Sunday, January 31, 2010

monthly writing progress, January

Words for month: 10,513. Split between new scenes to old work, new ideas, and short stories. I wrote 16 of 31 days, and averaged 339 words per day (counting all the days of the month).

Started outline for the next novel I want to write. Also did a fair bit of background reading, though no complete books yet. Organized notes for two other ideas so the background material is all in one place for me to outline from.

Short stories: Progress on several. Completed one. Wrote one article (book review). Did 27 submissions this month.

Crits: Made some progress on all three that I'm juggling.

Did not attend GSHW meeting this month. Won't be able to attend next month. Hoping for March.

Reading: 5 books completed this month. The Career Novelist, by Donald Maass; Destroyer of Worlds, by Larry Niven and Edward Lerner; The Burning Bridge, by John Flanagan; Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days, by Alastair Reynolds; Pushing Ice, by Alastair Reynolds

Other reading of note -- refreshed my brain on Getting Things Done and read bits of Making It All Work by David Allen, read more of Fire in Fiction by Maass, started Heirs of the Fisherman, read the first half of Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, and read both the Motivation and Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing blog series by Dean Wesley Smith (which got me rethinking having dropped my mystery story rather than submitting it).

Editing/submitting: Well, in addition to work on adding subplots to the urban fantasy, I have been working on brush edits of the cozy mystery. I've also written a query letter, started a synopsis, and winnowed down a list of markets (not agents) to submit to, as a test of Smith's ideas.

This coming month will mostly be more of the same, but I want to write every day, even if it's just a single page. Also, I'm going to Boskone mid-month.

writing progress, January 24-30

Less juggling and more dropping of balls this week.

No critting got done at all.

Didn't make any further progress on the new short story -- which means, clearly, that it didn't get submitted for the deadline yesterday.

Did write 791 words on the longer idea. (Hey, that's almost consistent progress!) Still not sure whether it's a novella or a novel.

No progress on Sundered Sword's outline, but I did get more research and background notes.

Made some good progress on a short story I started back in December. If I can squeeze in a couple of word wars on it this week, I should have a complete draft.

Wrote down two new ideas for high fantasy novels.

No other writing.

Very good on the submission front: ten subs sent out, including one story that's never been out before. One's been rejected already, but if I can get it back out the door, I will have my entire inventory of short stories out to market.

As I mentioned before, lots of freelancing this coming week (started the first project yesterday, actually), so not expecting a lot on the writing front this coming week -- maybe another 790 words on that longer idea? ;-)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Writing Prompt: Dwarf in Time

Somewhat more whimsical this week.

Take a dwarf -- a Tolkien dwarf, a D&D dwarf, a fairy-tale dwarf, whatever your favorite type of dwarf is -- and plop him (or her) down into a modern metropolis. What does the dwarf do for a living? What thoughts does she have about the world around her? Is he making any plans to go back?

gathering the links, January 29

As promised, here are some good gatherings of links:

Jon Gibbs, an Englishman in New Jersey:
Interesting posts about writing – w/e January 29 2010 -- Be sure to check out the comments to check for other recommendations, such as mine to Crossing Genres, a post by Michael A. Burstein on Apex's blog.

Margaret McGaffey Fisk:
Friday's Interesting Links -- The writing and research links are especially good; I loved the semicolon comic.

Free Fiction for 1/29/10
SF Tidbits for 1/29/10
SF Tidbits for 1/28/10
SF Tidbits for 1/27/10
SF Tidbits for 1/26/10
SF Tidbits for 1/25/10
SF Tidbits for 1/24/10
Free Fiction for 1/23/10
But you should be reading SFSignal for the many other posts they have as well -- Mind Melds, TOC, updates on what's going on in the world.

Jay Lake:
Link salad wishes it spoke every language
Link salad flows down the river of night's dreaming
Link salad stumbles into town, just like a sacred cow
Link salad has tire tracks all across its back

If you know of another site that does great collections of links, let me know in the comments! And if there's one of these sites that you enjoy, please let them know.

Bonus: Advice to Writers Great quotes about writing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

writing progress, January 17-23

Still trying to juggle, and this week the writing fell by the wayside.

I critted 3 chapters for one friend, 2 for another.

Started a new short story, as well as a longer one that I'm not sure whether it'll be a novella or a novel. This is highly unusual for me, as I always plan and outline, so it'll be a learning experience. I'm managing a page a day on the long idea, so I got 794 words on it this week, and about 200 on the new short story. That's it for the week.

I got a good start on the next novel's outline (Sundered Sword), and did some more background reading and research, too.

Did pretty well on the submission front this past week, too, with five sent out, including the one review (which counts as a "new" submission in my database as it's never been out before).

Hoping to do better on the writing front this week; next week I know will be a wash, as I have a few overlapping freelance projects booked. Also, since that newest short story is for a market that closes this coming Saturday, I need to get it done if I'm going to make the deadline!

Friday, January 22, 2010

gathering the links, January 22

As promised, here are some good gatherings of links:

Jon Gibbs, an Englishman in New Jersey:
Interesting posts about writing – w/e January 22 2010

Margaret McGaffey Fisk:
Friday's Interesting Links

SF Tidbits for 1/22/10
SF Tidbits for 1/21/10
SF Tidbits for 1/20/10
SF Tidbits for 1/19/10
SF Tidbits for 1/18/10

Jay Lake:
Link salad heads for another day of chemotherapy
Link salad is a desperado under the eaves
Link salad hears the captains tell they pay you well

Writing Prompt: Childhood Memories

Think about your earliest memory. Now rewrite it as though it happened to you yesterday, at the age you currently are. Now try writing it as though it happened to a child fifty years from now. Now to a child fifty years before you were born.

What details changed? What stayed the same?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

writing progress, January 10-16

I'm currently juggling completing my NaNoWriMo novel (Jim Bob), editing a previous novel (Pepper), planning my next novel (Sundered Sword), working on several short stories, and doing crits for 3 different friends. This is, perhaps, inefficient, as I'm not getting a lot done on any one thing at a time, but I am making good progress.

In the last week, I completed one short story and a book review, which will be submitted to Vision magazine. I also submitted six stories, including my novella that was short-listed for the Science-Fiction at the UPC award last year.

I added 3,516 words to Pepper in new scenes and 2,250 words to Jim Bob.

No progress on planning. Some work on the crits.

My plan for this week is more of the same, starting with getting a couple more submissions out today. Stay tuned next Sunday for the progress report. ;-)

Friday, January 15, 2010

starting off the new year a little late

New year, new goals, all that. Right? I'm going back to an earlier one -- trying to be more regular about updating my blog. I've got friends who, if nothing else, manage to post a link round-up on Friday so they're posting. Which is nice, and I might decide to do a link round-up. Or maybe I'll just post a round-up of link round-ups.

I want to aim for monthly consistency, and I'm going to be trying to do certain kinds of posts to do so. Some of my posts will be weekly, some bi-weekly, and some monthly.

  • Where am I with my writing this week?

  • Writing prompts (weekly)

  • Every couple of weeks, a post of upcoming contests and anthologies

  • Review series for writing books (monthly, most likely)

  • A series I'm going to call "Digging Deep," about planning, organizing, control, and other things that might have an impact on where we plan to go as writers -- because those can't be things we do just once a year (monthly)

I'll also be writing posts as other topics occur to me, and I'll continue doing the occasional podcast review. (Watch for my review of "I Should Be Writing" -- I finally caught up with *all* of the back episodes!)