Posted by AJ
November ended a few days ago, and so far this year, it was my busiest month ever, in terms of writing; busiest by far, as you’ll see after the break.
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 October, I was very close to both of those goals, having crossed the ~377,100-word mark, and was still ahead on the reading goals, as I was at 304/400 on September 30th. You can find the October report here.
2012 Writing Challenge
- Project: Hammer of Shadows – This project was put on hold for the month since I wanted to focus exclusively on NaNoWriMo as far as fiction writing goes. That still stands for the moment. Truth is, what I was writing wasn’t really matching against my vision of what I wanted this short story to be (I know, it’s only a short story!). I’m very disappointed with myself that I’m having trouble with this so much. So just as with a previous short story I was writing in the same world, and later abandoned, I’m putting this one to the side. I suppose my Raven & Blood setting needs a lot of effort to make things work as I want them to. Sigh.
- Project: Dharmayoddha – I’m anticipating getting back to the edits on this one in January. I’m most definitely not setting this one to the side. I like the whole project too much to give up on it, not to mention that this is my first completed (zero draft) story that I actually believe in. So yeah.
- Project: Cloak of Secrecy – Well, what can I say. Turn of the clock on 30th November and I had a 64,001-word manuscript that is only about 45% of the final thing. Writing this novel so far has been an absolute blast and I’m quite proud of all I did. More so since I came within 1,500 words of matching last year’s NaNo story! I’m very elated about this. I’ve taken a full week off for now from all fiction writing, since the rigorous schedule for the month really tired me out. In strict terms, I wrote those 64,000 words in 28 days, not 30, since I took 2 days off in the middle due to traveling. So in that respect, a very brutal pace for me! I should have a a NaNo report blog up within a week, where I’ll talk more about the final stages. You can read my weekly updates however, which are already up – Week 1, Week 2, Week 3. The goal for the rest of the three weeks of December is to do 25,000 words. And I’m fairly certain that I can do that.
- The Founding Fields – November was a rough month for reviewing, since NaNo kept me very busy, but I still managed to push through 13 reviews all told (no guest reviews this month unfortunately). One of the big changes though was that I did most of the reviews on the day of, rather than the day before as is my usual practice. And even then, it was a fair struggle to do even that. On the review days, I had to make an even more of an effort for NaNo, and let me tell you, it’s not that easy to push out a minimum 2,000 words a day on a fiction project. With December, things are thankfully easier. Standard goals for the month, with the added objective of a “mini” review a day, as I mentioned here. 5 days of the series are already up, with plenty more to go. You can follow my progress on the Advent Calendar page here. By the way, I posted my longest review ever in November: “He-Man and The Masters of The Universe“, in which I reviewed 12 issues of the new DC reboot. It clocks in at just about 5,300-words!
- Just Beyond Infinity – Only a single review this month, for Skyfall, although I wanted to do one for Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 and Son of Sardar as well. Time was limited however, in keeping with the general theme of the month. Let’s see what December brings!
- The Blog – The last of the “first wave” posts for Names: A New Perspective went up in November – Stina Leicht, Elspeth Cooper, and David Annandale. It was an absolute blast to host all these authors on the blog, and to gain some measure of understanding of how they approach the topic. I also sent out a whole bunch of emails to authors for the “second wave” posts and have received a reply from most of them (will be following up on those who haven’t replied soon). The first of these is already up, and the next goes online tomorrow morning – Lee Collins and Bradley P. Beaulieu. Expect lots more in the coming weeks, especially since I’ve opened up the scope of the series to include long-established authors as well. 6 months, 2 years, 10 years, 20 years, doesn’t matter. Everyone is welcome! I also posted the third part of my Horus Heresy series, here, and I’m looking at doing a fourth and final post soon.
That’s all that happened in November. My fiction writing picked up immensely thanks to NaNo, and I draw the conclusion that this was just the kick I needed to push myself and do some real work of length. I really can’t talk enough about how happy all this novel writing made me, giving me a very excellent springboard for the last month of the year.
In total, the writing for the month amount to a grand total of ~95,400-words, which is almost three times as what I’ve done for any other month of the year. Excellent isn’t it? I’m supremely elated at this, you can be damn well sure of that. And you know what this means? This means that I broke well past my year’s target of 420,000-words, ending at a grand total of ~472,000-words. With everything that’s left for December, I should be well on my to ~520,000-words and that means I am super-awesome, if I do say so myself, which I very well do!
2012 Reading Challenge
Reading this month was really, really slow. I hit a pretty rough patch in the middle of the month on my trip to India, and that lasted for about 10 days. I read a bunch of comics in that time but just could not, for the love of me, focus on reading any novels! NaNoWriMo was a serious bummer in that regard and I’m personally behind on some of my specific self-imposed reading goals, not to mention rather behind on moving through my digital pile of ARC’s. I’m sort of panicking at the moment!
Reading all the comics at least helped me meet my stated goal from the October Report, and I ended up at 352/400 (target was 350/400). I barely made it as it were. Just a mere 8 novels a month is hardly my kind of speed! Looking to improve things for this month and read a lot more novels. Going to be a slog still, but I’m confident that I can hit it.
Let’s see! The countdown to 2013 is on!
By the way, I just want to say that picking my 6 picks of the month for comics was absolutely tough. I read way too many great-awesome comics and I was really undecided on which ones to pick. While I have to put them in “Top 3” and “Honourable Mentions” categories, just consider all six pics to be the absolute best.
Honourable Mention [Comics]: Magic The Gathering: Spell Thief #4 by Matt Forbeck, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol.2 #10 by Brian Michael Bendis, and New 52: Batman #14 by Scott Snyder.
Some new acquisitions –
The two Spiritwalker novels, Cold Magic and Cold Fire, by Kate Elliot. I’ve been interacting with Kate on Twitter/Facebook for quite a while and she is always insightful in her commentary on genre fiction. Plus, these books come highly recommended from various sources.
The two Dreamblood novels, The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun by N. K. Jemisin. I’ve already read (and reviewed) the first book. Looking forward to the second one!
Engineering Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan. A much talked about SF anthology, published by Solaris, who haven’t led me astray yet. I do have the “sequel” anthology, Edge of Infinity, as well.
The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye. Lyndsay will be featured on Names: A New Perspective soon, and I got the novel for that purpose. Even if I don’t get around to it in time, I do plan on going through it soon.
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, the first Kingkiller Chronicle novel. Highly recommended so why not.
The entire range of Blackest Night comics, courtesy of a Thanksgiving sale on Comixology Really looking forward to this highly recommended (again!) crossover series.
Posted on December 7, 2012, in 2012 Reading Challenge, 2012 Writing Challenge, 24FPS, Book Reviews, Comics Reviews, Debut Authors Guest Series, General, Guest Posts, Monthly Reports, NaNoWriMo, Original Work, The Founding Fields and tagged 2012 Debuts, 2012 Reading Challenge, 2012 Writing Challenge, Book Reviews, Debut Authors Guest Series, Fantasy, Guest Posts, Indian Mythology, Just Beyond Infinity, Movie Reviews, Names A New Perspective, Norse Mythology, Original Work, Project Cloak of Secrecy, Sons of Corax, The Founding Fields. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.