The 2017 Writing Plan

Following on from the vague hand-waving generalized post about my plans for the year last week I thought that it would be a good idea to lay down my specific goals (writing wise) for the coming year so that at least they’re all down somewhere and they look more achievable.

Also apologies in advance, this is another unexpectedly long post…

Things that I mentioned in my last post that fall under the umbrella of ‘increased productivity’:

  • Finish the book I wrote last year well enough to get it critiqued
  • Finish another book – which book is yet to be determined
  • Writing one short story a month
  • Get as much detailed feedback as possible

In the interest of increasing my writing I will be trying to write at least 750 words every week day this year with as much as I can manage on the weekends: so far so good (he says barely a week in…)! There’ll be a bonus goal as well of reaching 5,000 words per week, which is something I managed last week and feels like a very healthy word-count for a week.

I have also put all the front runners for my current projects onto a separate page in the googledocs spreadsheet where I’m tracking my daily word count. It’s helped to get things straight in my mind and figure out where I want to be spending my efforts and putting on a deadline for when I want them done. One of the problems I had last year was that I would flit between projects so this should help solve that.

I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to put deadlines on my projects as I was worried that it might lead to me just getting stressed and putting my head in the sand but after reading this post on reddit I decided what the hell? I had a birthday deadline a year or so ago to get a story done for someone as a gift and I’m sure that last week was the most productive I’ve ever been, purely out of necessity.

Here’s a quick screenshot of most of what I’ve put together at the moment as it stood last Thursday:

plans

As you can see the spreadsheet currently has my projects roughly split into how long the project will be: so whether it’s a short story, novella, or novel.

After the working title and whether it’s in a series I’ve put the ‘elevator pitch’ just so I can keep track and make sure I remind myself what excited me about the project in the first place (sometimes the title isn’t enough).

Beyond that I’ve got a column for each stage and how far along I am with it (at the moment split into: Planning/First Draft/Second Draft/Third (if applicable)) with a deadline for the planning, first, and second draft stages.

The really low percentages for the planning stages are really just where the story’s been bouncing around in my head and I’ve got the rough idea of how I want the story to go. Not enough to write it but enough to have a clue what the story’s about.

I’ve set the columns with percentages in to change colour the closer they get to 100%. After all, it’s always nice to have a bit of green to show you’re on the right track!

But what am I actually planning to put work into this year?

You might be able to see above there are two front runners for new books:

Priest of Ashen Bones and The Wolves of No Man’s Land

Priest of Ashen Bones is the second in a series that I’m writing for a bit of fun – initially I started it to prove to myself I can write a book (which I did!) and it’s expanded a bit into (currently) a four book series. The world is populated by anthropomorphic animals and I’ve taken a bit of inspiration from the feel of the Malazan books for the setting.

The Wolves of No Man’s Land is an alternative history set in 1917 and a war-torn Ypres. I want this to be story of magical realism and have a monstrous, eldritch being feasting on both sides and how a wizard-cum-soldier might deal with that. I have a plan for what the creature is and what kind of magic is in the story and I’m excited about it but want to read up on the history a bit more before delving in too deeply (whilst being careful not to succumb to worldbuilders disease)

Before There Were Flames

This is a novella which I know I’ve mentioned before on here. I think it will be a novella because I want to keep the voice/prose sparse and I don’t know what kind of legs the story has yet so I’d rather keep it short and sweet rather than waffle on. The story is essentially the discovery of fire but with a bit of magical realism thrown in there too (looks like I’ve got a popular genre for the year then…)

I won’t go into the short stories because they will be many and varied. If I can keep up the writing schedule and keep putting out short stories then I will try and make sure that they move into genres I’ve not tried before but that’s as far as I want to plan them at the moment.

And there we have it: my current plans for 2017! That post was a bit longer than I thought it was going to be so for everyone that stuck with it – thank you!

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