I had a pretty solid start to the year writing-wise. I started the third act of my WIP and wrote the first third of it, along with two interlude chapters for about 14k for the month, which is pretty solid for me. I happy with a 10k month when drafting. I also had a Bookbub for The Solid-State Shuffle in mid-January that went better than expected and I’m quite pleased with the results. I have some plans for later in the year to promote Sunken City Capers further.
So, my 2021 targets:
1. Finish current novel (this includes drafting and at least the 1st whole pass novel revision)
2. Write one short-story/novelette set in novel world.
3. Create and maintain a series bible
4. Start either novel #2 in current series or Sunken City Capers #5
5. Read 10 nonfiction books
I think I’ll be done drafting the current novel by the end of March, but I expect revisions to take several months. I want to get it into as close a state as possible to done and then trunk it for a bit to get a fresh perspective on it. That’s part of the purpose of target #2, a bit of a palate cleanser. I like using shorts to flesh out characters and go deeper into the backstory. They may never see the light of day, but they do give much greater depth to the novel.
I expect while working on the edits of the novel, I will start to create and maintain a series bible. When the novel is so large and you expect to have multiple novels, it helps to create a cliff notes version of the series to look up quickly: what color eyes does that character have? When did the main protagonist come into contact with this important object? I already have a large body of work in this area—it’s just an absolute mess. I dumped things in the scrivener research section with only a haphazard attempt at organization. The novel has grown so large, that now it annoys me and I know it’s only going to grow, so I need to impose some structure.
I’m hoping to have targets 1-3 wrapped up by mid-third quarter and then use the fourth quarter to start the next big project. I’m not sure which project that will be yet. I am encouraged by the traction Sunken City Capers is currently having, and if it continues, it may make sense to move up finishing that series in my queue of projects.
And as before, I need to be intentional about reading non-fiction books. I’m already on track to read three this year, so I don’t think it’ll be too difficult to get to ten if I remain mindful about it.
Here’s to hoping 2021 doesn’t turn out like 2020!