Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Writing Dare Goals - Fall 2012

I am aligning my dare these days with A Round Of Words In 80 Days.  For those who don't know ROW80, I'll talk more about that on Sunday.

For this phase of my career I've decided to unify everything by turning my blog into my writing career. That is, the blog itself is what I'm doing: fiction, illustration, some cartoons, commentary, non-fiction.

The blog, in other words, is a magazine.  Six posts a week, all DIY, all a learning experience.

The fiction I'm writing here is a little different than the fiction I've written for publication; it's more raw, more naive.  It is, in essence, fan fiction of the stories that play in my head. There is no genre.  They are the same stories that played in my head when I was a little kid, who tied a towel around her neck and shouted "Here I come to save the day!" and ran around the house with a rolled up newspaper for a sword.  (Except the stories kind of took a left turn on reading Camus and Dostoyevski in college....)

So in some sense, this is a risky experiment.  Will these stories put people off my fiction, or attract them to that element that is different about even my more commercial work?  Or will I just have a really good time while I pile up the writing portfolio?

Long Term Goals

Here's the issue. I am not young any more.  I have decades of stories in my head that pile up faster than I can write even on my best days.

I always say a writer has to keep her eyes on the prize. The prize my eyes are on is to get all of these books out of my head and onto the page.  Marketing, money, even the ultimate form of my work; all that really has to wait until I can actually hold a substantial amount of my work in the palm of my hand (or my Kindle).

Which isn't to say that I won't continue to publish and even market my books in the meantime, but the prime directive is to get these books down.  Nothing else actually matters.

Which leads me to my short term goals

BFHAG of the Round

BFHAG stands for "Big Fat Hairy-Ass Goal" and, frankly, it's the goal you can miss.  In some ways, it doesn't work if you can't. It's there to drive you further than you would otherwise go.  In this case, though, I think I'll make it:

Get three books published (or at least in formatting to be imminently published) within the round.

Two of those books should be easy. The Misplaced Hero is the current serial being published on this blog, and it'll be done Thursday (well, Monday, since I'll certainly want to include the "credit cookie" epilogue in the book too).  All it will need is editing, and maybe some expansion on some stuff I cut short to fit the serial format.

The serial I am starting next, Test of Freedom, is also already done in rough draft form, however, I want to do more work on it in getting it ready to be a serial before I publish it as an ebook.  Still, it shouldn't take long.

The thing that's questionable is Devil in a Blue Bustle, a short Mick and Casey Mystery novel which seems to want to be written in fits and starts.  The series is mostly funny and light and puzzle/adventure oriented, but it requires some poignance, and that was missing from this story. I'm pretty sure that's what's blocking me.  I finally figured out that the victims themselves will provide that.

If I'm right, it will write itself (it's 3/4 done). If I'm wrong.... well, I'm wrong.

Day-To-Day Goal

That goal is putting out this blog as a magazine with daily deadlines. These goals are measured two ways:

*Six posts a week, published at 8am EST Sunday-Friday, with art, come rain or high water.  This includes fiction and art. Which will have the priority over all others.

*Twenty hours of work a week.  This includes not just writing and editing, but also art, blog management, specific research, brainstorming, finding and fixing bad links, organizing posts.  Everything related to the blog, except screwing around on the internet in the name of "promotion" or "research."  (Also it has to be dedicated time, not "I was stuck in traffic for a half hour so I thought about my writing" time -- that doesn't count.)

It includes writing this post.  And updating the sidebar to reflect the time worked on this post (when I remember to do that).

Now, on to tomorrow and the last post of the current blog story, The Misplaced Hero. (There will be a "credit cookie" epilogue on Monday too.) Then I'll start gearing up for the next serialized online novel, Test of Freedom, which will start October 15.

See you in the funny papers!

Between the Dares Progress Report:

Sunday: 215 minutes
Monday: 150 minutes
Tuesday: 125 minutes


Lee said...

Good luck, Camille! (You've heard of, haven't you?)

M. Dunham said...

Good luck on your goals, Camille. I've been lurking awhile and reading your blog ever since then, and I always enjoy seeing how you organize your thoughts on work.

I'm the type of person who gets organized, but is bad at flexing when I need to flex my thoughts/habits. I'm working on it, though!

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks, Lee! I hadn't seen that particular site before. It's focused on non-fiction, really. The techniques for blogging nonfiction are a lot better developed than those for fiction, and imho, can be a source of direction.

M: it's always great to hear from more lurking readers! And yeah, it's funny how we all struggle with organization and/or flexibility. No matter what we're good at, we've got to do the other. The writing life demands we do everything.