Friday, December 30, 2016

December Round-up, End of Year Check-in, and 2017 Goals

Starting with the round-up!

Words written YTD: 59,195 on two and a half projects (Paranormal Investigations novels, a prequel short story that didn't really go where I wanted it to, and Novel Wars (my Nano)) - that's right, I managed a full month without writing. It was awful.

Writer-ly things accomplished: Not a blessed thing, unless you count realizing that not writing is not OK.

New books read: Pounce (aka a book of kitty pictures that needs to be available at all times); January/February 2016 Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction; When Books Went to War (I know I've already reviewed it, but short summary, I loved it); Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife (not my favorite Mary Roach, but interesting for all that); The Prophecy Con (Book two of Rogues of the Republic aka Fantasy A-Team); Lumberjanes #22-23; Pirate King (Russell and Holmes take on the Pirates of Penzance, which left me humming the Major General's song); and Beekeeping for Beginners (Russell and Holmes, the early days).

Old books re-read: The Jennifer Morgue & The Fuller Memorandum (Laundry Files 2-3); Grave Peril (Dresden Files 3); The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl 2); Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles 2, which still holds up beautifully).

Well, if nothing else, I certainly read more this month. Now, on to the 2016 goals that I'm pretty sure I missed:

  • Complete draft of book 2 of Paranormal Investigations
    • Due:  March 31, 2016
    • Q1 status:  I should really restate this as "fill in the gap between books 1 and 2 of Paranormal Investigations", and it's still in process.
    • New due date: July 31, 2016
    • Q2 status: This is the goal for this Camp Nano, so we'll see if we can actually finish filling the gap this month.
    • Q3 status: Ish? I've reached a good stopping point and realized that enough changed in book 1 that book 2 basically needs to start over again. I'll call this one complete (as restated in Q1), with redrafting book 2 as the plan for Nanowrimo
    • New goal: Complete draft 0 of book 2 of Paranormal Investigations
    • New due date: December 31, 2016
    • Q4 status: AHAHAHA no.
  • Complete draft of Church of Books
    • Due:  September 30, 2016
    • Q1 status: I haven't even touched this one in a while. I'll keep the date as is for now.
    • Q2 status: Same as Q1
    • Q3 status: Yeah, that didn't go according to plan. I've spent the year focusing on PII, so this one is off to the side. This will get moved to next year.
    • Q4 status: See Q3 update.
  • Complete edit of Paranormal Investigations
    • Due:  December 31, 2016
    • Q1 status:  In process
    • Q2 status:  In process
    • Q3 status:  In process (so many notes on my draft 0 of book 1, many of which involve asking Past Stephanie just what the devil she was thinking)
    • Q4 status: made it through draft 0 of book 1, but haven't had the wherewithal to go back and start fixing things.
  • Complete draft of one of the works started for a Nano
    • Due:  December 31, 2016
    • Q1 status:  In process, as Paranormal Investigations started as a Nano
    • Q2 status:  In process, looking better with each day of sitting and actually getting some words on the dang page
    • Q3 status:  I'm going to call this complete, with PII book 1 as a complete draft 0. Go team me!
    • Q4 status: Done!
  • Complete at least one Nano
    • Due:  November 30, 2016
    • Q1 status:  COMPLETE!
    • Q2 status:  Trying for number 2!
    • Q3 status:  Didn't make number 2; revving up for number 3
    • Q4 status:  Well, I made it for one.
  • Submit at least one story for publication
    • Due:  December 31, 2016
    • Q1 status:  I have ideas, ever so many ideas...keeping the date as is for now.
    • Q2 status:  I may come back to the short story I was fiddling with post-Camp Nano, or I may try for something completely different. Who knows? Not me!
    • Q3 status:  Uh, we'll see. I haven't even thought short fiction in a couple of months.
    • Q4 status:  And again, AHAHAHA no.
Clearly, setting these kinds of big goals just isn't working for me. I need to break things down into manageable chunks, else everything's going to be "AHAHAHA no" next year.

  • PII book 1 editing
    • Go through notes on at least one scene every two weeks, incorporating changes and noting bigger changes for later
  • Novel Wars drafting
    • One character study per month, including interviews, background, list of favorite books/least favorite books, and for the novelists, best writing atmosphere
  • Other drafting
    • Read through existing works in progress, choose one to work on for each Camp Nanowrimo (April and July)
Looking at it like that, I think it's doable. For now, at least. We'll see what the first quarter of 2017 brings. (Incidentally, anyone else super gun-shy about the new year? I'm almost afraid to say "Happy New Year" in case 2017 hears me and takes it as a challenge.)