2013 Goals Post: Mabon edition

Over this last period I feel like I’ve made progress on many of my writing goals, except the ones where I actually write fiction. I am frustrated about this, but at the same time there has been an awful lot of things going on so I am trying to be forgiving.

That sounds an awful lot like what I wrote last time, which is a matter for concern. I’ll be looking at this again soon, I think, in light of the time tracking results.

But how have I done on my original goals?

1. Finish Bluehammer

Last action: fix the outline.

No work on this recently.

  1. typo/consistency edit
  2. improve outline
  3. make the text match the outline
  4. hone the text
  5. make submission materials

Next action: fix the outline.

This still feels like the most significant work I have in the pipeline and there are still ideas I want to pursue, but I won’t be doing any more work on this before next year.

2. Execute the Song plan

Last action: finalise the outline.

Outline still incomplete. The outline is still two acts ahead of the writing.

Last action: rewrite.

I’ve finished the draft for the first act so the word count for the draft stands at a bit more than 26k, but I have been taking a break from writing this to work on other projects.

My hope was to finish this draft by the end of September. That has not happened.

  1. To outline what I have
  2. To expand the outline of the first half into a complete story
  3. To work on that outline until the story is good.
  4. To plug in text I can use from Song 2011 – this is no longer a meaningful goal since I need to rewrite everything.
  5. To rewrite to match the outline.
  6. Make submission materials – synopsis, pitch, hook, and all of that.

Next action: complete the outline.

Once the writing exhausts the outlined plot, I’ll do more outlining.

Next action: rewrite.

I will continue this in October, but it probably won’t be the only thing I am working on. I will be very pleased if I reach the end of the second act.

3. Submit one novel.

Last action: finish a novel

Song still seems the most plausible here, but let’s see what happens with NaNoWriMo this year also.

Last action: to find some markets

No work on this in the last few weeks, and probably none to be had until December.

4. Start looking for an agent.

Last action: research agents who represent science fiction.

I have done some work on this, collecting contact details for a number of relevant representatives. I’ve also learned that I really need to have an actual book in my hand before I can realistically start to query.

Next action: construct query tracking system.

5. Establish a daily writing practice.

Last action: reconsider how to tracking writing tasks for big slabs of work.

This has not been much of an issue, since the large task I alluded to last time was the rewrite of Song act one and that’s done. The other Song acts are smaller.

Still, I’ve been working on marking down tasks as more tightly focussed. The goal is to have a task take no more than three days of work, but that’s harder to manage with fragmented work time.

Next action: break down tasks into two day chunks.

Last action: keep writing.

I have been writing, but not enough on the fiction projects.

September itself has introduced another difficulty – cycling to work.

Riding to work is in principle a good way for me to get some exercise while still having lunch time free for writing – it was the basis for how I kept exercising during NaNo 2008, for example*. However, I’ve been finding it hard to carve out time during the day for writing and so losing the time on the bus that I had for writing has been disruptive. On top of that the five o’clock hour has not been nearly as productive as I had hoped since a lot of what I am trying to work on is meta-creative – inventing a plot rather than writing to an outline – and I am just not awake enough to do that justice first thing in the morning.

But I feel a lot better for biking every day.

What I need to figure out is firstly how to make time during the day to write, and secondly what exactly it is that I want to be writing so that I can prioritise my use of that time better.

Next action: make time during the day to write

Next action: define writing priorities

A New Dawn

Last action: prep for next run of sessions

I noted that I had lots of ideas for what to do, although bridging from where the characters were at the end of the last session to where they need to be to engage those ideas is not as easy as I had hoped.

Still, we had a successful session on Friday (the 20th) and we’re set on the way to the next bit (of which more in another post). Just need to keep the kettle boiling on this one.

Next action: run next story arc to completion

Last action: write kid supers material.

Well, the kids weren’t interested in playing superheroes any more, but we’ve played a couple of sessions of the Animal Agents game which we’ve switched over to instead. Keep going with that, and try to keep it surprising.

Next action: write more animal agents scenarios.

Blog

Last action: plan blog posts for reversion to full schedule.

Obviously, the blog relaunched with the full posting schedule and, so far, I have kept to that. However, writing blog posts has dominated the time I’ve had for writing so the options at this point are to increase writing time or trim the blog schedule again.

Next action: determine continuing posting schedule.

NaNoWriMo

And now November looms. This will be my tenth National Novel Writing Month, and I really have to write something new – using the time for redraft doesn’t seem right at all this year.

Next action: plan NaNoWriMo writing

Overall

The end of summer and beginnings of autumn have not been as productive as I Had hoped. It’s just hard to juggle everything.

Hmm, there might be a blog post in that.

[*] which was also the year I lost my job half way through the month, which completely holed my enthusiasm. It was a bad time.

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