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2017 Writing Recap

How has a whole year passed already? It seems like I just posted the 2016 recap. Maybe I’m just getting old, or maybe time really is speeding up.

Anyway, on to the recap. I began 2017 by finishing the first draft of The Queen of Blood and Madness. This was followed closely the first draft of The Land of Monsters, my blog series. From there I jumped into The Forest Guardian.

I should probably mention here that the writing year didn’t go as planned. (Does it ever?)

Anyway, I worked on The Forest Guardian, got to about 40,000 words, came up with another idea, and started completely over. As spring moved into summer I put it aside (after reaching 40,000 words for a second time) and focused on the second draft of The Queen of Blood and Madness and the short story that goes with it, Shadow Sister, finishing both in June.

In July I began the second draft of The Land of Monsters, then put it aside to focus on revising a novel my publisher requested I write. I finished that one in late summer/early fall. As soon as it was finished I jumped back into The Forest Guardian, starting completely over again for a third time, and this time finally finishing the first draft in early October. With that novel finished, I picked up The Land of Monsters again, though I didn't quite manage to finish it by the end of December.

Also in the fall I edited all but three of my unpublished short stories, hoping to get them polished and sent out to magazines. I had one published in a free magazine called Blood Moon Rising 5: It’s About Time. Another short story, The Ageless Man of Screaming Rock, was published by Pro Se Productions.

My very first published story ever, The Lady of the Fog, was re-published in a lovely book by New Con Press. It was originally published by Visionary Tongue Magazine, and New Con Press looked back at 12 years’ worth of the magazine’s stories and picked their favorite 30, which were put into an anthology. Mine was one of the chosen ones (*happy squeal*). Also, they sent me both a hardcover and a paperback edition, so I officially have my first hardcover (*another happy squeal*).

In November I started the second draft of Rosethorn Manor, whose title will likely change. I am still working on this one. Also in November, I submitted my novel Jack of Crows to a major publisher. (Fingers crossed!)

My goal (for those paying attention), was to finish The Forest Guardian and also finish the first drafts of The Queen of Thorn and Ivy, The Last Mages of Greybrook, and The Land of Waking Dreams, as well as the novel I’m co-writing with Phillip Drayer Duncan. Unfortunately, none of those have happened.

But the good news is, I did lots and lots of editing, and polished up lots of novels and short stories I had sitting around. That’s one bad thing about writing so much. The work accumulates, and by the time I get around to editing I have so much stuff needing attention that it just feels like an insurmountable mountain. But I finished most of them, thank God, and can now get back to a more normal schedule of writing and editing.

Final word count for 2017: 238,513

So, on to 2018.

I begin the year by continuing my second draft of The Land of Monsters. I've had lots of new ideas for this one, so those of you who read the first draft in the blog series will find many things have changed. As soon as I finish this draft I'll focus on Rosethorn Manor again, and I'm hoping to finish that draft by the end of February.

That has me at the beginning of March finally starting The Queen of Thorn and Ivy and its companion short story, The Home of Forgotten Companions. My goal from there is to finish the first draft, then at long last start again on The Last Mages of Greybrook. This is the one about the large magical family. (I finally have a title!) While I’m writing it I will finish the second draft of The Queen of Thorn and Ivy.

After The Last Mages of Greybrook I will move on to The Myth of Light, finishing draft two of Mages while writing the first draft of Myth. After Myth I’ll start a novel I’m jokingly calling Medieval Scientist. While writing that one I’ll finish the second draft of Myth.

In between all of that I hope to write the many more short stories I have planned, and hopefully revise them, too. That part’s the key, revising them after writing. It’s a fine line, because I don’t want to revise them immediately after writing. That’s too soon. But I don’t want to wait too long, either. So I have to find the balance, and I’m not sure I’ve quite mastered that, yet.

I’m looking forward to 2018. If all goes according to plan, I will have at least one more novel published, and possibly a third. I’ll have another anthology released as well, and if I manage to stick to my schedule, I’ll write 4 novels and numerous short stories. That’s a schedule any writer can be proud of.

Now, back to writing.

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