Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 2 - Another long post about Goals

Today's Progress: 1094 words on "Stone-Cold Dead at the Trading Post"

I was lazy today, but I did get over a thousand words, and they were words that actually, finally, got me on a roll.  I am now beyond the exploratory writing, I think, and ready to just tell the story, from beginning to end.  Basically... I know where Mick's head is now.

I think one of the most critical things in writing is to know the character's plans.  A character without a plan is a dead story.  Usually, you know what the character intends to do because you know what they want.  And because of that, it's easy for me to write stories out of sequence.  But now and then, a character is in a situation where there is no chance for him to get what he wants.  And then I have to poke and explore for a bit... and then when I have an idea of his options, I just ahve to write that in sequence -- because if his own internal desires don't rule him, his situation from moment to moment will.

I'm kind of impressed with Mick here.  He's got to take charge and he just does.  He's not being a goof at all -- because there is no opportunity to be a goof.  I like this side of him.  And I like that, when he doesn't have to take charge, he just goes back to being a goof.

Short and Long Goals

The bulk of the day, I admit, I spent in thinking about the direction I'm taking.  I have a weird relationship with goals.  I like to look ahead and make some long terms goals, but I also think the only goals that really matter are the short term ones.  I make a big goal, and then within a week or two it has changed.

But I like to make them anyway.  They're kind of like a distant guide post to sight on.


My short term goal right now is to try to get Stone-Cold done by the end of the month.  Actually, I'd like to do more than that. I'd like to get it done and uploaded.  Sometimes a story like this turns out longer or more complicated than I thought, in which case it might need a set aside time.  If so, I might start in on another project.

Look-Ahead Goals

I really wanted to be done with the short stuff at the end of September.  I wanted to devote both October and November to The Man Who Stepped Up, the next Starling and Marquette novel (also known as MW2).

But I still have a bunch of short stuff I want to work on for the fall.  And a part of me wants to ramp up my concentration.  I want to see if I can do a large chunk of that book in a shorter amount of time.  So....

I've decided to do MW2 as though it were a NaNoWriMo project. 

I won't be doing it officially because I hate NaNo.  It's got rules designed for amateurs who don't write all the time.  This "no work done on the novel ahead of time" in particular is a stupid rule.  I also have no interest in uploading my book to their site.  So, as usual, I will try to do NaNoWrongMo. 

The first Man Who book is 95,000 words long.  I don't expect this book to be that long, but I didn't expect the first book to be that long either.  Also, when I write at that speed, I make false starts, so I expect to write stuff that doesn't go in the story.  I don't expect to get the book finished in one month, but I do hope to get it all pinned down in that time.

So October will be all about "training" -- getting my writing concentration up to speed.  I'm going to aim at 2000 words a day.  Since I'll be writing short stuff, that should be a challenge.  (It takes more time per word to write short fiction, imho.)  I'd like to be writing 3000 words a day when I turn to MW2 in November.

I plan to get Feral Princess up in October, but other than that, I'll be working on whatever comes to the brain -- and that includes working on MW2 if it wants to get started early.

Other Short Projects

The miscellaneous stuff fighting for space in my brain include those horse stories I mentioned on Wednesday, as well as more fables and fairy tales to follow up Fables and Enchantments.  I might give those some priority just because they would be follow ups to what I've got out there.

But I also want to write a Mick and Casey Christmas story, and I've got all of these Romantic Suspense novelettes crowding in my head.  (Those, I hope to put off until January.)

The other thing I've been thinking about -- the audience for my mysteries is likely to be the sort of people who read Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.  I should probably thinking about short fiction to submit to those. (Which would also make a good follow up to my mystery short collections.)

And let us not forget The Misplaced Baroness and a few other things.

So I should have plenty of material to occupy me in October.

See you in the funny papers.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm like you with NaNoWriMo...don't like the rules. I don't ever enter either, since I always am halfway through with a project at that point (got a Jan. deadline, as per usual). But I do feed off the energy there and it can help to motivate me if I do quick lurking and don't get sucked into it. The mystery boards there can be interesting.

The Daring Novelist said...

If you don't have to officially enter, then I'll probably go lurk on the boards too. I am always on the look out for a more active mystery board.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

They're open to all, no registering (I can promise that, because I've never joined NaNo). I feel almost guilty giving this link to you...set a timer, okay? :)