2013 – What Now? Some Resolutions Maybe?
Posted by AJ
So the New Year has come and gone. The end of the second week is almost upon us. And so far, it’s been a somewhat lazy, yet productive month. Also one that has been spectacular in a few ways. It’s also time to make some new resolutions and challenges. So let’s get to it.
2013 Writing Challenge
Last year was pretty damn fantastic on this count. I had set myself the target of ~420,000-words. It all worked out better than I expected as I ended up writing more than 510,000-words. Fan-frikkin-tastic. I met most of my goals as started in that previous blogpost, or came close to them, except to finish my 2011 NaNoWriMo novel tentatively titled Raven and Blood. To be honest I’m not sure what to do about it. I might get to it this year. The book needs a serious rewrite. It’s mostly terrible and that’s the best thing I can say about it.
Anyways, here’s what I’m planning for 2013.
Dharamyoddha: Warrior of Faith
This is the novella that I worked on last year, an original piece that is an urban fantasy story inspired by Indian mythology. I finished the first draft of this in September and it’s been sitting on my hard drives since, waiting for some serious editing. Time away from this project has been good I think and I’m read to get back into the swing of things for this. For 2013, I want to revise the whole thing properly and start shopping it around.
Dharamsankat: Crisis of Faith
This is a short story set in the world I’m creating for my Vikram Chauhan stories (he is the protagonist for Dharamyoddha). Friend and author Tim Marquitz is editing an upcoming anthology, UF: The Manifesto, for Angelic Knight Press and submissions are from 15th January to 15th May. I’m definitely going to be submitting to this. It’s a perfect opportunity and motivation for me to finish editing on Dharamyoddha and start Dharamsankat. I hope to have both things done by end of February at the latest. Another friend, Nick Sharps, is also submitting to the anthology, and that’s some good motivation too since he’s already finished his first draft! Overachiever!
Ragnarok Chronicles #1: Cloak of Secrecy
This is the novel that I started writing for the 2012 NaNoWriMo. I didn’t quite get to the 70,000-words mark I was aiming in my challenge post from 2012, but I still did pretty good at it, ending the month with 64,000-words. Since NaNo, I’ve added a little over 3,700-words to this, most of them this month. I’m aiming to finish this project by end of February as well so I can spend the next couple months on revisions and refinement. The goal for 2013 is to have a finished draft of the novel that can be shopped around starting in January 2014. More on this as time allows.
Writing this whole piece has been very rewarding so far and while I’m not quite at the point where I’m completely satisfied with how it’s developing (matched against what I want to do), it’s still fun to tap into Norse-mythology and bring it forward into a space opera with cross-dimensional travel, spaceships, spies, et all, in a very Star Wars/Star Trek style of things.
Last year was the last opportunity for people to submit novel pitches to Black Library. From this year out, they are no longer holding 3-month open submission windows. Instead, they will be doing themed anthology windows at some point. It’s a little disheartening to hear that they haven’t yet gotten through all of last year’s submissions (submissions editor Laurie Goulding mentioned 3,000 entries!) since I sent off my pitches at the end of June. Ah well. Shall see how all that develops. Considering all of this, I don’t have any plans at the moment to write anything for Black Library this year. If an opportunity comes up, I’ll definitely step in and whip up a pitch as they require, as long as my other projects don’t suffer.
Sons of Corax FanFic
This was another area of my writing that I wish I had been able to do successfully. But it didn’t work out at all. I hit a huge stumbling block in the story and I just couldn’t get around it, even though I had a semi-outline of how things needed to progress. I’d initially thought that writing fanfic would be easy, but I was woefully unprepared to take this story to conclusion. I might get a start on this and finish out the whole current arc of the story this year, but that’s a big might. Fanfic doesn’t seem quite as big a deal anymore to me sadly.
In my 2012 resolutions post I said that I needed to and wanted to blog more. I started off the year quite well and by the time it ended, the blog is in a much better place than I could have ever imagined. I did editorials/essays at least once a month on average. I did monthly writing reports to keep track of of how things were progressing. And in September I launched my Names: A New Perspective guest post series where I invited several debut authors (initially) and then long-established ones to talk about the significance of names in their works, and what their naming processes were like. I posted several short reviews to the blog as part of my Advent Calendar 2012 Project. The response has been absolutely mind-blowing. I ended 2011 with ~6,000 page views. I ended 2012 with ~11,000 page views, year-to-year.
The key to running a blog successfully is to talk about things that you are really passionate about, and to occasionally provide a different voice by inviting other folks to come hang out. That’s what it looks like to me at least. I’ve myself been featured on three different blogs: A Fantastical Librarian, Bookworm Blues, and the Hugo Award-winning SF Signal. It has been a year of firsts and accomplishments plenty.
Also, as I’m sure most of you have noticed, I’ve been tinkering around with the tabs at the top of the blog for the last three weeks, adding in lots of new stuff and streamlining a few things. This will continue on for at least the next few weeks as well, so keep an eye out and if you have any feedback, let me know.
Hoping for an even better 2013!
The Founding Fields
The standout achievement of last year: I did a total of 157 reviews last year (includes guest reviews and reviews on the blog). That’s a stunning achievement if there ever was one. Within a couple weeks or so of each other, I posted my 100th review to date, and my 100th review of 2012. Another milestone. I contributed several guest reviews as well, for the above mentioned blogs, as well as some more. It’s been a year where I have slowly raised my profile and have come to proudly stand next to reviewers I respect, admire, and am friends with. I still have a long way to go, there’s no denying it, especially when it comes to improving myself and getting better at doing reviews, but I can see with certainty that I am on the right path.
Another achievement last year for me was that my review for Nathan Long’s first original novel, Jane Carver of Waar, was quoted in the sequel Swords of Waar. I gushed about this here. Things just keep getting better and better, don’t they!
The aim for 2013 is to be a bit more professional this year, and more consistent. Additionally, I’m working out the details for a short guest post series for the site, given the response to Names: A New Perspective, and the wish to do something for The Founding Fields. More on that as things develop, but keep an eye out on the site. We have a major redesign coming up soon, and we’ve already expanded our scope of posts to include cover art reveals, press releases, and sharing news in the writing world, whether it be for comics or novels or whatever.
24 FPS, or, Just Beyond Infinity
I didn’t do enough on this as I wanted to. I set myself the goal to do 2 reviews a month, 24 reviews total, but I never hit close to that mark. Resolving to make 2013 different. In case you didn’t know, Paul also redesigned the site to include more than just movies news and reviews (24 FPS is now called Just Beyond Infinity by the way), and while things have been slow there, they should pick up soon. I’ll keep you all updated about it.
I’ve had two successful years of this, and I don’t see why I can’t have another. I wanted to do Camp-NaNoWriMo too last year but it didn’t work out. I’m definitely gonna do the main event in November, but also plan on doing the “prep” event as well. I actually am not sure what projects I will cover for either of the events, but assuming that Cloak of Secrecy is completed on time by November (or mostly completed even), I’d like to get started on the sequel to it (yes, I’m already thinking of doing a sequel!). For the “prep” event, I’d like to get started on the first Vikram Chauhan novel, which I’m tentatively calling Dharamachakra: Wheel of Faith. This is the one that has the original story ideas I came up for the protagonist over summer last year, set in both Los Angels and Mumbai in turn. I’m very, very excited about the whole thing and I’m looking forward to getting a start on this.
So yeah, that’s me for 2013 as far as writing is concerned. I’m not going to set myself individual target word-counts for each project. I find that, in retrospective, to be a bit silly. It’s too…. restricting and stifling at times. What I’m set to do though, is to have done at least 450,000 words by the end of the year. A big, meta target so to speak. I’ve already seen that I can easily meet the same word-count in the middle of the eleventh month, and finish the year way over it, so there’s no reason for me to aim any lower than what I am. 450,000 words it is. Fiction and non-fiction, with hopefully more completed fiction projects than 2012.
2013 Reading Challenge
In my 2012 Reading Goals post last year I said that I wanted to read 200 novels, novellas and short stories (also listen to audio dramas). Things worked out far better than I expected, as I ended the year with a challenge counter reading of 402/402. Of course, a lot of this was down to reading tons of comics as well, but as it stands, counting just the novels and comics trades-sized collections alone, I’m at 196/200 so I definitely hit the goal if you wanna look at it that way. You can find my “consolidated” reading list here.
The goal for 2013 is to do 250 novels, audio dramas, novellas, short stories, and comics. I’ll maintain a full list of course for month-to-month tracking, and then consolidate the list as I did for last year to see where I end up. I have less reading time this year actually than last since my work hours are now longer and I want to focus more on my writing, so I’m not sure how far I’ll get for this. Hitting the 250 mark should be easy though, regardless. We shall see.
I’ve already drawn lists of some of the books I want to read this year, which include, but are not limited to:
For the series, I’m going to aim to read at least 23 entries on there (first books minimum) since I’m also participating in singer and songwriter John Anealio’s 23-for-13 creative challenge where he is aiming to release 23 new songs in the new year. He’s asking for people to join him in this, whether they want to create songs, write short stories, read books, or whatever else like blogposts and video games and so on. Come join us!
For the releases, I’m aiming to read at least half the books I have on there. They all sound really fantastic, and there’s a lot of buzz about several of them already, especially debut works. Should be a fun year!
Posted on January 12, 2013, in 2012 Reading Challenge, 2012 Writing Challenge, 2013 Reading Challenge, 2013 Writing Challenge, 24FPS, Book Reviews, Comics News, Comics Reviews, Debut Authors Guest Series, General, Guest Posts, Monthly Reports, NaNoWriMo, Original Work, Review Central, Self-publishing, Sons of Corax, Submissions, The Founding Fields and tagged 2013 Reading Challenge, 2013 Writing Challenge, Black Library, Book Reviews, Cloak of Secrecy, Comics Reviews, Dharamsankat: Crisis of Faith, Dharamyoddha: Warrior of Faith, FanFic, General, Guest Posts, Just Beyond Infinity, Monthly Reports, NaNoWriMo, Original Work, Ragnarok Chronicles, Review Central, Reviews, Self-publishing, Sons of Corax, Submissions, The Blog, The Founding Fields. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.