Well, it’s time to think about my goals for round two of A Round of Words in 80 Days. Head over there is you don’t know what it is. It’s just a fun way of getting work done and helping others, giving and receiving support, etc. It starts on April 4th, ends on June 23rd.
Basically, the “rules” state that you go on your blog, state your goals, and then check in twice a week and let folks know how you’re doing. Usually people make goals like, “I will right __ words per day,” or “I will write for __ hours per day.” I don’t really work like that. I work best by having milestones in my particular projects that I work for, and I set dates to reach them. Having a daily word count works sometimes for me, but not always. I like to write until I get tired, then work on another aspect of the project to refresh myself, and then I get back to the writing. So some days I can get a ton of writing done while on others, I do more research or editing, etc. Anyway, that’s how I work, and I suspect any other writer reading this will have a different way of working. We’re all different, it’s what makes life interesting.
So, my goals for this round:
1) Have a first draft of my science fiction short story done by April 14th. This means a good first draft, one that I won’t be too ashamed of having people read and critique. Right now, I’m about half there. On or before April 14th, I will be letting some “trusted readers” have a go at it. They’ll let me know how much it sucks, why it sucks, and maybe even some tidbits on how it might not suck so much (believe me, they will…).
2) Start planning next story while first one is out for critique. From about April 14-20th or so, I will start planning the next story. I try to get a basic idea of what the story will be about, and the major characters. A lot of it comes to me during the actual writing, so I’ll still have work to do as far as that goes, but I just need to get the basic gist down so I can start work. I will probably do a little research at this time too, to make sure I know what the hell I’m talking about.
3) Work on 2nd draft of first story. Once I get critiques back, I will work on the second draft (I call it that, it is actually closer to the third draft), fix things up, tighten, do all those fun editing things. Then, on May 7th or so, I will send that draft to another set of “trusted readers” who will tear it apart (but hopefully less than the first set, since the goal was to make the story BETTER than the first draft).
4) Really look at the idea for the second story and make sure it is feasible. Start writing, if it works. Self explanatory. I’ll be doing this until most of the critiques of first story, draft 2 are in. Probably until Friday, May 13th.
5) Fix the hopefully small things in draft two of story one, and then let the story sit while I work on something else. Hopefully, this means writing on my second short story. I also want to use this time to catch up on some of my reading, which I am finding less and less time for these days.
6) Take a good hard look at the first story, make sure it is what I want it to be. Then, send it out. I want the story out of my house around May 31.
7) Work on second story until the end of round 2. And then rinse, lather, repeat.
There will be things that happen during these 80 days that I don’t have listed here, such as:
Receive rejection letter from editor. Violently curse his lack of taste. Send the manuscript to next editor.
Go to conference. Try not to puke on or otherwise make ass of self in front of Donald Maass.
But if I gave you all of those details, it would get boring…