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December 1st, 2013, 09:21 PM #1
DECEMBER: Now is the winter of our discontent.
dis-con-tent: A restless longing for better circumstances. Something as writers we should allow ourselves to be. Embrace it, and use that feeling of discontentment to push your craft to the next level.
Welcome to the December motivation thread.
This year has been a hodgepodge of success and failure for me. I've had 4 months where I have not written a drop, but the other 7 have produced 40,000 words. That is more that I have written in the past 20 years. Those 40,000 words would not have happened if I had not stumbled upon the January motivation thread 11 months ago. My thanks to all have participated throughout the past year, this place has kept me from throwing the towel in a couple of times throughout the year.
For myself I am pledging another 10k for this month, which will allow me to close out the year with a nicely rounded 50k; half of what I really wanted to accomplish when I started.
So feel free to post your goals for December, recap your November, and if you are inclined, ramble on about your entire year. (I may not comment directly about everything, but I have read every post you guys have made in these threads, so never fear that no one is reading about your plight.)
December 1st, 2013, 10:03 PM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
- caught in the whirlwind of my imagination
Thanks for starting us off Steve! And yes, I am discontent!
My November could have gone much better than it did. In the last year I wrote 5 drafts of a novel, not all of them in their entirety but far enough and different enough from the previous and succeeding to be called a draft. At least for me. Anyways, I brought that all to a close in early October by getting the story to a point where I am not only happy, but also very pleased with it, both in the big ways of plot and character and in the technical ways of grammar and sentence structure. I have to give a big thanks to those over in the workshop thread who have read my story and given me feedback. I know there remains lots of room for improvement, however it is as good as it is now because of them.
That said, I spent the second half of October and all of November trying to recover from the flurry of writing I did in the previous months (I think I spent 13 months writing 5 drafts and that's the fastest I've written a book to the level I've taken it so far). I don't know how it happened but, somehow, I managed to write 1/3 of the chapter count in the sequel to my novel.
However, I feel I could have, and should have, done more with my November. Outside of the sequel I have been trying to finish up one book all month and am now in the last 40 pages, smack dab in the middle of the climax. And I'm having trouble just finishing. I also have a few other books I would like to read in the very near future, but those aren't going to happen any quicker either. Further, I am working on a review for Jasoninchina that was put up in the workshop thread. I did not do NaNo so I should have been able to get that back to him but, alas, I am still working on it. Back to writing, I am also trying to work on a side project to my main story and there is a raging battle going on inside me over which will be finished first.
With that context, my goals for this final month are:
- Complete chapters 9--12 of Book 2 (currently halfway through chapter 9)
- Finish reading Jason's story and return to him with comments by midnight December 14
- Solidify plot of side story
- Enjoy the Holiday season with friends and family
- Finish the last 40 pages of my fun, reading book
Written out like that it seems like a lot. And here I was thinking I was going easier on myself with the first one because of the Holidays and then I'm tacking on all the rest? Like I said, I should have been better in November.
December 1st, 2013, 10:57 PM #3
I'm nearly caught up on my yearly word count goal after NaNo, at nearly 180k words at the end of November. I'd like to get another 20k for December, if I can make it work. Looking back now, if I'd have concentrated, I could have written two complete novels, instead of spreading those words around short stories.
Lessons learned, and all that.
So, my goals for the last month of 2013:
- Write 20,000 words towards current novel
- Get back to Jason with feedback of his novel
- Look at the possibility of attempting a novel in the Dark Crystal contest (Thank goodness all they need at first is a short story!)
- Reread the Norse novel, track how much work is still required and gameplan for future of that series
December 1st, 2013, 11:04 PM #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2012
My plans for December:
1. Take a break for a day or two.
2. Republish a short story I initially released under a pseudonym under this name.
3. Start rewriting Horror Movie now NaNoWriMo is done. Christmas will be busy, but hopefully I can have a readable and complete draft by the end of January.
4. Finish one or two of the five unfinished short stories I began last month.
December 2nd, 2013, 12:52 AM #5
- Join Date
- Mar 2012
- Haikou, China
I might live in China, but I definitely have many things to be thankful for. And one of them is this forum. In December of last year, I said to myself, "Jason, you have always wanted to be a writer. Now you have a baby on the way. This is it. Best get to work." And twelves months later I have completed three novels, started a fourth, and written one short story - totaling 315,000 words. My daughter is six months old today, and while I have not accomplished everything I have sought out to accomplish, I am proud of the habits and skills I have learned in the last year. And a big part of that is due to the kind words and advice of many forum members. Thank you.
As for this month, I'm trying things a little different. I'm putting my novel aside. I may pick it back up later on, but the outline needs work. Instead, I will be focusing on my third novel, writing some short stories, and developing some new novel-length stories. I have chosen to write a few short stories this month (let's say four), because I believe it will help me work on my craft. In the last year, my ability to create a story has improve quite a bit. However, I feel that I have much to learn when it comes to putting those ideas on the page. So by writing short form for a while, I hope to have an opportunity to work on my 'execution' skills. Not how to cut off someone's head, but instead how to put those words onto the page in a clear, concise, descriptive, engaging manner.
1. Begin revising Specters of the Mind's Eye. (Probably start mid-Dec.)
2. Write four short stories, one each week. (I tend not to understand short stories, so I've been reading more short stories lately)
3. Continue developing two new novel-length stories. One is maybe 40% there, the other 5%.
4. Stave off Christmas-less depression. (Not a writing goal, but hey, I can't write if I'm depressed. Or can I?)
5. Read at least four books (I have the constant feeling that I haven't read enough.)
Go luck to everyone with their goals. Remember me fondly during your holiday festivities.
December 2nd, 2013, 01:09 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
- SF Bay Area
My first goal for December is to edit to completion the short story I wrote in November. I wrote it purely as an exercise in finishing and I intend to edit it purely as an exercise in editing. The story is junk and I don't plan to rescue it from itself. It's enough to have begun writing.
My second goal is to finish a second short story I started in November. This one I'd like to share more widely, maybe enter into the forum's Nov-Dec contest if the year end permits.
December 2nd, 2013, 06:05 AM #7
I'm going to try to get my submission pack together for the Angry Robot open door before it closes at the end of December.
December 2nd, 2013, 06:59 AM #8
Hi, my name's Andrew and I'm a writer.
[INSERT YOUR SYMPATHETIC GREETING HERE]
I've had a good 2013 overall, but since mid-October things have been less so. I finished my first novel then and trying to go straight into another big project failed miserably and derailed my writing efforts generally. I've come to a few decisions as a result, which may or may not count as my "writing" objectives for the last month of the year.
- Write approximately 16,000 words (my standard goal-per-month, which I think I've failed to hit since September), specifically:
- Resume efforts on my dropped NaNo project, a steampunk adventure, to begin "publishing" online between January and July
- Write entries for the forum's current short story and flash fiction contests
- Finish three publicity pieces for a mini blog tour
- Redraft my entry to a "flash suite" competition to make the central concept more comprehensible (deadline December 16th)
- Flesh out concept notes for several long projects with the intention of completing at least two in 2014 (likely to be a sequel to that first novel, plus guest)
Finally, one more that should really be my main goal:
- Revise a whole bunch of old short stories, bundle them into a collection to self-publish. I'm not getting them sold, in fact I've stopped subbing many of them, and I want to clear decks and sail on to new territories
If I managed that one and none of the others, I'd actually be okay with that - but I also want to be able to hit the ground running on January 1st, so getting back into the daily flow would be a good idea. I'm coming to the end of my second year of supposedly full-time writing, and unless I begin to generate a regular income (however small) through it I'll have to bite the bullet and reconsider real world employment this time next year. Maybe. Consider it, anyway...
Last edited by Noumenon; December 2nd, 2013 at 07:11 AM.
December 2nd, 2013, 08:43 AM #9
Discontent is seeing how many gotcha's the editor found even after me and a team of readers (several writers like myself) poured over my novel "Tracks". Yes, my December has been written for me as last night I got back the initial editor's pass. Nothing huge or unexpected, but the devil always loves those details. Two week deadline to get it back, so the wifey becomes a writer's widow for a time.
So, my goal for December is rather obvious - get 'er done. Hope to advance my current WIP by a few chapters as well.
December 2nd, 2013, 10:04 AM #10
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
- Northern California
- Blog Entries
I am thankful to have finished a handful of short stories, and one novella. I also managed to get out the anthology for the forum (go us!). Most importantly, I am happy to have distracted myself enough from my failed novel to not think about it for about a year.
For this month, I'd like to
- self-publish a short story (my terrible princess story - why, you may ask? - so that I can stop thinking about it, I guess) and
- finish another short I started on a whim last week. It is a re-imagining of Grimm's Brother and Sister tale. I really like the story that is in my head and I hope it comes out well.
Other than that, I will be happy to just see more reviews for the anthology before the end of the year.
December 2nd, 2013, 12:19 PM #11
I'm not feeling TOO discontent. I think I got all my crap out in November. The submission deadline for the story that blocked me has passed, and I'm free of it. The editing phase of the anthology I'm editing is going to be done in a day or two (KNOCK ON WOOD). I'm free to dive in to other things!
Those things will be, I hope:
1) To write a 7500-10,000 word "short story" as a pitch for my Dark Crystal novel.
2) To write a short story for the forum contest.
That's it. I will not over-reach. I went to my first-ever Science Fiction convention this weekend and fielded like five queries for editing jobs, so on the chance I take on a new novel this month, I can't expect to get much more than 15,000 words written this month!
December 2nd, 2013, 12:21 PM #12
- Join Date
- Mar 2012
December 2nd, 2013, 05:03 PM #13
Thanks for the suggestion, EMG, a few of my more substantial ones might stand alone. I've mulled over a few options through the year, like doing multiple mini-collections mixing a few short and flash pieces in each, for example; or pairing off the shorts and having a just-the-flashes collection (if its total word count was 10k, say).
December 3rd, 2013, 04:38 AM #14
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- Landskrona, Sweden
I'm not too discontent either. My year has been similar (albeit with much fewer words) to Jason's. I sat down last year and figured that I want to be a writer, not just write a bit now and then for fun. And you guys have really helped me with getting started. So, thanks to you guys, I have:
- created a habit of writing every day
- completed the first draft of my first novel
- got a short story published in a major Swedish writing magazine
- started my second novel, got another short story shortlisted for an anthology
- and have, as of right now, written almost 140k words where my goal for the year was 120k.
December for me is going to be enforcing that habit:
- Write 750 words each day
- Finish FF for forum contest
- Finish Short Story for forum contest
- Start outlining next book
December 3rd, 2013, 08:32 AM #15
That is awesome imaster.
I'd lose to hear more chatter in these threads about people self publishing attempts, or their experiences with publishers who accept their short stories etc... these are all very "motivating" conversations for me.
How is the Anthology doing tmso?