Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 2010 Dare Goals

Okay, today I finally pull the mess that is my life back together and get back on the Dare. I've had a chance to take a look at my direction and my goals, and I've come to two conclusions:

1.) I must finish the work in progress while I have momentum on it.
2.) I'm not going to publish the work-in-progress any time soon.

My old friend Dean would probably not be pleased with me for conclusion number two. He's a great believer in "Dare to be Bad" and getting your work out there and not messing around with rewrites and critiques and all of that.

And I agree with him.

Except.... I'm not slowing down in order to futz with endless rewrites, or because the story isn't good enough. It's just that this story is an elephant - it goes at it's own pace, and all of my efforts to speed it up just wear me out and annoy the elephant. Sometimes I've gotten as much or more work done when I work on it once a week, as I have when I've worked every day. Hmmmmm. (Does that sound like a clue-by-four to you?)

It's slowing me down. And the truth is the main reason I want to hurry is because I want to publish another book soon. This book has momentum (such as it is) and I need to write it next. That's undeniable - but does that mean I should publish it next? Especially when it just starts one more freaking series with readers saying "when's the next book coming out?"

A friend of my sister's has a saying for when you are travelling and you're eating out at restaurants a lot -- and your conscience says you should clean your over-sized plate.

"You don't have to eat it, you just have to pay for it."

I'm thinking, I don't have to publish it, I just have to finish it. Sure, it's always a good policy to ship a finished story out to market right away. Get it out of your head and take away the tempation to fuss with it rather than work on something new. (As Heinlein says - you must put in on the market, and you must keep it on the market until sold.)

However, I'm thinking that once this is done, I should put it in a drawer until I've started drafting the second story in the series. For all I know, this slow pace is going to infect that story too. So if it doesn't want to hurry, I'm not gonna hurry either.

I'm going to work on it once a week, the way it seems to prefer, and I'll work on something else for the rest of the week. Something I can get published more quickly. So not a full-length novel yet. I have a fun little screenplay that I realized will make a very fun little novella.

Goals For December:

Work-In-Progress: get one chapter done per week - to the point of being ready for my critique group. I should be finished in March or April. (If not sooner - it's mostly done.)

Main December Dare: Adapt a screenplay called HARSH CLIMATE into a 30,000 word novella. (I thought it would be shorter than that, but the work I've done so far seems to be headed for 30k.) I'm looking to be done by the end of the day on January 2, 2011.

Other work: I have a collection of my published and unpublished children's fiction - mainly fairy tales that cross-over nicely to adult fantasy - to collect and format. And since several reviews of Have Gun, Will Play have asked for more back story on the characters, I will reformat the screenplay which is the back story, and publish it as a 99 cent special too. More about these later.

I also hope to have some interesting blog posts for you, including some updates on the ebook experiment, and a few other observations about books and audience and marketing. But I expect my posts will be shorter and more focused on progress for a while.

But the writing comes first, and I hope to exceed both of of my first two goals. We'll see how that goes, and set January's goals accordingly.

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The Miracle Inspector, a mystery for Kindle, by Helen Smith
"Smith is, at the very least, a minor phenomenon." - The Times

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