Monday, 19 December 2011

On Reflection: This Year's Writing

A little early, perhaps, but December always turns into a chance to review the year for me, as things wind down and people get ready to go out into a new year. Over the next couple of weeks I'll write a few posts about this year and how I hope next year will go - staying on the writing/gaming (at the other blog) and reading side of things naturally.

On the writing front I've started two novels, one for National Novel Writing Month and one just generally, and have got both to around 50,000 and over words. It's an exhilirating process laying down the first chapters and feeling the world take shape as I write. I do find its more of a struggle once I'm past 50,000 words for some reason but with perserverance I'm hoping to get over 100,000 words for both of them and, more importantly, get both novels finished in the spring, albeit with a damn good slog.

The first novel, A Fatal Thirst, I worry crosses too many genres - it has vampirism, science fiction and post apocalypse elements in it and whilst the world seems to work I think it'll take a lot of bashing to make it good. The central plot is a good one, I just need to make sure that I make it compelling enough to keep people reading.

The Fae Noir book, which I don't have a title for yet (the sequel does, annoyingly enough), is more difficult to write. Fatal Thirst's world was created more or less wholecloth out of my imagination, its as good as a fantasy novel with guns and technology to be honest, whilst the Fae Noir book is set in the modern world in a city I've never visited - I had wanted to set it in the UK but the story was pretty clear that it was an American story and unless I can find a way to change the location, then it'll have to stay in San Francisco, and I'll have to hope that I make it work. Fortunately I have a couple of friends out in Missouri and I tap them for information when I need to know things about American culture; more specific details I rely on the internet for.

My absolute final date for finishing both novels, is the end of May and by that I mean finished to the point where I can send them to publishers, so I'm going to have to get my skates on I think.

One good thing about taking part in NaWriNoMo is that it made me write almost everyday and that's something that I've managed to carry forward, and I do something more or less everyday now. Sometimes its as little as 100 words and sometimes its far more, topping out at 3000 on a good day; I envy Sam Stone's 3000 to 5000 words a day, but it's a price a pay for starting out now and having to work as well as write. The thing that didn't impress me was the fact that it felt like the organisers were setting up so much that it actually conflicted with the writing part of it.

On the short story front things are going less well, getting the balance between writing the two forms has proved difficult and I've let things slide badly on the short front (though having to pretty much rewrite the bulk of my first steampunk story hasn't helped. I have pieces from 2010 that need editing and sending off to magazines and over 50 short stories and novella ideas to write up.

All round the forecast is to get my head down and just get on with writing and sending things off, so as I have 2 weeks enforced holiday coming up I intend to try and get as much done as I can and hopefully that'll carry on into the new year once work recommences. The thing I must avoid is having a number of fallow months where I get nothing done at all; this year I fell into that trap a couple of times as I felt a bit overwhelmed by things out in that "real life" and had to drag myself back to the writing cave and get work done.