First of all, what am I working towards? What's the bigger picture? I'm not even remotely tempted to think of these goals in terms of sales or rankings. Call me old fashioned, call me starry-eyed, but I really believe the best way to sell books is to write a really good story. So that's what I'm aiming for first and foremost. Here are my ideas for those stories:
1. Novella and/or novelette:
a. Novelette: For those of you familiar with my Whitfield world, over the course of writing Darkness I thought it might be neat to explore Asheroth's story. This will be a short historical piece exploring the events that made him into the creature he is today. It will also delve a bit into Whitfield's history and Caspia's mysterious ancestress.
b. Novella: The Resurrection of Blake House is the story that started it all. This Gothic romance provided the original setting for the town of Whitfield, and things just kind of mushroomed from there. For a variety of reasons I had to put it down, but I'd like to return to it and give it the attention it deserves.
2. New series launch:
I have ideas for two that I'm pretty excited about. One is already well defined and partially written. The other is a brand new idea that would challenge me more as a writer. I also don't think it's been done before, and that's always good. The best advice I've ever gotten in cases like this is to write them both, at least for a little while, and see which one fits.
Then there are the other parts of being a writer that aren't nearly as fun. Except blogging. I really like blogging. And Twitter. Twitter would totally beat up Facebook in a cage match. But the rest I'm working towards. You can probably tell this from my tone:
3. Some kind of formal book/ blog tour in support of the Gifted Blood trilogy. Still figuring this one out.
I love ROW80 because this is almost automatic, with bi-weekly check-ins built in. At least two blogs a week is a pretty realistic goal, but there's no law that says I have to stop there. Too much blogging can get in the way of word count writing, though. I suppose I should add something about social media in here, so yeah, that too.
5. Read and Review:
Read at least one book in my genre per week and write a review about it, even if it's a quick and dirty one hastily thrown up on Goodreads. (Did I mention my undying love for Goodreads?) I'm something of a compulsive reader, so I rarely have a problem meeting this. If anything, I have to monitor my reading and try not to go overboard.
So these are all fine goals, but what about the getting there part? You know, the breaking it down into manageable chunks part? Well, here's the nuts and bolts as I see them now:
6. The All-Important Word Count:
A weekly goal of four writing intensive days per week. Writing intensive means at least 1500 words per day. I'm leaving this flexible at this point, because some days this may mean freewriting or some other form of planning, or it may mean bleary-eyed four a.m. full chapter sprints. Whatever's needed, as long as it contributes to an actual project. A writing intensive day may be traded for at least one fully edited chapter, as needed.
1. Four writing intensive days (1500 wc) per week
2. Book/blog tour
3. Blogging! n' stuff
4. Read & review
The summary version seems way more manageable. But not as fun.
Have a great week everyone, and stay safe! -VK