Well, I went back and looked and apparently I didn’t set any 2023 targets, which looking back was probably a good thing. I had enough on my plate this year adjusting to life with MS, other life stressors, and a busy day job. So, not having a targets hanging over my head becoming stressors instead of motivators was a blessing in disguise.
But I still had a pretty good writing year in 2023. I sold three stories! The first sales in eight years and one of them was turned into audio (my favorite format). So that was definitely a highlight. I edited MK1 (again) and wrote the first act of MK2 (more on that later). I also wrote a series bible for MK1 that has already proven its weight in gold. And I read 15 fiction books and 6 nonfiction books. These seem low, but I read The Count of Monte Cristo and Don Quixote which took me longer to get through. Of the 15 fiction books, my favorites were The Count of Monte Cristo and Murder on the Orient Express.
Writing the first act of MK2 has been challenging for a couple reasons. First, it’s a big honking space opera and there’s a lot going on off camera with side characters that I haven’t worked out yet–so it’s hard to know how to weave that all in. The second is that I’ve had a really hard time getting a handle on the main character’s character arc in the second book. It’s only recently that I’ve figured out why.
I realized on one of my editing passes of MK1 this past year that the main character’s character arc didn’t fit neatly into MK1 and that it was going to be split over multiple books. I recognized that the climax of MK1 was really the midpoint of the character arc, but what I didn’t recognize until recently (although in retrospect should’ve been obvious) was that meant some of the characters interactions were incongruent in the second half of MK1. Basically, the steps the character needs to go through from the midpoint to the third plot point in a character arc were shoved in the wrong place between the first act and the midpoint of a character arc. It resulted in some weirdness and made it hard to figure how to develop the character in the first act of MK1.
So my targets for 2024 are tied to these recent revelations:
1. Edit character arc in the second half of MK1.
2. Edit first act of MK2.
3. Write 2-3 short stories exploring off camera events to better understand them.
4. Write first half of the second act of MK2.
No reading goals this year. I don’t feel I need them anymore—reading is now pretty integrated into my daily life.
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