Back in January I sat down and wrote a plan. That plan, more or less, said this is the year when you write all of the things. Then I made myself a list, which broken down what all the things were in roughly the order I wanted to write them.
It was an ambitious-as-hell list of stuff. Full of hope and shiny, happy unicorn spit, pristine in its gleaming awesomeness.Full of novellas, weirdly enough, ‘cause that’s the way my year was rolling. I had a bunch of novellas that were due, for various reasons, so I figured I’d go with the flow.
Now we’re into April and the list of all the things has been beaten around a little, the schedule thrown off track by computer problems and work problems and that whole moving-into-a-new-house thing.
That’s okay. I expected things to fall apart. In fact, I even built in time where I’d use the beginning of April to regroup and re-plan my year, figuring out what was still goddamn viable. Apparently my dream of being a self-employed hermit who never emerges from my bunker is not viable within the coming 9 months.
On the other hand, I’m still moderately convinced that a sizable chunk of my writing wish-list is achievable. Partially this is because a certain percentage of it needs to be achievable, because of deadlines, and partially because I just feel the need to get a keyboard beneath my fingers and start pounding out stories until it feels natural again.
With that in mind, I give you my 2014 accountability list – the ten projects I’m more-or-less committing to getting done by the end of the year.
It’s written. It’s submitted. I’ve drunk the celebratory beer. But the editorial letter came through on the weekend, outlining a bunch of problems with the MS, which means I’m diving back into rewrites this week in order to get things done. I’ve got about four weeks to process the changes and rewrite the bits that need writing. I’m spending two of those four weeks packing and moving to my shiny new digs. If you see me out in the wild, it’s possible I’m looking a little manic at the moment. What’s the novella about? Your basic urban fantasy featuring burnt-out hit men, gambling demons, hippie sorcerers, and trying to stop the apocalypse
2) Long Night at the Black Wolf
A short, serialised sword and sorcery novelette about a bunch of characters trapped in a remote Inn by evil fey. This one fucking terrifies me as a writer, since it’s a) written in third person, b) my first real attempt at a project that ties in to an existing world, and c) lets me check off one of the goals on my writing bucket-list that I seriously figured I’d ever get a chance to tick off. I have a fairly detailed pitch document, a shit-ton of notes, and a self-imposed deadline of April 30th.
Urban Fantasy Novella. The sequel to Exile. Occult hit-man Keith Murphy gets to deal with the fall-out of killing the man whose death could start Ragnarok. I’m due to turn this over to the Apocalypse Ink team on July 1st, which means it’s first cab off the rank once I’ve moved and set up a new writing space. Again with the occult hit men, demons and sorcerers, but this time they’ll have added bikies and Valkyries to keep me entertained.
Yep, another Urban Fantasy Novella, following on from Exile and Frost. The deadline for turning this one over isn’t until November, but I’m aiming a little earlier than that. Not entirely planned out yet, but I’ll fix that while writing Frost in May. I’m still putting together a plan for this one, but as one of the few things on this list that have a hard deadline, it’s occupying plenty of mental space.
5) Altered Pitch Document
A few years back my friend Kevin got into voice acting in a big way. He’s done some cool stuff since then, including serving as the voice of Judge Dread for Tin Man Games. Sometime last year he pitched the idea of working together on the pitch for an animated series, which has slowly evolved into the Altered project. Super-powers. Creepy shit. Rogue government agencies doing massive amounts of property damage.
Also known as Miriam Aster, book three. No, really. Really. Shut up. I can hear you laughing back there. I am for real, here.
7) Hot for Teacher
It’s come to my attention, in recent years, that I quite like romance novels. I’ve got a particular weakness for the Regency period, since Georgette Heyer was my gateway drug, but I’ve found authors I really like all over the romance spectrum. A while back I was talking the great Van Halen era of hair metal with romance writers/editors online, and the kernel of a novella idea kinda plunked into the back of my head. Weirdly excited to give this a go (especially since getting it done means I can finally go read Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series, which I’ve promised myself I won’t read until this is done).
8) Untitled Planetary Romance Project I
Ambitious lady detective. On Mars. With her Mad Profesor father and a rotund ex-Colonel for back-up. Another one of those projects I’ve been meaning to write forever, but the writer-mind just wasn’t in-gear. Then I took the idea to Kim Wilkin’s Novelist Bootcamp workshop at the writers center earlier this year, banged out a fairly solid plan for the first half of the book, and figured it’d make a nice chance-of-pace project between the urban fantasy novellas that are making up the bulk of my year.
9) Bad Wolf
A few weeks back, I picked up a copy of Death is No Obstacle, a collection of interviews with Michael Moorcock where he discusses the creation of several of his projects. He spends the first half of the book talking about structure a lot, and how his understanding of structure allowed him to do things like produce books in 3 to 10 days of furious writing with sufficient pre-planning. Later this year, when my schedule allowed it, I figured I’d take a week off work and give his approach a go with a genre where I know the structure really well (hard boiled detective stories) and werewolf tropes.
10) Space Bros! Project
This started as a joke with my flatmate, based on Mass Effect, where we envisioned a trio of Shepherd, Kaiden, and Garrus pissing about the universe, being kinda douche, and generally being awesome SPACE BROS! Then it occurred to me that I’d actually read the fuck out that story if it existed, and I’m actually in a position to make it exist. The sole thing on this list that doesn’t have any planning associated with it at all, but that should have changed by the time I get to work on it in December.