Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Just-Under-The-Wire Post

             So, end of the year (by mere minutes, in some places).  We all know what that means.  Time to cash out the register, put the chairs up, and turn the lights out for the last time. 
            Well, the last time in 2014, anyway.
            It’s also a good time to look back at what we accomplished in the past year.  It’s fine to read a lot of books and online help and tips (like those offered here), but at the end of the day... we need to write. It all comes down to that.  If I’m not writing... well, I’m not much of a writer.
            So.... what did I write this year?
            Most of this year was devoted to The Fold, my upcoming sci-fi/ mystery/ horror novel.  It was a rough project, to say the least.  I put it through about six drafts myself because I didn’t really know what the story was for a while (I knew the plot, yeah, but the story really floundered there for a while). And then my editor pointed out a bunch of stuff and it went through two more drafts past that.  Getting that one book into good shape was about eight months of the year.  Look for it on June 2nd of this year.  It’s my first hardcover and I’m... well, mildly terrified.
            I was incredibly flattered to be invited to an X-Files anthology.  It was one of my favorite shows in the ‘90s and I have tons of memories associated with it.  I believe you’ll get to read “The Beast of Little Hill” in March, along with other stories by some much better-known  authors.
            I also polished up “Bedtime Story,” a little piece for the re-release of an anthology called Corrupts Absolutely.  It’s about superheroes gone bad.  I had to pass on the anthology the first time around because of other commitments, but with the re-release the editor wanted some new stories and asked if I was still interested.  I think you’ll see that in a few months, too.
            And since October or so I’ve been working on Ex-Isle, the fifth book in the Ex-Heroes series.  It’s a bit of an experiment, on a few levels, because I’m approaching it in a way that’s all new to me.  You’ll probably get a post at some point next year talking about it a bit (and whether or not it worked for me)
            Scattered through the year I did half a dozen written interviews with different sources that talked about writing, including a great one that just appeared in Albedo One.  I did a dozen posts over on my geeky hobby blog (a pathetically low number). And there was a guest post on my gaming club’s page about Chaos and storytelling and expectations.
            Then, of course, there were forty-one ranty posts here.  Better than last year, but still not as good as I’ve done at some points in the past.
            All in all, that’s not too bad.  But I’ll be honest—I’m hoping to do a lot more in 2015.  I already have a bunch of projects lined up, plus one or two things I’m hoping to squeeze in during my free time. There were some headaches that stressed me out and slowed me down this year, and without them gnawing at me for a large chunk of the year I think I can be much more productive.
            How about you?  What did you get done this year?  Everything you wanted?  Most of what you wanted? 
            If not, what was slowing you down?  Don’t make excuses—be honest with yourself.  As I’ve said before, it’s impossible to make progress if I can’t look honestly at mywriting.  So why didn’t these things get done?
            Let’s all think about that as we make our New Year’s resolutions.
            That being said, Happy New Year to you all.  Be responsible, don’t drink and drive, and kiss someone you love when the clock strikes twelve.  I’ll see you all again in 2015.
            And after you wake up tomorrow...
            Write.

6 comments:

Jayro Boy said...

Hey, I know you might get a lot of suggestions for your books and stuff, but i was just thinking the other day about the ex series and i realized there isn't a speedster on your team. Not even a dead one. Is there any particular reason for that?
Thanks for the attention

Virtual Stranger said...

Hey, Jayro,

Well, there isn't a dead one you've heard of (although it's been shown that Banzai was pretty fast when she was alive). There also isn't a telepath, a telekinetic, a cryokinetic, a plastic/elastic hero, a teleporter...

It's just the nature of the format. Marvel and DC have had decades and literally thousands of issues to introduce all sorts of heroes and villians. I've only had four books which have a very limited focus.

But who knows... maybe some of those super-samurais have survived over in Japan.

Matt Black said...

In 2014... I FINISHED MY FIRST NOVEL... well the first draft of it anyway, but HELL YEAH.

Your advice on this blog has been extremely helpful as well. Sometimes I have to tear myself away because with the links in posts I read one after another after another after... but thanks for all the advice and I can't wait for The Fold!

Good luck this year!


P.S. I have no suggestions but I have written a bit of what you might call fan-fiction for the Ex series (all less that 2000 words) in my spare time. Titles are:

Ex-tortion
Ex-orcist
Ex-pendables
Ex-machina

Casey Poma said...

I finished the first draft of a realistic contemporary novel that I'll leave to be in a mess for a while. Made two short films and finished working on an album and EP. Going to dive into 2015 wanting to finish the third draft of my comedy-fantasy novel and then give to it to betas to see what they think! That seems like a realistic goal. Agent-search will probably commence next year!

Misty Daugherty said...

The fifth book really is taking a very long time to come out, and you sound completely uncertain about it, more like you are experimenting with it, dabbling with it, but that it might not even come out. Are you working toward a particular time goal?

Virtual Stranger said...

The fifth book isn't taking that long when you consider there's another novel, some short stories, half a dozen written interviews, and over forty blog posts between it and the last one...

...as this post kind of explains, step by step.