Tuesday, December 26, 2017

December Plan Update (Part 3)

Wow. It's amazing how absolutely useless I become when I hit vacation mode.

It turned out, I had a project that lasted until halfway through Wednesday last week at work, so I spent the remainder of the day chilling and messing around. And then I was in full-swing holiday mode. Stockings on Wednesday night; presents, baking, and going out to eat on Thursday; chores and errands on Friday; not getting dressed until 2pm, and then some Yule stuff on Saturday; shoveling snow and grocery shopping and Christmas Eve movies while drinking Bailey's on Sunday; and Christmas Day was filled with cooking and eating and more Christmas movies.

Today I stared down my to-do list and managed to get two things accomplished. One of those was not writing. Oh, and more snow shoveling.

That being said, I did get two scenes of about a thousand words written on Scions of Mythos during all of that. It's not nearly as much as I had hoped to get done in the last week, but they were good scenes. I've also spent a lot of time thinking about the book and living in the Mythos world. so while there's minimal forward motion on the actual story, I'm comfortably settled in the setting so that I'm ready to write when I finally sit down to it.

I sent off book two to my brother and sister yesterday for Christmas. I did not end up doing the last tweak I had planned. Every time I sat down to do it, I was equal parts overwhelmed by the task and apathetic about the importance of it. I've decided, ultimately, that it might be a nice setting thing to add at a later date, but that it won't have any impact on the story. At best, it's a way to mark the passage of time in the book. At the least, it's another way to make the book more unmistakably Lawrence, and to add some more character development to a few of the Hunters. Neither of which seemed pressing enough to try to cram in when I had plenty of other things to keep myself occupied before Christmas.

I now have two more days of vacation at home before I head to see the family for New Years. I'm hoping to poke at my book at least a little. A few thousand words would be great.

I wanted to be at 60k before the end of this year, but I find that unlikely now. If I can get to 55k, I'll consider it a win. Because I got to thinking about how book one and book two both ended up around 110k-115k words after the first draft. Revision drafts and editing grew them to the 120k mark. So I don't have to write 120k words for book three to be "done." Aiming for 110k might be better so that I have room to go back and add stuff.

Because let's be honest, here. It's the last book of a trilogy. I'm going to get to the end and realize I have about a million loose ends to tie up somewhere in there.

So. If I can get to 55k this year, I will be halfway through the book. As official of an approximation as I can get.

So yes. I have revised my plan again. Fewer words. But more realistic goals. I feel good about this, now.

I may not update again before the first of the new year. I'll be with family and it's my birthday weekend. But. I may have news on how my siblings like the book, and I may want to do one last update on my final word count for the year.

And then, next week, I will do my yearly "where am I going, where have I been" post for my goals and accomplishments.

Those are always very motivating for me. I tend to get lost in the minutiae, so it's good for me to look at the big picture from time to time. What better time than the first of the new year?

Hope you all had a merry Christmas and have a lovely New Year!

Monday, December 18, 2017

December Plan Update (Part 2)

Things are still going pretty well this month, although I've had to adjust my plan again.

The line edit for Towers ended up turning in to a pretty in-depth copy edit. It took me about twenty hours to get through it and make the fixes I wanted. It could still use some spit and polish, but I think it's a much tighter, more coherent book now. I have one last tweak I want to make, and then it'll be as ready as it's going to get in order to send to my brother and sister for Christmas. I may do another pass on it one of these days, although for right now, my energies should probably go toward other edits.

That leaves me yet another week behind and in need of dropping yet another project. Five in a month was nuts. Four in a month was reasonable but ambitious. Three is probably more December-speed.

So. Since I'm already deeply entrenched in the Mythos world, I'm going to step back in to writing book three once I'm done my book two edits. That makes the most sense, anyway. When I decided to drop Witches, it didn't really make a lot of sense to throw another world in there. As much as I would have liked to make some progress on Sally Prescott, it's also a low priority. Besides, I'm not in the right headspace for her right now.

I will check back in after this weekend, but as of right now, my revised plan for December ended up being:
  1. Finish Cafe Story
  2. Edit Towers of Kansas
  3. Write words on Scions of Mythos
I'm not too worried about word count goals anymore. I wrote a couple thousand words for the Cafe story. I added about a thousand words on the book two edit, and I hope to be able to write that 10k I was aiming for on book three. So maybe something like 15k for the month. That's about average this year, and equals about a thousand words a day each day for the rest of this year.

Now, I know I won't write every day. But. I average around 1200 words a day when I'm really working, so I can afford to take a couple of days off. And tonight is the new moon. After going back to track the last year, it seems like I'm most productive editing-wise leading up to the new moon and more productive writing-wise leading up to the full moon. Most months, anyway. So yeah! The next two weeks should be good.

I've also spent some time putting together a business plan for when I submit book one to one last publishing company when they open in January. It's a last-ditch for this book as far as traditional publishing. For now, at least. Which does make it a little harder to work on book three. But at the same time, also less hard. I'm not writing book three for a larger audience anymore. I'm writing it for me and for my writing friends and my siblings. Knowing my audience will be nice. Not getting hung up on what other readers will think should really free up my creativity. It's allowed to be mediocre. Although it turns out I really, really love book two. I'm proud of how it all came together. I know I will love book three just as much.

But I digress.

I'll update how this thrice-revised plan is going next week. Until then, peace be with you.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

December Plan Update (Part 1)

I finished my Christmas story for the Cafe, and I've made most of the tweaks to Towers of Kansas. I should be able to finish up incorporating beta reader feedback today.

However, it's going to take me more than a day to make it through the line edit, especially since a few of the dev edits I made will require tweaks throughout for consistency.

So I need to adjust my schedule a bit. It was optimistic at the outset, considering it's me and it's December, and I can go from great to awful in the space of a day.

A half NaNo is more realistic. I will aim for 25k instead of 35k, especially since I'm not adding a ton of words in this edit (and may even take some away).

Also, I'm going to have to drop a project. I probably won't work on Once We Were Witches. I may poke at an outline for it if I need a break, but since I'm behind a week, I need give up one of my projects. Witches is a low priority right now. It was a NaNo novel and NaNo is over. There may come a time when I work on it again, but I need to get back on track as far as my original goals for this year.

Which means once I'm done my line edit of book two, I will probably poke at Sally Prescott for a week or two. I know that actually finishing an adventure is optimistic, but it is possible to write 15k words in two weeks. That's 1,070ish words a day, which is along the lines of what I'm consistently capable of.

Now, if I get stuck or get bored, that's when Witches might get some attention, but any words added to it will be bonus.

And when I'm either finished the adventure or hit a done-for-now with SP, I will switch over to Scions of Mythos. I really would like to get 10k more words on it before the year is gone, and if I can start that early, there's a greater likelihood of actually getting those words, what with the holiday and possible depression.

So yeah. Doing five projects in December was a bit nuts. I'm still doing four, if you count my Cafe story, but at least that's only one project a week. That makes infinitely more sense.

I may check back in next week for an update on my progress (or other changes in plans). Hey, I do my fitness blog every week to keep accountable. Surely there's nothing wrong with checking in every week on my writing blog to keep me accountable!

Friday, December 1, 2017

The December Plan

Hey look! A bonus post. In December, no less.

So with the wrap-up of NaNo, and the start of December, I am, oddly, feeling more inspired and ready to work than ever. I guess one benefit of not truly participating in NaNo is not getting the post-NaNo blues.

Since I didn't burn myself out writing 50k last month, and I'm feeling motivated, I'm going to try to get some stuff done to make up for it. I'm going to try to do somewhere between 25k and 35k. That will put me closer to what I had hoped to write this year, and it will give me a chance to work toward a few of my projects I had abandoned. Maybe I can salvage some of my goals.

Here's my plan.

Week One: 5k – finish writing my December Café story, then do Towers of Kansas edits. Those are my two big obligations for December, so they come first.

Week Two: 10k – add another few chapters to Witches, while it's still fresh. I managed to get to about 10k before NaNo wrapped up, and I'm finally getting into the story. I need to build an outline based on my brainstorming document and tweak a few things before moving forward, but if I can double its word count, it will ensure that someday I will go back to this novel. I've rarely abandoned something I've put that much work into, plus I'll have a solid foundation and direction for when I want to go back to it.

Week Three: 10k – This is where I have options as far as projects. If I'm on a roll with Witches, then hey, I'll keep working. If not, then I might try to throw some words at Sally Prescott 2.1. I did promise her I'd start the first adventure in season two this year, and got stuck at 2k. If I can throw 10k at it this month, I'll at least feel like I almost finished another adventure. But. If I'm not feeling it, then I might switch over to Scions of Mythos.

Week Four: 10k – I'm off work this week (probably). I have until Friday the 29th before I head to Manhattan for the holidays. So, regardless of what I do during week three, this is the week I dive into Scions of Mythos. If I've written 10k on it already, I'll add another 10k. If I worked on something else up to this point, then it'll just be 10k. My big goal before NaNo was to get it to 60k, or approximately halfway through the book. I didn't manage it then, but if I can get it to 60k before the end of the year, I'll consider it a success.

So much for my plan to be idle in December. I've just been so idle for the last two months, I'm ready to actually do things! And there's so much to do.

I may or may not do my end-of-the-year post later this month. I may use January to talk about it, instead, since I still have a whole month to try to achieve my goals for the year. Some of my goals, like publication, obviously won't be possible in the next thirty days. Those were goals made in ignorance, anyway. As for the rest? Well, I'll address that when the time comes.

Happy holidays, friends. And if I don't update before then, have a safe and happy New Year.