Posted by AJ
Well that was October, sort of a hellish month in some respects, and sort of quite awesome too in other respects. Time really does fly by so fast and my procrastination, as always, steals a hefty chunk of it.
Anyways, to do a small recap of my goals for the year,
- Write ~420,000 words of both fiction (various submissions and novel projects) and non-fiction (reviews and blogposts).
- Read 400 novels, comics, novellas, stand-alone short stories (still not sure if these SHOULD be included) and listen to some audio dramas and audiobooks.
At the end of September, I had made some serious progress towards both of those goals, having crossed the ~337,000-word mark, and was still ahead on the reading goals, as I was at 257/300 on September 30th. You can find the September report here.
2012 Writing Challenge
- Project: Hammer of Shadows – I am still not yet done with this short story. This is now starting to really bug me. So far I have stuck to the outline fairly closely and thus, fairly closely to what I wanted the short story to be, but its just not coalescing together. Things aren’t clicking. Either the characters are too cliched or the dialogue is too boring. I did ~2,900-words on this but the quality isn’t just what I wanted it to be. Considering doing a rethink of the whole thing but that’s just a lot of time I end up losing for little benefit. Gonna put this one on the back burner for this month at least, since I’m invested big time in another project, one that’s flowing much better. Maybe my plans for this setting, which I created for last year’s NaNoWriMo, are just too unworkable at this stage and need a serious redesign. Given up already on another short story within the setting. Ah well, we shall see what December brings.
- Project: Dharmayoddha – Not much progress to report on this front either (I know, I know). I mostly just went through the first 5,000-words, identifying bits that need to be redone, and making more notes on stuff. No actual editing per se. The first draft is just the first draft still. Part of the whole funk was that I was traveling in the middle of the month, and was in India for about 8-9 days. Didn’t get any writing time in that period and what little I did get, I just didn’t have the drive to do any writing or editing. My lack of writing discipline really is showing through now. Need to buck up on this part! Going to try and see if I can do any editing on this for November but I don’t have any strong convictions that I’ll be able to do that. Which is all due to the next item on this list.
- Project: Cloak of Secrecy – I’m entering NaNoWriMo once more, after winning it last year. I’m aiming to put some of the stuff I learned last year and this year from all the writing I’ve done to good use for this project. I touched on this briefly a few days ago and as things stand at the moment, this project is going rather well. I have more than 4k words down, I have a full outline for this, unlike last year and I know how I want things to progress. Even at this early stage, there’s been a few surprises as I’ve written scenes I didn’t envision at the outlining stage last month with all the prep I hastily put together, some ~2,300-words together all told. Happy with this project, especially as I went to my first ever write-in yesterday, which was quite a fun little event. Stay tuned in the month. I’ll be talking more about the project soon. Norse mythology inspired space opera science fantasy ahoy!
- The Founding Fields – After the double milestones of September, I hit another one last month: my ever printed book quote, which happens to be for one of the best novels I’ve read this year, and from one of my favourite authors as well. I also wrote like 14 reviews last month, a mind-boggling number, which I blame on all the massive reading I’ve been doing of late. I’m giving this aspect of my writing more attention than what I really need to, but this really was my stepping stone of sorts so I think I can give it a pass for now. Things will hopefully be more relaxed next year! ~25,000 words worth of reviews, that is exhausting to write all that stuff. I was even late on a few reviews, and will likely be late on a few more this month. But its all holding together really well, and that’s what matters. One of the reviews was for the Bookworm Blue blog, Red Lanterns #0-12 by Peter Milligan, and my Before Watchmen guest review for Civilian Reader also went up around the same time.
- Just Beyond Infinity – 24FPS has gone through a bit of a make-over and a rebranding. The make-over must have galvanised by writing gears or something because I managed to do 2 movies last month, surprise surprise: Dredd 3D and Student Of The Year. Saw another movie or two as well but wasn’t motivated any to review them. Not as exciting stuff. Do look out for a review of the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, soon however. Should be going up in about a week or so, all things considered.
- The Blog – The inherent value of Names: A New Perspective really shone last month. The response to the series, whether it is the authors’ guest posts themselves, or the response from the “people out there” has been fantastic. Much more than I thought it would be. With the likes of Teresa Frohock, Helen Lowe, Anne Lyle, Courtney Schafer, Lou Morgan, Jeff Salyards, Gwenda Bond and Stina Leicht spending some time on the blog, it was like a female fantasy authors extravaganza or something. Funny how that worked out! Got several more guest posts waiting in the wings, more so since I’ve already sourced more authors in joining up, so November and December are BOTH going to be a lot of fun. I also posted an essay, based on a discussion I’d had previously with a couple friends, about reviewers reading what they know and one of the worst books I’ve read this year – What You Know And What You Don’t. Then there was a guest post by ME for the Bookworm Blues blog, where I talked about writer’s block. Very, very busy month with respect to blogging. Almost… daunting!
So that’s the lowdown for October. Fiction writing seems to be floundering quite a bit while the reviewing side of things is progressing apace. This is clearly something that needs to be addressed so that I can devote more time to my fiction writing, properly, and can finally put out something that I can then shop around. But that’s an objective to fix for the next year. This year things are already committed in most respects and I don’t want to step down from anything more, more than I already have at any rate.
In total, the writing for the month amount to a grand total of ~39,700-words, which is marginally more than what I did in September, and keeps me very much on target for the rest of the year. My total for the year so far is now just a bit under ~377,100-words. That means I’m just about 90% done with the goal of ~420,000-words and since it looks I’m hitting a better average than I need to, I just might be in a good position to go significantly over that original target. Which is good news indeed!
2012 Reading Challenge
Reading was slower last month, owing mostly to the fact that I pushed myself to finally begin that Dune-verse reading challenge with Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson’s Legends of Dune trilogy, which is a massive trilogy, about 2,300 pages or thereabouts. That slowed me down very much since it took me about 8 days to work through those 3 novels. So instead of hacking and slashing my way through World of WarCraft: Cataclysm it was that which proved to be my Achilles’ heel in that regard. Other than that, the month went swimmingly well, with lots of fantastic reads and some not quite so much. And finally a month where I didn’t stop in the middle of the novel too! That hasn’t happened for a while, which is good.
Bumping up the challenge to 400 was a good move, since I hit 300 last month and went over it to, ending at 304. Not as much reading as the month prior, but no less exciting for that fact. For some reason, even though I read a fair bit of comics in October, it kinda feels like I didn’t. Not sure why. Maybe it was that reading Legends of Dune meant I didn’t spend as much time reading comics in-between novels. Weird. But anyhow, that’s where things stand at the moment. Looking to hit 350/400 by the time the month’s up, which is going to be a real challenge considering that I’m also doing NaNoWriMo and I’m trying to hit 2k words each day for that. Shall see how things work out.
Top 3 – The Dead of Winter by Lee Collins, Star Wars: The Old Republic #4 – Annihilation by Drew Karpyshyn, and Jane Carver #2: Swords of Waar by Nathan Long.
Honourable Mentions – Deus Ex: Icarus Effect by James Swallow, Blood and Feathers by Lou Morgan, and and The Collector #2: The Wrong Goodbye by Chris F. Holm.
Top 3 [Comics]: Grimm Fairy Tales: Alice in Wonderland #1-6 by Raven Gregory, New 52: Birds of Prey #1-6 by Duane Swierczynski, and Angel & Faith Volume 2 by Christos Gage.
Honourable Mention [Comics]: New 52: I, Vampire by Joshua Hale Fialkov, Infinity Saga: Thanos Quest Vol.1 by Jim Starlin, and New 52: Teen Titans #1-6 by Scott Lobdell.
Another thought related to Legends of Dune. Need to be really careful when reading big novels like this. Having read this trilogy, I’m reasonably confident about starting on some of the big-fat epic fantasy novels now, stuff like Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time or some of Brandon Sanderson’s stuff, or getting back to George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, but it is still such a huge investment, especially for series that are so huge. Trilogies envisioned as trilogies work much better in this respect I think. We shall see what the future brings.
I might be continuing the Dune-verse read/reread this month with Sisterhood of Dune but I’m aiming to move through all the NetGalley ARCs that have been piling up for me, so I’m not sure on that front. Thankfully, a lot these novels sound like a lot of fun, and looks like it’ll be a science fiction heavy month this time around too, which is awesome.
Bring on November!
Some new acquisitions –
Dune Chronicles #8: Sandworms of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Don’t really need to say why
EVE: The Empyrean Age by Tony Gonzales. Another dip into video game related tie-in fiction. Always wanted to get into the EVE universe so this should be quite interesting.
Wonder Woman: Odyssey Vol.1 by J. Michael Straczynski. My first print comic purchase in like 12 years. Have heard a lot of good things about it and I’ve liked what I’ve read from JMS so far in other IPs so looking forward to this.
Silver Surfer: Devolution by Greg Pak. Pure impulse buy. Saw SS on the cover, wanted it.
Bel Dame Apocrypha #1: God’s War and Bel Dame Apocrypha #2: Infidel by Kameron Hurley. They were free, so what the hell. The first book is something I gave up on in September actually. Not sure why I did pick them up, eh.
Posted on November 4, 2012, in 2012 Reading Challenge, 2012 Writing Challenge, 24FPS, Book Reviews, Debut Authors Guest Series, Guest Posts, Monthly Reports, NaNoWriMo, Original Work, Review Central, The Founding Fields and tagged 2012 Debuts, 2012 Reading Challenge, 2012 Writing Challenge, Book Reviews, Fantasy, Guest Posts, Indian Mythology, Just Beyond Infinity, Movie Reviews, Norse Mythology, Original Work, Project Cloak of Secrecy, Project Dharmayoddha, Project Hammer of Shadows, Sons of Corax, The Founding Fields. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.