Wrap-up January 2018

Here’s how I did on my January plan

  • Draft a short story (revise and publish if time)
    • started but not finished – continuing in February
  • Revise Emergence
    • in progress – continuing in February
  • Publish print version of Shadows and Secrets
    • not done – hopefully will be done in February
  • Finish zero draft of Clockwork Empire
    • not done – partial draft reviewed and notes made
  • Revise Double Helix book
    • not done – notes made
  • submit Sirens short story for beta reader feed back
    • postponed until February
  • Post on Find the Soul, At the Shadows Edge, and here every week
    • posted every week except the last week of January

February 2018 Plan

Stories – Writing/Revisions

  • Regrets/No Regrets – February’s short story – rewrite due to short month
  • Finish Tapestry of Shadows – January’s short story
  • Clockwork Empire #1
  • Helix #2

Blog posts (weekly)

Other Writing Related Tasks

  • Double Helix site/wiki
  • Two book reviews (missed January’s)
  • Revamp mailing list

2018 Writing and Publishing Plan

The plan for 2018? Write more and publish more!  *laughs*

You want more detail? Specifics are on the 2018 Plan page, but I’ll give you some general ideas of what I have planned.

  • Minimum of one post per week here and on my other sites
  • One short story drafted and revised (possibly published) each month
  • One zero or revision draft completed each month
  • Grow my list of beta readers/editors
  • Restart my mailing list
  • Learn more about marketing and improve mine
  • Create site for the Double Helix stories
  • Publish the second and third Double Helix books
  • Help coordinate and publish the third Sirens benefit anthology

I’ve scheduled writing/revision/editing/formatting time into everyday. It and my “wake up” time are the two blocks that can’t be touched, so that should help. I’ve gotten to the point where doing something writing related everyday is habit and it feels weird if I skip a day. That should help as well.

What I’m hoping for is to get enough content out there for readers to start finding me even if I’m still lousy at marketing at the end of the year. I expect several of the short stories will end up self-published – if they do, they’ll be exclusive to Kindle. Eventually I’ll publish collections, and those may be available with other online retailers.

Time to get writing!

2017 Wrap Up

How did I do this year? That depends on how you look at things.

I didn’t publish what I wanted to. I didn’t even write as much as I wanted to. Schedule changes at the day job and life changes cut into my writing schedule and I got way off track. A few new story ideas didn’t help matters.

On the bright side, I did write and I did get back on track in October and November. I’m not unhappy with where I am as 2017 ends. I have plans to increase my writing production and improve my pretty much none existent marketing.

I started several short stories that didn’t get finished. I revised several stories of different lengths. And I learned. My writing and my process are continually improving in ways that I can see. My plotting is getting better and my zero drafts are starting to include some of those things that I’ve always had to add in revisions.

My plan for 2018 is almost done. I’m still tweaking a few things, but I’ll be posting it soon.

Thanks for sticking with me!

 Overambitious

I really can’t plan writing schedules well.

If you look at the pages for my writing plans you can see just how bad I am at it. The monthly plans aren’t much better.

I’m learning though. And I’m getting faster at writing and revising too. 

I have a feeling that my 2018 plan will still be too ambitious. I’m still working on it and trying to determine what I can realistically do.

But if you don’t try for more than you know you can do, you never learn how much you’re really capable of.  So I’m  hoping I’ve learned enough about what I can do to not over-plan too badly.

January 2017 Planning

I haven’t updated here in awhile and we’re a third of the way through the month, but I need to start being accountable again.  So here’s January’s plan though it’s a bit short!

Publishing

Double Helix – Shadows and Secrets

Editing/Formatting

Double Helix – Emergence anthology

Zero Drafts/Revisions

  • Not Alone Project short story
  • Witches & Warriors short story

Adding to the Process

With most of my stories, I don’t make notes after I’ve finished them. There’s really no need to since most of them are one-shot stories. This is a good thing because I don’t have reams and reams of notes I’ll never use again. It’s a bad thing because I do have a series building up and the only notes I have are on the individual stories.

There’s a simple solution – take a time out from writing those stories and create a story “bible.”  Television shows and existing fiction franchises keep story bibles so that important facts, events, and characters are portrayed accurately no matter who the author is who is writing a particular story. It’s something I have to add to my existing process.

So that’s what I’m doing right now. My Double Helix series started out as one book. Then I had an idea for another one, and a collection of short stories about how each of the members joined Helix. Now the series notes are up to six novels and six short story collections.  There are too many details to keep straight without a little help.

So characters, locations, organizations, timeline notes, and other details for the entire series are going into one place. I can update it when a new detail comes up. I can refer to it when I’m not certain about something. I can give my beta readers the relevant parts of it so they can make sure I’m consistent with descriptions and motivations.

It does take time away from writing the actual stories, but it will also make things quicker when I need to remember details. Here’s to learning and using new information.

Cover Reveal, Pre-Sales, and Release Date!

The 2015 Sirens conference was my first. It made a rather large impression. I found part of my tribe. And out of a writing related post on Facebook back in February, something astounding grew.

Two characters, a queen and courtesan from completely different stories, were being very loud in my head. Neither was from the story I was working on at the time, but both were insistent. One of my fellow Sirens thought that would be an interesting conversation to hear. Not something I could write, since their stories are centuries and worlds apart – but her thought sparked another story idea in my mind. And in other Sirens’ minds as well. Within two weeks, the first real work on creating the anthology started.

I am extremely proud to be able to reveal the anthology cover, announce the release date, and announce that the e-version is available for pre-sale now.

Title: Queens & Courtesans: A Sirens Benefit Anthology
Release Date: Thursday, October 6, 2016

Queens & Courtesans Anthology Cover

Queens & Courtesans Anthology Cover

Description:

Women have long wielded power in various ways. This collection explores two prominent archetypes, the Queen and the Courtesan, in memorable stories that cross speculative genres. Whether finding love, or finding themselves, coming into their magic or other strengths, these complex women rise above the roles that confine them to ask: who will you be?

E-Book available for pre-sale at:

Decisions, Decisions

The benefit anthology that I wrote a story for is coming out soon.  As the US “publisher” I’ve been very involved in getting it set up with several different distribution channels. It hasn’t been too difficult, though they’re all just a little different.

But there’s a problem.

That book, sitting there all by itself on each distribution page, looks lonely.

My name is on the book, if I had other stories published – traditionally, or self-published – I could take advantage of any sales on the anthology.  There won’t be any “By the same author” links for any of my writing.  Some of my fellow contributors probably will see links like that with their names in them.

I’ve always intended to self-publish some of my writing. But I’ve been concentrating on a couple of novels that I was planning to submit for traditional publishing. I don’t have anything ready, polished enough, to self-publish right now. And a month probably isn’t long enough when I’m working on promoting the anthology.

So, do I pause the projects I’m working on? Self-publish them instead of going the traditional route? Or do I pull out some of the story ideas I haven’t written yet, finish and polish them with the intention of self-publishing them as soon as possible?

Decisions, decisions…

February 2016 Planning

Normally I try to switch between zero drafts and revisions, but since I’m querying Secrets and Shadows starting this month, I thought revising the sequel would be a good idea. I’m sure it will take a couple months to hear back on any of my queries, but I’d like to have the sequel more or less ready to go, just in case.

Revision

Dark and Light

Short Stories

2AM Cheerios (title will probably change)

Blog Posts

1 per week here
1 per week on other blogs

Other Writing Related Projects

  • Track words written/revised
  • Send out queries for Secrets & Shadows
  • Post first audio/video short
  • Track queries and responses