Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Busy Year

2011 has been an eventful year, so much so that keeping up with this blog has been impossible.

One of the things that has kept me very busy has been writing. I have completed several short stories, edited 3 novels, and written two other novels. All in all a very profitable writing year. In particular, November was an incredible month. As a writer of speculative fiction, my manuscripts always exceed a hundred thousand words. I decided to participate in the National Novel Writing Month. Rather than stick the established goal of fifty thousand words, I decided to take the concept of writing a novel in a month and apply it to the epic fantasy genre. After much world building early in the year and writing the first volume of the series over the previous 4 months, I found I was ready. I have yet to read the result, but the rough draft topped out at just over a hundred and fifty thousand words. I have a policy of letting freshly finished manuscripts sit for at least a month or two before I look at them so I have no idea of the quality at this point.

A highlight of finishing that manuscript was that somewhere toward the end, I completed a million total words written. Well, I probably passed it a while I ago if I truly consider every bit of fiction I’ve ever written, but I’m just counting the items I’ve written with the intent to sell/publish. It was quite fun because the first thing I did after completing that manuscript was to go back to my first story, written in the early 90’s, and restore it to a format that is readable. I wrote with pen and paper back then and had a family member type it up. That was before I even owned a computer, something hard for those who know me now to imagine. It is good to be able to look back on something I wrote twenty years ago and still like it. It had some failures, but it was not a total loss. It is still fun to read.

My aims for writing have changed dramatically this year. At the beginning of the year I was continuing to try to seek a traditional agent/publisher to get my stories out there. But as I have looked at the type of stories I write and the market and what agents are looking for and how long it takes to submit to publishers, not to mention the many established writers who are turning from that old standard, I have decided that self-publishing, the modern way, is a much better fit. I won’t claim I am good enough to be the next Isaac Asimov or Terry Brooks, but from the feed back I’ve gotten, I’m no Ed Wood either. That first story was good enough to land me a screenwriting agent (and I can still see why) and I’ve only gotten better since then. Rather than continue to wait on someone to take a chance on me, I am going to take a chance on myself.

I have three novels and a short story collection ready for final proofing and publication so that is what will happen in the coming year. First the short story collection, which I think has its final title - Edge of Hyperspace. I’m working on what stories to include (I’m actually in the middle of writing one specifically for the collection) and editing them (for what seems like the tenth time in some cases) and sorting them into a cohesive unit. Once the editing is finished (with e-publishing is it ever really finished?), then it is time to format it, upload it, and make it live. It should prove to be an interesting adventure for 2012.

The business continues, but so too should the blogging. For 2012, I would like to return to writing something every month at a minimum.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.