Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 24 - Prime Writing Goals

Today's Progress - 1519 Words on Harsh Climate
Running Total: 24454

24454 / 30000 words. 82% done!

I may well actually finish tomorrow, or more likely the next day. Right now, though I want to pause to rethink the choreography of the ending. Because you can't explain things in a screenplay, I probably have more "business" than I need, which displays why this character delays this or that. I need to cut that stuff, and in the meantime, I also think the fiction version is more Denver's story than the script was, so I need him to do a little more at the end.

In the meantime - more about my upcoming goals.

I'm feeling ambitious this year. This is partly due to Dean Wesley Smith, who has a way of encouraging people to do way more than they can handle, and then tells them to be happy with what they accomplished when they fail to reach that massively impossible goal.

So I have two goals for next year, but I'll talk about the second goal tomorrow. For today, here is the biggie.

The Prime Directive, Number One Goal:

To publish something every month of 2011.

And not just individual short stories, either. This shouldn't be as tough as it sounds, though. I have four kinds of material I will work on.

1. Screenplays. I wrote several, and a couple of them are fun, but not really suitable for turning into fiction. So I'm going to adapt the format to make it easier to read on a small screen device like an iPhone, and then publish. I have concepts for the covers, which should make it obvious it's a screenplay and not a novel.

One of these screenplays in particular is the story of how Mick and Casey met. It's not a mystery, and since Mick is a secondary character who is not there for a bunch of the scenes, I don't feel I should try to adapt this to fit with the Mick and Casey Mysteries series. Instead, it will be a fun thing that those who are curious can read if they like. (A number of readers have expressed curiosity about it.)

2. Novellas. I suspect that shorter novels are going to make a comback as ebooks become the norm. Novels used to be a lot shorter in the old days, and novellas were popular both in serial form in magazines, and published as stand-alones, and also collected in pairs or trilogies. It's a wonderful length for adventure fiction. You have room for subplots and interesting developments, but you can also bounce right through a fast-paced story.

Right now I'm adapting a screenplay to a novella, but I think my better works will be some of my unfinished Mick and Casey stories. I have a couple of them that are more than half done, actually. They just had no market at that length before. Plus I really think this is the perfect length for The Serial, which may be what I'll be publishing at the end of the year.

3. Novels. I intend to get one more Mick and Casey full novel done this year, preferably by spring. Again, I have rough exploratory writing for about half of the story, so it shouldn't be too hard. I also have a very long YA fantasy novel that needs editing. It's finished and polished, actually, but at the time I wrote it, I wanted to learn to write an epic tome - and I expect it could use a little tightening up. And of course, I'll finish The Man Who did Too Much, but I don't intend to publish that until I have a strong draft of the second in the series.

I also have the sequels to Wife of Freedom. My original intention with this book/series was to play with the idea of an old fashioned melodrama - and maybe a touch of pulp fiction. I am still torn as to whether I should tidy them up, or just go flat out into the concept and let it be as cheesy as it wants to. This is the only thing holding me up. I am leaning toward glorying in the cheese, but I've got a lot of things ahead of it in line, so I don't know if I will feel that way when I get to it.

4. More collections of short fiction. I have some longer sf/fantasy stories that might go together in a trilogy. I have miscellaneous flash fiction, and more children's fiction. I also have some ideas for further stories.

One other thing I might do, if I'm desperate to meet the "publish something every month" goal - I might count laying out and publishing a paper copy of my existing books as a new publication. It is a lot of work, especially since I want to do some minor illustrations for The Adventure of Anna the Great. (Something like illustrated caps or a decorative header for each chapter, which depicts something from the chapter.)

However, I'd rather put any time I have left over from my ambitious Goal Number One, into the blog. I'd really like to enhance a few things I'm doing, especially with the associated blogs for spoilers and fiction.

More about that tomorrow.

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