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Apr 2, 2011 - Round of Words    2 Comments

#ROW80 Round Two – The Goals

So, another round of ROW80 is upon us. And now it’s time to come up with some specific goals to work toward for this round.

I may add to this list of goals, but for the moment I’m going to go with the following:

Complete a short story by the end of every month – I don’t really have an option with this goal. I’ve made a booking with my editor to submit a short story at the end of every month, so I need to get those stories written.

Get Gears of Wonderland to beta readers by the end of May – Another goal I don’t really have an option with. The novel has been booked in for editing in mid-August, so to ensure I have enough time to get beta reader feedback and make any necessary changes, I need to get it into their hands by the end of May.

Complete another drabble collection – I have half the stories I need to publish another drabble collection (zombies), and this collection is also booked in with my editor. I may not get to publish it during round two (the booking is for mid-June), but I can get everything ready to roll when the editing is done.

Make at least three blog posts a week – This isn’t as many posts as it sounds. One post a week is updating my ROW80 progress. One post will be story exerpts. Which just leaves one general post to make.

So, those are my ROW80 goals for the moment. They may change as the round progresses, but we’ll see 🙂

Click here to find out who else is jumping into the ROW80 pool.

Mar 25, 2011 - Round of Words    9 Comments

#ROW80 Week 12 – The End (Round 1)

Oops. Don’t you hate it when you think you have a few more days than you actually have 🙂

For some reason, when I wrote last Sunday’s post I thought there was still a full seven days left for round 1 of ROW80. Of course, thinking about it that doesn’t make sense, since then it would be 84 days (12 x 7), and not 80 days.

Never mind. I made good progress for my weekly goal of finishing off the short story. I still have a couple of thousand words left (I’ve got to throw out one scene now that I’ve thought about the world more, and made some changes to my initial thoughts), but I should get it finished this weekend. Which was my original goal for the week 🙂

So, now that ROW80 is over, how did I do? Not that great, but not a total failure either.

Write at least X words on my WIP a week – At the start I had a weekly goal for my current WIP (the novel On Ice). I reduced that goal after my vacation ended and I returned to work, then ended up abandoning the goal altogether so I could focus on editing Gears of Wonderland.

Write one drabble (100-word story) a day – This lasted for a month, then I got a bit burned out on writing them. On the plus side, I wrote enough drabbles for one collection, and I’ve got about half the drabbles I need for a second collection.

Publish one drabble collection – This was completed (The Vampire Drabbles – it rocks, go buy it 😉 ).

Complete one short story (~5k words) a month – Not done. I finished one story, and should have a second done by the end of this week. So I don’t consider it a total loss.

Publish at least one short story – Done! Originally I was going to publish the short stories in twin-packs, but in the end I decided to just publish them individually. The first story is out – The Outsider (it also rocks – go buy it as well 😉 )

Finish second draft of Gears of Wonderland – Not even close. I’ve done the first 5 chapters, but I’ve still got a long way to go.

While I can’t tick off most of the goals, overall I’m pretty happy. I managed to get two books finished and released, I’ve almost got a second short story finished, I’ve got a good number of drabbles toward the next collection, and I’ve at least started the second draft of Gears.

I haven’t figured out exactly what my round two goals are going to be. Now that I’ve booked my short stories in with an editor, I have hard deadlines for those (which means I won’t be able to get lax with writing them ;)) I want to get another drabble collection complete and released (the collection of zombie drabbles), and I need to get Gears out to beta readers. I’m still not sure how to structure that goal.

In an ideal world, I’d also like to get back to writing On Ice (I’d like to get it out by the start of December). But I’ll have to think about how I can include that goal.

Click here to see how everyone else went.

Mar 20, 2011 - Round of Words    12 Comments

#ROW80 Week 11 – Falling off the Boat

I haven’t updated my ROW80 progress for the last two weeks for a simple reason – I’ve fallen off the ROW80 boat. The last few weeks have been bad for writing for one reason or another, which is disappointing.

On the other hand, it has made me sit back and go “hang on a sec, what’s going on here?” I intend to turn things around, just not in time to reach the rest of my goals for the first round of ROW80.

However it’s not a total loss. I did managed to complete another ROW80 goal just over a week ago, by publishing my post-apocalyptic short story, The Outsider. It’s not setting the world ablaze with the number of sales it’s made so far (14 sales in 10 days), but I never expected it to. My plan is to write a series of stories in the same setting, with (hopefully) each new story helping the sales of the others. Time will tell – watch out for more Atomic Wasteland Tales on a Kindle near you 😉

So with the final week of ROW80 ahead, my sole goal is to get the first draft of the next Atomic Wasteland story finished. Fingers crossed!

See how much better everyone else has done at ROW80 this week here.

Feb 27, 2011 - Round of Words    4 Comments

#ROW80 Week 8 – Sigh

After having a good week last week by crossing off one goal from the list, this week was a bit of a disappointment. Since we’re starting to get near the end of this round of ROW80, I”m beginning to get a little concerned.

Write one drabble a day I only ended up writing three. I have been playing with the idea for the next collection of having 5-6 linked drabbles that fit together to form a narrative arc (the cause, and possible end, of the zombie apocalypse), in addition to the other drabbles. I think it might be a neat idea, although that isn’t based on any level of research 🙂

One ~5k short story a month I wrote another ~1,000 words on the paranormal story I jumped to last week, but neither this story nor the post-apocalyptic one I started previously are anywhere near the end. I think I’ll re-name this goal to be “Write three 5k+ stories by the end of ROW80”. That means I have March to finish both of them.

Publishing short stories This has inched closer. I heard from another beta reader just before I was going to send the story to the editor, and was able to incorporate her suggestions into the story. I should get the initial round of edits back this week, and will hopefully be able to publish the story either the end of this week or (more likely) next week.

Second draft of Gears of Wonderland – I didn’t get the three chapters done that I wanted to do, only managing to edit one. I’m beginning to realise I’m not a fast editor 😉 At this rate, there’s no way I’ll get the second draft finished by the end of ROW80, which is a concern. But I’ll see what this week brings.

So overall not a week I’m happy with. But I’d like to think that I can turn things around. I’ll find out in seven days!

Click here to see how well everyone else has done this week in ROW80.

Feb 20, 2011 - Round of Words    8 Comments

#ROW80 Week 7 – One Goal Crossed Off

I’m very happy with week 7 for ROW – I can finally cross one goal off as being totally completed! 🙂 Of course, to balance that out I didn’t do too well at one of my important goals for the week, but I’ll give myself a pass anyway 😉

Write one drabble a day Done! Many zombie short stories are starting to fill my Scrivener project for this collection. I’ve been hitting pretty close to the 100-word count this past week, usually only needing to delete a few words. I’m not entirely sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I guess my beta readers will decide when it comes time for them to take a look.

One ~5k short story a month This was kinda worked toward. I wrote another 1000 words on the story I started last week, and then wrote a few hundred words on a different story. I’m not sure which one I’ll actually finish this month… but I’ve only got 10 days to do it in 🙂

Publishing one drabble collection Done, dusted, completed, and ticked off! The Vampire Drabbles went on sale yesterday, and so far I’ve sold four copies. If you like vampire stories, and like flash fiction that is exactly 100-words long, please take a look. 🙂

Publishing short stories The first story, The Outsider, goes to the editor tomorrow. I had hoped to hear back from a few more beta readers, but so far they’ve been silent. I’m not sure if I should consider that a good thing (it’s fine, no feedback) or a bad thing (it really sucked, but they don’t want to tell me…) I will be interested to see how well it survives editing!

Second draft of Gears of Wonderland Again I didn’t complete much this week, only making partial headway into the next chapter. Again, I will resolve to finish up to the end of chapter 4 this week.

Two other items of note: I was interviewed by Keith C. Blackmore on his site (my first interview!), and there is only one more day to win a free copy of Helen Smith’s Three Sisters (click here for details).

Click here to see how others did this week at ROW80!