Monday, September 8, 2014

Status Report and Celebration

This has been a very productive summer. I polished the first book in my paranormal small town series, Return to Banshee Creek, and sent it to my editor. I also finished the prequel novella, Seducing the Rational Skeptic, and the Christmas novella, Snowbound with the Devil Monkey, and sent them to beta readers. My fabulous beta readers sent comments in record time and I was able to revise Devil Monkey by the end of August.

Pretty cool, uh?

But that's not all. 

I managed to write a full outline for book two, Showdown in Banshee Creek. I'm immensely proud of this, because this is the first outline I've managed to complete. My writing style so far has been... no, I  can't even describe as "pantsing." It's more like total cluelessness. Remember, that E. L. Doctorow quote where he says that writing is "like driving a car at night, you never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way"? Picture that with a  broken headlight and a faulty eyeglass prescription.

Which totally explains why Return to Banshee Creek has gone through so many revisions.

This method is fine if your goal is to write one or two books a year, but in today's competitive market, you have to publish frequently in order to gain or maintain your momentum. The consensus seems to be at least four books a year.


Right now, that looks impossible. I'm not going to be able to write four books a year with my "broken headlight" method.

So I need to write faster. I bought Rachel Aaron's 2K To 10K book (it's awesome, go buy it!) and hope to put some of her advice into action. I don't expect to get to 10K a day. Realistically, I'd be happy if I can get to 10K a week. I also need to write better. I can't afford to revise each book a gazillion times.

So, here's my to-do list for the fall: finish final developmental revisions to Return to Banshee Creek, finish final revisions to Snowbound with the Devil Monkey and get it ready for developmental edits, and finish a first draft of Showdown in Banshee Creek. I hope to get these done by January.

It sounds ambitious (at least to me!) but this summer was super productive, so I have high hopes for the fall. I'm also going to take a long, hard look at my writing process and see if I can make some serious upgrades. The status quo is simply not cutting it.

Wish me luck.

Photo via Morguefile.