Closing out this year

Well readers, friends, it’s pretty safe to say that 2020 has been a rough year for all of us.

Speaking for me, not the worst year of my life, but definitely in the top five.

So as we go to close this dumpster fire out, I thought to share what I’m up to as the New Year approaches.

I’m writing a lot. This started in earnest on the 21st of December; I’m working on a new, independent project. It’s an alternate history, the second book in a trilogy.. No, the first book has not been published. If it was, you all would surely know.

Here’s my tentative plan.

At some point in 2021 something will happen with this mystery project; when it does, I’d like to have three rough draft manuscripts ready to go. A complete rough-draft trilogy. I’ve never done anything like this, and I am unsure if other authors approach projects in this manner. The technique has the strength that all at once you can plan the complete arc of the trilogy; and because I have the time I can make this happen.

I’d like to be done no later than the end of March. This is feasible.

My planned word count for each of the RD manuscripts is about 85K; this leaves me room to develop and tweak the works as necessary. At some point an editor will step in; when this happens I’ll nip and tuck.

It would be nice for each novel to be somewhere north of 90k words, this is where my first trilogy ended up. It’s a book length I’m comfortable with, although my last completed project ran to about 110K.

So call it no less than 85k, no more than 100 odd. Once again, this is dependent upon feedback from my editing team.

In the time since I began the creative process on Book Two, I’ve banked some 17 odd K. This is me working at my average sustained rate of about 2k per day, or a rough chapter. Now, there are days when my rate is 0. There are other days when I freak out and write 6k. I try to avoid both extremes, 2 seems about right. Of course, with the demands of the holiday season, it can be tough to squeeze in a couple of thousand words.

I guess my secret sauce is my shot to hell irregular sleep patterns.

Don’t try this at home, is all I can say. Even with a steady diet of VA pills, I still sleep for shit. Why do you take them, you say. Well, if I didn’t I’d never enjoy more than a few hours uninterrupted sleep. And then you can’t do anything but stare at the wall. Been there, done that.

To get back to the subject, it’s a left-handed gift, these strange nights. None of them can be called typical, but I suppose that on average I wake up at twoish, grab some coffee, check email, etc. and start to write. There are no distractions at three in the morning!

It’s been my experience that I need four clear hours to get anything done. If my block of time is less than that, I don’t even start. Don’t know why that is, but these days I accept it and try to mold my work day around this four-hour window, crunching out 500 words per hour, approximately.

It’s important for me to set goals, so a goal that I have is to have Act I of book two in the bank by New Year’s Eve.

Happy to report that I am on track with that; I’m going through the beta process as we speak.

There are few things that are more enjoyable than to post your work on the cloud and get near instant feedback from a crew of dedicated readers. This. This is what makes retirement tolerable.

Or quarantine, for that matter.

Let’s not even go there. I was sick most of November, and have had the pleasure of watching my immediate family fall sick this month. So fantastic! Awesome sauce.

As you can probably imagine, it’s a great time to write, to stay busy.

At two thousand words per day, I’m making it happen.

To all of you who follow my work, thank you. To those of you I communicate with, double thanks.

And finally to my beta crew, mega thanks.

May all of you enjoy a good 2021.

6 thoughts on “Closing out this year

  1. Not a lot to celebrate in 2020 but there were some moments which I’ll climb on to float above the crap tide. Looking forward to your trilogy as well as the offerings of JB. Hope that it all pans out well for you.

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