
  • Chapter 11 – 20%

Short Story/Novelette – The Cold ones

  • Draft 1 – 30% To be finished this week

Flash Fridays

  • (super belated) Pied Piper- 2%
  • Describe a thing in ten ways.
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January Sprint Update

So the Interactive post will probably show up next week. I got into planning it and realised just how friggen big it’s going to get. I’m probably going to split it up into a series, covering traditional, digital and game media. So for now I’ll just ramble a bit about progress/lack thereof.

Novel – SpyFi 

  • Chapter 10  – 40%
  • Chapter 11 – 20%
  • Chapter 12 – 0%

Short Story – The Cold ones

  • Draft 1 – 30%

Short Story – Rejection

  • Draft 1 – 100%
  • Story pass – 65%
  • Beta/Critique – 0%

Flash Fridays

  • House of Glass – 2%

Gearing up

Okay. later this week I’ll be doing a Nuggets o’Knowledge about interactive storytelling (as in interactive/non traditional stories) but I’m still working on putting that together. Instead you get an update on writing! (because I know all, like, none of you asked for it.)

I did a big post about my goals for 2014, so I thought I’d do mini monthly goals which I call ‘Sprints’ cuz, you know you’ll leave everything to the last minute so this breaks your sprints up into huffing, wheezing weekly events so you don’t kill yourself sprinting a marathon.

Protip: don’t sprint a marathon.

January Sprint

Drafting

Novel – SpyFi 

  • Chapter 10  – 40%
  • Chapter 11 – 20%
  • Chapter 12 – 0%

The Cold ones

  • Draft 1 – 20%

Rejection

  • Draft 1 – 30%
  • Story pass – 0%
  • Beta/Critique – 0%

FF – Amethyst Angel

Chuck‘s Flash Friday – “Roll for Title

  • Draft 1 – 0%
  • Spelling/grammar pass – 0%

Critique Group

Meets end of Jan and have The Cold Ones OR Rejection ready for them.

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.

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

Year’s End

oh god why rage faceHow is it already December? Let alone HALFWAY THROUGH December?

Jeebus.

Okay, writing. I’m sorry. i’m sorry I had to set you aside after November. Don’t- Don’t look at me like that. It wasn’t you, it was me. I’m sorry. Please just-

Okay. I promise I’ll devote the rest of December to you, okay? Okay. Just don’t leave. And please stop shouting.

*deep breath in, deep breath out*

Okay.

Here’s my December’s list of ‘To Do’ (or Alice gets nothing but ecologicially friendly fuel in place of Coal)

Must Do

Item

Goal

Deadline

Tesseracts story – Untitled Draft done Dec 15th, 2013
Tesseracts story – Untitled Submitted Dec 31st, 2013
WotF Q1, Vol 31 – Water’s Way Draft done Dec 20th, 2013
WotF Q1, Vol 31 – Water’s Way Submitted Dec 31st, 2013
God Device Draft 2.2 Complete February 1st, 2014

Missive from Plague Island

OH THE CALAMITY. (har har, shut up it’s the best I can do today.*snifflekoff*)

I wound up coming down with the cold from hell last Wednesday and only just got better enough to return to work today. That’s almost a whole week of lying in bed, groaning at the cat and making pawing motions at the computer to try to make my self-imposed word count.

Spoilers: I didn’t.

Sad Word Count

Also please ignore the Cumulative Actual count, it’s not self-updating. I’m behind, but not THAT behind. (Also yes I am insanely organized when it comes to writing and cosplay, don’t judge me! You don’t know me! [except you mom, hi.])

I missed the NaNoWriMo marathon day, I missed a whole heck of a lot of write-ins, and basically lived in my bed for a week, eating paleo-friendly chicken soup while my cat sat on my chest, happy I was home. Well, for the first couple days. Then Cat got bored and started poking me to get up and leave, or move, or anything.

Also Spoilers: I didn’t. Continue reading