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Archive for December, 2012

The Shape of Things

It’s time once again for my annual year-in-review post.  Let’s get to it:

The Raw Data

New Fiction:  54,252

Other Verbiage (blog entries, crits, etc.):  16,560

Total New Words:  70,812

Rewrites:  43,122

Submissions:  27

Rejections:  29 (includes withdrawn manuscripts)

Sales: 0 (sigh)

Publications: 1

Conventions/Workshops Attended:  Launch Pad, WorldCon, MileHiCon


My 2012 goals were as follows:

1.  Write at least 100K of new fiction.

Missed this by rather a lot, obviously.  But I did finish the first draft of a new novel in Apocalypse Pictures Presents.  And I really didn’t have any other novel projects ready to go.  Late in the year, I tried to force Escaping Canaan, but it just wouldn’t be forced.

2.  Write at least 100K in rewrites.

Also missed by a lot, but the number is up from 2011.  This is due to significant revisions of “From Earth I Have Arisen” and “Spectator Sport,” two projects that had been languishing.

3.  Improve submission statistics, including novel queries.

Submission stats were slightly down.  I can attribute this at least partly to having fewer stories in inventory.

4.  Continue critiquing.

Met this one by participating in the WorldCon Writers Workshop.

5.  Continue weekly progress reports.

Yep.  I keep chugging on.

I suppose I should be down about the diminished productivity and the lack of sales, but I’m just not in the mood for self-pity at the moment.  To put it in football terms, I guess I can consider 2012 a rebuilding year.  The rewrites of “From Earth” and “Spectator Sport” took longer than I would have liked, but in fairness to myself, they were pretty major revisions.  The latter story was rewritten from the ground up, and I lopped off a huge chunk of the former, which resulted a great deal of surgical repair.

In addition, I had my mind expanded at Launch Pad (in addition to making some new friends), and I learned from the abortive attempt at Escaping Canaan not to push on a project when my heart’s not in it.  So while there might not have been productivity, there was growth.

Seen in that light, 2012 wasn’t too shabby.

Looking ahead . . .

Goals for 2013

1.  Write at least 100K of new fiction.

2.  Write at least 100K in rewrites.  Most of this will come from Apocalypse Pictures Presents

3.  Improve submission statistics, including novel queries.

4.  Continue critiquing.

5.  Continue weekly progress reports.

Basically, the same goals as 2012.  No point in raising the bar when I haven’t met the previous one yet.  Emphasis on yet.


Current Music: "Magical Mystery Tour"--The Beatles

Progress Report, in which I give a graphic illustration

Fared a bit better than last week in the teeth of the holiday schedule disruption storm, logging 5K on “The Winter Palace.”  Herewith, the final Magic Meter for 2012:

That projected final word count is looking a bit more accurate now.  If you compare it with the previous Magic Meters, though, you’ll see a graphic illustration of just how awful I am at estimating story lengths.

Here’s Week 1:

And here’s Week 2:

See what I mean?

Determining the significance of this graphic illustration is an exercise I leave to the reader.

Anyway, your last snippet of the year:

“I . . . don’t know.  If I can do it.”

“What do you fear?”

Mother and Father.  The soldiers.  Everyone else in the castle.  It was tricky enough sneaking away undetected every night.  But to bring someone else into the tunnels, even someone who could make himself disappear—that seemed like madness.

“I’m not afraid of anything.”

“Then will you help me?  As one friend to another?”

She looked to the castle again, at the King’s Tower, brown against the pale blue sky.  Her eyes narrowed as she considered.  Truly, what did she fear?  Why should she worry?  She had come this far without getting caught, had discovered wonders in the Winter Palace that no one else but Gan even dreamed of.  She owed him, no matter what Father might say.

“Just to look,” she said.

“Yes, of course.”

“Only for a few minutes.”

“A few minutes.  Then I must return to my home here.”

She closed her eyes.  “All right, Gan.  Meet me at the West Tower at sunset.”

When next we chat, the first draft should be done—unless, of course, I’m wrong about the length of this piece.  What are the odds?

On second thought, don’t answer that.

Write Club update:  A by-invitation antho project that I submitted to has apparently fallen through.  No publishers are interested.  A shame.  I thought it was a terrific concept.  Response time, 6 months.

Headlong into the new year . . .

Current Music: "Witch Hunt"--Rush

Progress Report, in which I make a belated Christmas wish

Busted out another 3K on “The Winter Palace,” bringing Magic Meter here:

Goes without saying that holiday disruptions put a crimp in the productivity, but I’m saying it, anyway.  If nothing else, these progress reports constitute a thorough catalog of every rationalization I’ve ever used.  Just another service we offer here.  (You’re welcome.)

Alert readers will notice that I’ve moved the goalposts, as is my wont when drafting.  I’m actually a bit doubtful I can bring this thing in at 8K.  I’m thinking 10K might be more likely, but a lot of that depends on my ending–which, of course, I don’t know yet.

So I have one week left in 2012, and would like very much to finish this first draft between now and then.  Consider it a belated Christmas wish.

No updates for Write Club.

Headlong into the end of the year . . .

Current Music: "Domination"--Pantera