I wrote 980 words today on War Child. I’ve come to realise I’m essentially working on a second draft. Not quite writing it from scratch but I have rewritten the first couple of scenes. It’s a case of it being easier to do this than it is to add in the details I need to. Starting War Child during last years NaNoWriMo was a good idea as it got the story off the ground, but it has also hampered it. Where I was writing a bit here and a bit there a lot of the time I wasn’t able to be as deep with it as it needs to be. At the moment it feels like NaNo served as an in-depth outline for the story. It helped me get an idea of the story I want to tell, and how broad it is turning out to be. I think I’ve said in previous posts that I was loosely planning three books, a trilogy that would tell this story. Well, where book one was originally meant to end is a long, long ways off. At the moment I think this is going to be a good five book series, which I think I got overwhelmed by. Even now I feel like the scale of this is too big for me to get my head around. I think this has led to me not working on it too much since the start of the year, but that time has given me time to process what I need to do to get this first book done.
Watching the science fiction I have recently has given me a lot of ideas, as has diving back into the Halo video game series. I spent a fair chunk of yesterday afternoon replaying the first game, and boy had I forgotten how good it was. I’m playing the Master Chief collection which is remastered and damn it looks good. Plays fantastic too (I’d forgotten how hard those damn Warthogs are to drive though!). I’d not really played any game aside from GTA for quite some time, so I was worried the different game mechanics would have a negative effect. But thankfully they didn’t and I really got stuck in. It was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to playing it again in the next few days.
To make sure I don’t get distracted by it, I won’t be gaming until I’m done with any bits and pieces at home I need to do, and I’ve written. I’m going to be starting kind of small with it, a scene a day for example. But I’m hoping that I’ll get into a flow with the story and this will increase each time I sit down to write.
So, here we are, 2023. I feel like the last few times I’ve tried getting goals scribbled down I end up loosing track of where I am on them. This time I’m hoping to be able to stick to them much better. I feel more focused, more capable at the moment and like I can actually follow through with these plans.
1 – Publish my zombie novella
2 – Publish one vampire era story to my ko-fi a month (this covers me till august)
3 – Continue writing War Child (2022’s NaNoWriMo project)
4 – Find publishers to submit Penal Earth to
5 – Complete Black Blood (just need to do the final edit)
6 – Continue planning for Penal Earth 2
7 – Spend no less than half an hour a day, for at least twenty-five days of the month working on writing projects
8 – Blog on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays
9 – Continue serial killer story
10 – Find anthologies to submit to
This feels like a big list, like there’s a lot I’ve lined up for myself. I do feel like I can do it though, I don’t feel like I’m fooling myself with what I want to achieve in this calendar year. A lot does rest on me continuing working on my life in general. I’m going to try and map out some personal growth goals as well, but I’m not sure where I want to start with that one.
This year has been a ‘Get Shit Done Year’. Writing wise I didn’t have a lot of focus in the early part of the year as that attention was on personal matters. Those were happily resolved and I could put a little more attention into writing.
I did set out goals, but they ended up getting lost in the churn a little. The core focus was on getting the Zombie book done. That, was essential for this last year. It’s going to be three years past when I had first wanted to get it published, but better late than never. It is done. All that needs to be done is have the artwork for the cover finished (the artist has been super patient and trust me, the cover is awesome!), and the formatting needs to be done. Once they’re done, it’ll be published. Hopefully the early part of next year, but definitely next year at some time.
Another project that had a lot of attention this year was Penal Earth. This story has been on the go since 2015 but I’ve really honed into a story, the setting, and the feel of the world in the last couple of years. This year I’ve got it to the point where I can’t take it any further, I think it’s as good as I can make it and I’m really proud with it. The next stage with this one is to have it edited and or submit to publishers. I do want to test the waters with it as I think it’s my best written tale and I think it does have appeal to it. If it doesn’t get snapped up, I’ll self-pub it.
Next up is The Vampire Era. This has a similar history to Penal Earth, in that it’s been on the go for a long time. This one even longer than Penal Earth, bit again. It’s had a lot of work on it this year, and has come as far as I can take it. Also like Penal Earth I’m very proud of it, and hope it finds a following. The main difference with this ones future is that I’m going to publish it on here. It’ll be released on Welcome To My Nightmare tier and the first post is live. It’s a nine episode first season, and will run until August if I remember right. After it’s come to the end of it’s run I’ll put it in the list to be professionally edited and then I’ll self-pub it. I won’t do that for at least twelve months after the final post has gone live.
Speaking of Ko-Fi, I don’t get a lot of income from the site, those who do support my work on here are all awesome people and I can’t tell you how much it means to me for you to give me your hard earned money. I’m barely a newborn when it comes to writing careers, and I don’t expect anything but what I do get I’m incredibly grateful for.
Although I don’t write for the money it’s nice when I am paid for my work. The way I look at it at the moment is, if it pays for my fees for my web domain each year, then I’m happy. And thankfully for the last few years it has done.
Back to the fiction, and we come to Black Blood. This story is not at the stage that say Penal Earth and The Vampire Era are. It want’s one more deep edit and then it’s going to be ready for an editor. At the moment I’m feeling like self-pub is the route for this one, but I’ll leave it open for the moment. This has been another long term project that has come a long way during 2022 and I’m very glad it’s moved in the direction it has. It’s not far off done, but isn’t quite there yet.
A project I got quite deep into this last year has been a series of serial killer stories that are like The Vampire Era in that they are set up like a TV series and will all build to a conclusion. This one isn’t anywhere near done yet though. It is a huge mess, but I’m not worried about it. It’s one where I need to focus on getting the individual stories tidy and then I can add in the little knots to tie them together. Some with be big, heavy duty knots. While others will be smaller ones. It’s a long way off, and one that isn’t a priority for this year, but I think I’ll be working on it here and there.
I was looking at starting Penal Earth 2 in the early part of 2023 but I’ve got a few hard decisions to make about plot lines and where I want to take it, so I’m not quite ready to get it off the ground just yet.
The first part of next year will be getting a first draft of the NaNoWriMo ’22 project completed. I’ve been editing it this month, well editing is a strong word. I’ve been going through tidying it up and making a sort of bible for it as I go. Again, this one is a long way off but will be a priority for the next twelve months.
Black Blood will also be a major project in the first part of the year as well.
2023 isn’t going to be a make or break year for my writing career. It’s going to be a series of steps forward.
I’ve been playing catchup with podcasts, so have been bing-listening to The Mando Method Podcast by Armand Rosamilia and Chuck Buda. There was an episode, I think it was Chuck’s Mailbag #9, but don’t hold me to it. But in it there were responding to a question and the conversation got around to social media and being present. Making sure you post consistently and so on. I can’t remember the exact wording but there was mention of crowd sourcing and expectations. This kinda hit home a little. I’ve got an active Ko-Fi page and I’ve been regular in posting in my ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ tier which is a short story/chapter from a longer story, once a month that hasn’t been been published elsewhere before.
I have zero expectations of earning money through this site. I’ve been blessed in that I have had contributors. (You know who you are and I love you!) But I didn’t set the page (or my inactive Buy Me A Coffee page) with the intention of making a nice chunk of cash each month. I set it up because once I get a few books published I will start building a fanbase, and then it’s somewhere people can come. When they do they’ll see there’s a number of posts, mainly short stories that they can check out.
I am feeling like a fraud. I talk a lot but don’t do anything to get my work out there. But, I feel I am making progress. I’m wrapping up longterm projects. I’m planning future projects. I am moving forward, just slowly. But I am getting there. Stories are ready to go, the zombie book and Penal Earth are there. Just need to get the money for the cover for zombie (this cover is awesome!). And with Penal Earth, I’m gonna start trying to find a publisher for it.
I’ve had two productive days, well the whole week has been productive to be honest. Although today got off to a later start as I had shopping and some errands to run.
I am making progress with my goals for this month. I’ve typed up the short story I recently wrote and will be looking to do the next edit pass before the end of the month.
The read through of the vampire book is moving nicely. I’m finding more little errors and continuity issues than I was expecting, but nothing major.
I’ve also started digging into the planning for Penal Earth book 2. I’m hoping to have this as a major project for 2023. I’ve got a number of stories that are either ready to go (zombie and Penal Earth) or very ready to go (vampire and Black Blood), and I really want to push to get those published or submitted one way or another in the next two years.
I still need to be writing though. Yes, I’ve got those four pieces to get out into the world, but I also want to get ready for what’s going to be published after those.
This surge of productivity, I’ve had it before and it drifts away. I’m tired of letting it wonder off when it sees fit. I’m working on figuring out what causes me to loose this drive I’ve currently got. I know it’s anxiety, self-esteem. Confidence. I’m better prepared for working it all out than I’ve ever been. It’s still not always easy, and it’s something that’ll take time. But I’m getting there.
Just a quickie today. Yesterday I got the read through of the original draft of Penal Earth finished and this morning I’ve done some planning for it. Mainly key plot points, character storylines, and a few other details.
Howdy folks, just a quick post tonight. I’ve edited 1403 words on Black Blood and done a little planning on Penal Earth book 2. I kept thinking about scenes and plot lines, but I think diving in full steam ahead without any direction then I’m gonna end up hitting a brick wall, or seven!
So I’ve started a basic map out of what I want to do. A lot of what will end up being in book two will be taken from an original draft of the first book, including an element that I was scared I’d have to cut as it didn’t really advance the plot, but now I’ve got an idea to tie it all in nicely.
Right, I’m wrapping it up for the night, have a great one all.
How are we all doing today? I wrote about 600 words during the write in this morning. And I’ve also had a bit of a sort out of my desk this afternoon. I feel a little more organised now.
The gears are really beginning to turn at the moment and I’m getting really eager to wrap up Zombie, Penal Earth, and Black Blood. Other stories are really shouting at me and it is very much time I put these three longer term project to bed.
Right, have an awesome afternoon and evening folks. I’ve got a long day at work tomorrow so likely won’t be posting then but will be writing at some point.
I scratched out 120 words today during my break. I was going to do more whenI got home but I found I had a lot of little bits and pieces to sort out. Some of that was quite therapeutic though. Especially so furniture dismantling I was doing. I’m realising doing practical things is really good for my soul.
Tomorrow, there will be more practical things, but also writing. I’m off tomorrow so there will be plenty of time to be cracking on with all the bits and pieces I need to and get some words written or edited. I’m going to be looking at getting this final draft of Zombie done. I’ve had the editors notes for a long time and I need to get cracking with them. I finally have the time and the mental capacity to get those down.
I have set up a Ko-fi page. I still have my Buy Me A Coffee account, but I’ve had a few minor problems with it and wanted to set up another crowd sourcing account in case I decided to move away from BMAC some where down the line. It’s a never leave your eggs in one basket sorta thing.
Right, I’m off to watch a movie. Have an awesome evening, folks!