What I’m up to for September and beyond

So far this month I’ve been up to… slacking off, feels like. Suddenly it’s the 3rd. What the heck happened to the last two days?

Well, family things happened. Meals needed to be cooked, people needed to be socialized with. I just think I could’ve spent my free time better. Gotta be more focused.

I did get some reading done, though. I read my first several Raymond Chandler stories, a Ross Rocklynne short story (Iron Man), and Seabury Quinn’s first Jules de Grandin story, The Horror on the Links. This is immediately relevant to my short term work goals so I suppose the last couple days weren’t entirely wasted, but man, I hate to make it several days into a month without writing a single word of fiction. It just feels like a crappy start to a fresh beginning.

Okay, enough beating myself up. Here’s what’s on deck.

In the immediate future, as in this week, I want to bang out two short stories. The first is a horror story in which I’m intentionally using “offensive” tropes. I may just publish that here without bothering to submit it anywhere. Depends how sarcastic I get I suppose. The second story is my first attempt at hard-boiled fiction, but in space! That’s why I’ve been reading Chandler. I’m definitely not aping his style but I do want to get that 30s feel. I have the setting half built in my mind already. Turns out it’s not that difficult to translate a lot of the social conditions of urban 1930s life to life in the early days of space colonization. I’m writing that story specifically to submit it to Cirsova magazine. So, fingers crossed it turns out well.

Also this week, I will submit the shortest story I’ve written since high school to a magazine. It ended up 2000 words on the dot. I haven’t read it since I finished it in July, but I think it’s a decent story.

Once the short stuff is out of the way, I’m moving on to getting serious about a trilogy I first dreamed up back in October or November last year. The first two books are roughly plotted (I don’t like to plot heavily) and I wrote a couple thousand words in each already, but ~98% of the work remains to be done. I have only a vague idea of what the third book will be about. I know that the main villain and the protagonist need to duke it out for good and all, but I have no idea how that’s going to happen.

I want to grind out the full trilogy by Christmas. That is, I want to have the first two books in a fairly polished state and be finished with the first draft of the third novel. If I can have the third polished too, great. I may also sneak in some short fiction work, maybe finish up some of my partial novelettes (I have a whole freaking pile of them) when I need a break from the longer stories. Or maybe I’ll write another couple short stories for submission.

Christmas is 114 days away, including today. I figure I need to write a minimum of approximately 250,000 words: eighty thousand words for each of the three novels, minus the ~4000 I already wrote, plus two 7,000 word short stories. That’s just 2193 words a day, writing every day. Piece of cake! If I can’t do that, I don’t deserve success.

I’m too tired to bother with it right now but after I get some sleep I’ll put up a status page and link to it in the blog menu. I’ll detail every day’s word count and where I’m at with each story there. Check it out if you want and feel free to heckle me when I inevitably fall behind in November.

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