Sunday 21 October 2012

Writing Update - Month Four

On June 20th, 2012, I decided to try to write 52 short stories in a year.  Since then the challenge has become a lot more, it has become about whether or not I really wanted to push myself to achieve what I felt I had the talent to achieve, which was to eventually become a full time writer.  I have rarely had doubts about my ability, and the number of stories I've published (33) suggest I'm not being a complete ego-manic when I say I think I have what it takes.  But it wasn't just about how good the words I'd written in the past were, but how good the words I hadn't yet written had the potential to be, and whether I had the drive to write enough of them to pretty much blanket the market with my awesomeness, because, let's face it, the likelihood of getting big on just one book is very remote indeed.  In other words, I had to step up to the plate.

So my odyssey shifted momentum from 52 short stories in a year to a minimum of 1000/day and as many completed new projects as possible.  Here's what I've got so far after 4 months, or 122 days.

Name Type Word Count Status
1 The Ship Short Story 3793 Finished - to edit
2 Take me Back with You Short Story 2528 WIP
3 Take me Back with You Novelisation 29914 WIP
4 The Lost Train Short Story 4352 WIP
5 The Other Set of Feet Short Story 3749 Finished - to edit
6 Tube Riders : The Hunter Novella 14980 WIP
7 Once We Were Children Short Story 2513 Finished - to edit
8 The Assignment Short Story 8802 Finished - to edit
9 Never Give Up Short Story 5111 Finished - to edit
10 Clones Short Story 1323 Edited
11 Beat Down 1 - Clones Serial Novella 19774 Editing
12 Sunfall Short Story 1271 WIP
13 The Tube Riders: Exile Novel 60434 WIP
14 Beat Down 2 - The Heist Serial Novella 18533 Finished - to edit
15 Beat Down 3 - Badassaur Serial Novella 3020 WIP
Started June 21st Word Count 180097
Pages (300w/pg) 600
4 month target (Oct 20th) (122 days) 150000
Ahead 30097
Total Month
One month tally: 33598 33598
Two month tally: 62217 28619
Three month tally: 119253 57036
Four month tally: 180097 60844

So, 60,844 words for the month, or roughly half a novel (depending on what you call a good length - for me its 120,000 words).  The big one, of course, is part 2 of my novel, The Tube Riders, sitting nicely at just over 60k.  About half of what I wrote this month was on that one project, although it stalled for a week or so on a plot knot.  Elsewhere, my other big projects are my action-adventure/comedy/fantasy novella series, Beat Down, of which I'm now on to part 3.  Part 1 will be released on November 7th.  You can read more about it on a separate blog here.  The cover art is done for parts 1 & 2, and looks great.  It's fun to write but there will only be so long I can maintain it if it doesn't start to pay for itself, so I'll probably run it for three or four episodes and see how it goes.  While I have my "art" writing, I also love having fun with creativity, and there has to be a place for situations where you have a portal into another world in which chickens have become the dominant lifeform, hidden in a giant eagle's nest and accessible only by jumping off a ski jump.  Can't really put that kind of stuff into Tube Riders ...

Elsewhere, I also got a bit done on my "romance" novel.  It's got to the point where I'm not embarrassed by it, but if I think its publishable it will definitely be under a different name.

I also got a few more words done on my Tube Riders novella, which I think might end up as a companion novel set in London during the period of TR2, and featuring almost all different characters, some of which will show up in TR3 ... maybe.  It's really dark, and there's nothing I like more than writing dark fiction.  It might even appeal to a different audience to TR, but I don't really care because I'll write what I like, thank you...!

You'll notice I haven't got much editing done.  I'm perfectly happy with this, because I hate it when people rush off to edit their work immediately after finishing it, or worse, send it straight out to an editor to do the polishing for them.  Let it breathe.  Give it time to rest, time for your eyes to get a fresh view on it.  Any completed manuscript needs at least a month on the shelf, and while I have some that have been waiting that long I'm kind of lazy about editing so I haven't got around to it yet!

One thing I did edit was my short story Clones, and it was really f**king good.  I didn't remember it being that good when I wrote it, but I read it four times back to back just for pleasure, and I never do that.  Best thing I've written in years, so I gave it a brush up and sent it off to a literary magazine because it would be a waste to just self publish it and have it sit on Amazon being ignored.  Plus, it's really short, and regardless of how good it is people would moan about the price.  Still, I'm really proud to have it in the can, and hopefully I'll find somewhere to flog it and get myself a useful little payday.

Anyway, enough talking about the craft, back to it.  While I'm happy to have hit 60k in a month, the best thing is I really don't think I'm currently pushing myself all that much.  That's only on an average of 1 - 2 hours a day (perhaps a couple more on a weekend) and is only 2k a day.  I did a couple of big 5k days and as always happens I had a lull afterwards each time, but I think 3 - 4k a day is fairly reasonable, which would work out at a novel per month(!).  I just wish I didn't have to work the regular work so much, but if Tube Riders takes off (it's selling steadily since the promo ended) the first thing I'll do is can the evil kid classes and get my evenings back.

Right, I did say I was finishing ....

22nd Oct 2012

1 comment:

  1. Chris, you were supposed to have quit that class already!

    As always, your word count makes me want to scream, lol!

    Well done on completing so much ahead of your target!