It’s better to start small than to promise big things and fall short. I’ve been modest in updating this blog, doing Six Sentence Sunday and the occasional during-the-week update.
Nonetheless, I know myself for a “real writer” now (you know, the kind that really writes). I counted just now and I have eight live projects. The Lost Pissarro has just graduated from “Coming Attraction” to “Work in Progress,” as has the still-untitled superhero romance. So now we have three genuine works in progress, four manuscripts being revised, and a Coming Attraction in the planning stage for November.
My goal for the immediate future (as in, this week) is to finish the superhero romance in first draft for my beta-reader. My Brain Sister and generous Writing Buddy has offered to read it over the weekend and get it back to me with comments. Positive Peer Pressure (owing stuff to my friends) keeps me going. So the progression is as follows:
By September 1: submit the synopsis, blurb, and manuscript for the still-untitled superhero romance. Very scary, but the deadline reminds me to write, dammit, and forget that this is the first time I’m submitting something for publication. It’s not the first time I’ve written in public. The call for manuscripts says that they’ll get back to us by October 1. I know I’m cutting it close, but that’s life.
By October 1: assemble the raw materials for NaNoWriMo 2011. I’m throwing stuff into the cookpot and hoping that it will turn into something fabulous while I’m not looking. Sounds silly, but it’s always worked in the past. If my manuscript is accepted, I might also be doing revisions in October.
By November 1: figure out who the characters are for NaNo novel 2011, and (optionally) give them a fabulous plot in which to try their wings. In the absence of a plot, I trust my ornery and idiosyncratic characters to find trouble of their own.
By January 1: send NaNo 2011 to the fabulous folks who’ve already volunteered to beta-read it, and start the grungy work of dissecting it scene by scene. Last year, I did a spreadsheet of scenes, including who was in them, where they occurred, and what happened. Like a filmmaker, I treat the scene as the basic unit. Since I’m hoping to take some vacation from Ye Olde Day Jobbe at that time, let’s throw two more goals: (1) finish the revisions on The Shape-shifter’s Tale so that I have a finished second draft and (2) start reading about publication options, since the landscape is changing rapidly.
By February 1: Finish third-draft revisions on The Shape-shifter’s Tale, stripping the language down to bare essentials and removing all other fat. Sort through the beta-readers’ responses on NaNo 2011.
Now that I’ve said it in public, I’d better get to work.