And I have a battle plan.
I sat down over the last couple of days to work out a schedule for myself. The schedule is to keep up with everything I’m currently doing, plus leave room for all the extra writing I’ll need to do in the next two months. That includes an hour of solid, uninterrupted writing time from 9-10pm every night, and some fail safes to make sure I don’t get obsessed, lose sleep, and sacrifice productivity (because it’ll happen if I’m not careful).
(Like right now, when I meant to write this almost 3 hours ago and be in bed already.)
Here it is in a nutshell. In the next few days I want to take one more look at my query letter and synopsis, spend not more than 2 days on either of them, and find a few places to submit the werewuff novel to by Monday. Then I’m going to put those aside, and…
Begin outlining. I’ll probably tackle some character sheets and hammer out the first quarter to a third of the story line. Might try Snowflaking it, or Phasing it, or even using the cheat sheet I found for the Hollywood formula. Whatever will get me going. Since I’m currently planning to use my existing world with existing characters I won’t need to reinvent the wheel, though I will need to figure out those characters’ development for this particular story. Might take a couple of sandbox scenes to get a feel for where I’m going, but I should be able to get a good start. Then…
I’ll use the weekend to look over my outline notes so far, and attack some of my muses for some brainstorming. You know who you are. Consider this fair warning 😉
For week two I want to get through the next chunk of planning. Another quarter or third, which will get me to halfway or 2/3 through the outline. Really want to shoot for the 2/3 mark so I have time to rip it apart towards the end of the month and do some last minute research (if necessary). Again, I’ll use the weekend for review and muse abuse. Might take some time this second week to submit werewuffs again but that’ll depend on how busy I am and whether or not I’m feeling burnt out from outline madness. Which means…
In week three I want to get through most of the outline. If outlining is anything like writing the actual novel (and I wouldn’t know, because this is my first serious effort at outlining) the middle will be the most difficult to get through. If by this point I’ve made it through the middle slog of “wtf am I doing?” I should be able to pick up speed this week and get pretty close to finished with a rough outline. This is good, because…
Week four is going to be full of last minute panics as I try to make sure the outline I have is suitable for November’s frenzied writings. I specialize in coming up with spontaneous inspiration, so either I’ll spit polish the outline, or I’ll just have to wing it during the actual writing. Which will probably happen anyway, because I have an unfortunate habit of not following the plan. I want to avoid that this time though. No abandoning the plans.
If it turns out the planning won’t take me all month I want to plot a second book. I want to pick up my albino story again soon. It’s unique enough that I should be able to write and sell it a lot easier than my werewuffs. Also, that character has been ignored for far too long. She’s done taking up head space. She needs to be out in the world. Be free, nameless character. Go forth and make bad guys shake in their boots.
Be back in a few days to let you all know how I plan to work NaNo into my schedule this year. As much as I’d like it, I don’t think I could write 1667 words in just the one hour a night I’m allowing for writing in October. I’ll need a good two hours per day. Three, if I’m feeling especially unproductive (but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that). Those of you with kids and full time jobs, what did you do to succeed at NaNo? I haven’t pulled off a legitimate 50k since having the little man.
Meant to do a post last week. Totally forgot. It’s not even that I don’t have things to write about, because I do. Many, many things (just ask my followers on G+. heh). I think what it comes down to is I need to make a schedule for myself and stick to it. The reasons why, beyond simple remembrance to blog every now and then, will become clear in a moment.
I recently participated in a Pitch Madness contest on Twitter. The idea is to pitch your novel in 140 characters, minus the number needed for the hashtags you use, and see if you can catch the attention of an agent. I caught the attention of two junior agents at the same agency with this simple sentence:
“One night stand with a werewolf… what could possibly go wrong?”
Cheeky, and implies a fun tone to the novel. The only problem is, my novel is pretty dark. Yes, the protagonist has some serious laugh out loud moments throughout, but overall it’s not as lighthearted as that sentence makes it sound. People die. Blood happens (a lot). There are some seriously tense adult scenes. Hell the alpha meeting alone would drive off the faint of heart, and that happens in chapter 5.
Ultimately, I was turned down after submitting partials, but what made me decide to take a second look at my query letter and synopsis was the encouragement from one of the agents to keep submitting. She specifically mentioned that she wasn’t very into my werewolf politics: it wasn’t what she was hoping for out of the story, but I should keep seeking representation. To me, that says that the pitch and query weren’t properly constructed to tell an agent what’s in the manuscript. I gave her the wrong idea, and it cost me an opportunity.
So there’s that to work on. I also participated in ePublish Unum’s most recent Books and Beer hangout, and made the outlandish claim that I could plot, write, and start revising the sequel to my werewolf novel by early spring. Heh. So I guess that means I’m now publicly accountable to actually get that done. Full writing schedule, engage! Weeeeeee.
Be back to update you guys in a few days. Yes, a few days, and not a few weeks as keeps happening. That’s because I’m going to sit down and do what I said I’d do at the beginning of this post: make a freaking writing schedule! No more procrastinating! 🙂