January Report

So the month is coming to an end and, in all honesty, it has been quite the ride in terms of both my reading and writing. As I mentioned in my end of December blogpost here, I had certain writing goals in mind that I was going to be sticking to for the new year and when I wrote everything down, my writing goals were quite ambitious. Later on, I posted here about my reading goals for the year as well and these two were equally ambitious, if not more so. Given that the first month is about to end, I thought I’d take the time to review those goals and see where I am currently in accomplishing those goals.

First off, I planned to write just short of 420,000 words for the year, which include my various for-publication fiction projects, my fan-fiction, my reviews, and my blogging. In that respect, here is a breakdown of how all of these projects have come together for January:

  1. Project: In The Emperor We Trust – I set myself the goal of getting done the sample chapters that Black Library requires for the submission process. The arbitrary decision made was to aim for somewhere in the region of 20,000 words across the three chapters. In nine days of actual writing, I wrote 20,025 words at an average of 2,225 words a day. Not too shabby really. In fact, I am quite happy with how this has turned out so far. This could have been much better certainly if some of my other work hadn’t interrupted or if I had procrastinated less (still working on that sadly) but still, this is quite an achievement for the project. The next target for February is going to be to write another 15,000 new words for chapters 3-6. That should totally be doable in the coming 29 days!
  2. Project: Salamanders Successors – No goals on this one really other than just doing whatever came to mind. Over the course of the entire month, I have written 1,228 words for this project which is really nothing in the grand scheme of things but it did keep me sort of busy at times. The background for the chapter is slowly coming together and so far at least I’m liking what I’m writing. The goal for February is going to be to write some short bios for the characters that I want to feature in my short story. Sounds like a little too much work I know, but I want to approach my writing very methodically this year and this is going to be a great help I feel.
  3. Project: Starfighter – The goals for this project were what the group set. The major goal for January was to outline the entire project and do some background writing, getting a feel for our setting, our characters, our factions and more besides. The way it turned out, I’m extremely happy with my progress on this. Over the course of the month, I’ve written 5,147 words for the planning phase, coming up with a six chapter outline for the novella that I am envisioning will be coming out to a grand total of 25,000 words in its final draft form. No actual writing has been done yet of course, but the reaction to the project outline has been quite positive and there are only a few minor, technical details that we need to work out. The goals for February are two-fold: by the 10th I have to revise the outline as agreed by the group and I would like to also write the first chapter at least of the novella, which I’m hoping will be somewhere in the region of 3,500-4,000 words. Will see how that pans out.
  4. 24FPS Movie Reviews – The goals, as outline in December, were to write two reviews a month at an average word-count of 1,300 words. I have, quite impressively even for myself, written three reviews totalling 4,341 words which means the average word-count has been 1,447 per review. I am surprised myself. Turns out that I’m starting to make my reviews a bit more methodical as I go along, talking a bit more in-depth about my likes and dislikes and addressing the things that people look for all in all reviews: pacing, characterisation, story, acting, etc. The reviews aren’t perfect since I’m quite early in the learning phase still but I’m hoping to improve as I go along. The goal for February is largely unchanged: two reviews at an average word-count of 1,400 words. From where I’m standing, that looks totally doable. You can find a list of all my currently published and incoming reviews here.
  5. The Founding Fields Reviews – The goal originally was to do five reviews a month at an average word-count of 1,300 words which is what I came up with after eyeballing the length of my previous reviews by memory (I couldn’t be arsed to go and actually check). As it turns out, I’ve written seven reviews (with six of them having been published) totalling 10,596 words which means they have averaged out to roughly ~1500 words per review. Yes, once again I’m quite surprised at myself for having written so much and for having so much to write about. I wrote two of my biggest reviews as well this month (1,867 and 2,171). This means I’ve written quite a lot but hey, I like going in so much depth for my reviews! The goal for February is largely unchanged as well: five reviews at an average word-count of 1,400 words. Again, this should be easily achieved. I hope. We shall see!
  6. Sons of Corax Fan-fiction – I confess, this has been my most disappointing performance this month. The idea was to write and publish one chapter each month at an average word-count of 2,800 words. This one I failed at completely because I never published the chapter that I started writing, or finished it either. The chapter currently stands just short of a 1,000 words. Given the bad performance, I’m amending the goals for the fan-fiction to writing and publishing a single chapter every two months at an average word-count of 2,500 words. This means that for February I have to finish the current chapter and post it on the Bolthole. It would probably help if I got out of my not-being-able-to-write-fan-fic fun and actually was able to write coherently!
  7. The Blog – The idea was to put out two blogposts a month, averaging at 1,250 words per blogpost. Holy shit did I knock that one out of the park! I did get the “required” (translation: I wanted to) two blogposts done, but they have ended up clocking at a total of 6,578 words and therefore averaging 3,289 words each. Damn. This is perhaps the biggest surprise. I could not have imagined before that I would actually have that much material to talk about in something as normal as a blogpost! Keeping this in mind, the goal for February hasn’t changed a bit. Things are normal on this front because, well, some things have to be normal! Also, I set up several new pages on the blog as well and they have some text in them too but I’m not counting them because that would be, well and truly, extremely silly. (Note: this blogpost itself should be counted in the word-count too!)
  8. Project: Generations – This one hasn’t received much attention this month, clocking in at just a little fewer than 1,900 words. That said, I think I like how this is going so far, story-wise that is. I originally had some 1,200 words already written down from December but that plotline was becoming a real head-ache to write, especially since I was drawing too much from Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts’s first Empire novel – Daughter of the Empire. Inspiration is all good and fine until you start to literally copy the same scene and that was starting to really, really bother me. So the story has been completely reimagined and so far at least it is quite original. The goal for February is to write some 1,500 words for this so the project can progress and I can actually, you know, get around to sending it soon!
  9. Bloghole – This was originally not on the cards, definitely not. But since I’m handling so much of the blog at the moment, I thought why not track what I’m actually doing for it? Turns out that I have written just shy of 5,000 words for the Bolthole blog and this includes my December Artwork Round-up post and also all the interviews I wrote this month. I ended up writing seven author interviews as it stands and two of them are quite big, and I mean, quite big. There really is no goal for this for February really since I’m not even sure how any of it will pan out, but I am still going to be writing an artwork post for January and maybe more author interviews and maybe even a guest post or two. Will see how that works out.

In short, the summary of all of the above is that I have written, in the first month, a total of 55,712 words (not counting this very blogpost and the book review I’m going to be writing tomorrow). This puts me at quite within reach of my stated goal of 420,000 words by the end of the year and if I actually keep up the current pace, I could even write close to 675,000 words! But you know what, that is just damn crazy. I would like very much to have a life outside of writing like all the other fine writist folk I know and I know for damn sure that in the coming months, there are going to be entire weeks where I get zero writing done, for one reason or the other. So yeah, that’s that!

Moving on to my reading, the goal for 2012 is to read 200 books, audio dramas, novellas, anthologies etc. One thing I’ve realised is that this goal is extremely ambitious and therefore to make things easier for myself, I’m going to be counting stand-alone short stories as separate item. Additionally, any books that are part of omnibuses shall be counted separately as well. If any short-stories are a part of said omnibus, then I am going to count them on a case-by-case basis. That means that if a theoretical omnibus has say one short story, then it is not going to count towards the goal. However, if the theoretical omnibus has two sort stories or more, then I will count them all together as one item. This seems rather fair to me and the few people I have talked to about this, they agree as well.

As it currently stands, I have either read or heard seven books/audio dramas so far. Quite a paltry total when compared against my goal, with said goal implying that I need to nearly double that total to sixteen! But, then again, Adam Christopher’s Empire State and Anne Lyle’s Alchemist of Souls have been nearly twice the size of the typical Black Library book. Trust me, these are B-I-G books, or rather eARCs I should say. At the moment, I am not partial to counting such weighty novels as doubles because, again, it strikes me very silly to do so. A novel is a novel, whether it is Rob Sanders’s excellent Legion of the Damned or George R. R. Martin’s extremely long A Game of Thrones. Although, in all fairness, the latter should really be considered a double since it is so damn HUGE. And that one, I have in print.

You can find my reading list for the next few days (probably the next two months!) over here. As of this post, I’m still waiting for my March/April release packages from Black Library. It seems that since my address is a postal address, there was some problem in mailing the packages but I am informed that this has been fixed (or will be I guess) and that I should be getting these packages soon. I can’t wait! Dan’s Horus Heresy: Know No Fear sounds by all accounts (editorial and authorial) that it is just plain fan-frikkin-tastic and after having spent so much time on twitter and elsewhere talking with Josh Reynolds, I am quite excited about his Knight of the Blazing Sun as well, not to mention that Graham’s first omnibus for the year (he has SEVERAL coming out) is also out in March, The Iron Warriors Omnibus. Fun, fun!

So yeah, that’s where I am at right now. The reading is going along nicely since I’m not too bothered by the goal and I’m progressing at a comfortable pace since I rather need to balance my reading and reviewing!

Posted on January 31, 2012, in 24FPS, Age of Dusk, Book Reviews, General, In The Emperor We Trust, Review Central, Sons of Corax, Submissions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Good luck with this. : ) A heroic undertaking!

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  2. That’s a hell of a goal mate. :) My best to you on this!

    CP

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