My terrifying timeline

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Knole Park, 2016
Fighting through problems, and smashing deadlines.

Do I dare? Do I dare put dates and deadlines to what I’m trying to achieve, and have to acknowledge publicly when I miss or make those targets? Is my book, my weird Young Adult Arthurian Genderfluid Fantasy Coming Of Age novel really going to become accountable?

Yeah, why not? Chris Baty is big on accountability. Also deadlines. He invented Nanowrimo around those core principles in 2000 and that is now a venerable institution.

In Nanowrimo you write a complete 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I’ve participated eleven times, aced it seven times, (one story is now a Sherlock Holmes time travel Dracula fanfiction love story here) and it taught me how to write fast.  So given that writing fast is what my next goals require, this should be a cinch.

  • Middle section – approx 20000 words – by end of July
  • End section – approx 40000 words – by end August
  • First draft generally whipped into shape, to be a novel of perhaps 90 000 words- by end September.
  • Sit back and take a break. -I’m kidding.
  • October – Start the rewrites.  My aim is to have something on the Kindle shelves by the end of the year. This year.

Yes, these are quite distant deadlines, by Self Publishing School standards. SPS founder, Chandler Bolt, reckons you can outline, write and launch a Kindle book in 90 days. I’m sure you can. But I’ve learned a lot about myself these last few years, and I know that the next 90 days are pretty likely to hold a few brick walls from Real Life. Worrying about work deadlines doesn’t help climb over those walls. So there’s leeway here. Maybe too much leeway? What do you think? Am I being soft?

My real issue is that I have other writing projects ongoing as well. Some purely for-fun ones which I nevertheless want to complete (three of them, two nearing the end and one really not…) plus my ongoing involvement with The Write Practice; plus I want to continue to make short stories and submit them to possible markets, just for the practice of the craft.

So OK. I have these deadlines. Are they crazy – crazily lax, crazily tight, or what? I don’t know. Let’s find out.

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Accountability: write more words!

Reading Time: 1 minute
fuerte-2006-speed
Write, write like the wind! (Fuerteventura, Canary Islands: my usual speed-tourism in a hired Jeep.)

This week I need to make some writing progress: 10,000 words in a week. This is perfectly achievable given my prior history of writing 12,000 words in one day. But to be sure, I am setting myself no other targets.

-Except to write and workshop a short story for the Fiction Break contest.

Also to continue working on my novel outline as a background task (which means every time I get in the car. Road signs are merely decorative to me.) CS Lakin’s book is helping.

Also to continue my Dark Ages research. I have Neil Oliver and Michael Wood on hand for this.

Also to research Amazon fiction categories to see where my book might fit. Amazon categories are… fascinating. If you thought Japanese street fashion contained highly specialised niches, check out Amazon categories.

Plus you know, my job. But I have already cracked 2000 words, and I will have time to write this evening. I need to write my main character off an island, over the ocean, and onto a totally different island via some disasters.

Go!

Target: 10, 000 words added to my novel by Friday.

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