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On writing: my plans for 2013

December 29, 2012 10 comments

This year, I’ve decided to be approach my writing and the upcoming new year differently. In the past, I’ve pretty much just barreled into the year headlong, with no forethought and no clue to what I wanted to accomplish with my writing other than knowing that I wanted to write. All well and good, but I figured this year I’d try something that would help keep me focused and help me track my progress.

So here, in no particular order (that’s for you, DJ), are my writing goals for 2013:

  • Write a novel in a new genre (I’m a dark fiction/horror person typically).

  • Which one you might ask? Why a romance/love story, of course. What provoked me to stray so far away from my comfort zone? Well, in the past, I’ve had moments where I’ve felt compelled to write very short pieces of fiction (flash fiction to be exact) that were centered around love (check one out here and the other here if interested). But the real inspiration for this idea came to me over the last year as I spent time with my folks while my dad was ill. Sitting around with them and talking about their lives and how they met and all that happened over the years, it just seemed to lend itself to a beautiful love story. I have no idea if it will work, but I feel it strongly enough to give it a try.

  • Complete and edit Whispers.

  • This is a novel I started during NaNoWriMo 2010 and mostly finished during the months that followed. It’s a story about a young couple, their son, and an evil secret that forces them to face an ancient and malevolent force.

  • Write one new short story.

  • I’ve got many ideas, but I’m not sure which one I’ll choose, yet. I suspect I’ll just sit down and let inspiration take over.

  • Complete and edit The Last Descent,

  • This novel is about 2/3 complete and was written back in 1989/1990. I wrote it while I was waiting to hear back from publishers about my first book, The Light. (I talked about this way back here). It’s an apocalyptic story, one of those “end of the world” books, where people make some big mistakes and end up setting evil loose on unsuspecting world. It’s got a lot of great potential. My biggest obstacle so far has been trying to get my mind wrapped around the story as currently written so that I can figure out exactly where I was trying to go at the time. It will be a challenge, but if I can get it done I think it can be a great book.

  • Submit some of my work for publication.

  • My first attempt will be with Cemetery Dance Magazine, which is currently accepting unsolicited short story submissions. I have a few I think are pretty good, so I thought I would give it a try. I haven’t collected any rejection letters recently, so why not 🙂 Wish me luck!


Yes, these are pretty ambitious goals, but I figure the only way I’m going to get some serious writing done is if I set the bar high. If I don’t accomplish them all, well that will be okay, because even if I only accomplish a few of them I’ll have made tremendous progress. So, I plan to revisit these goals throughout the year and comment on how I’m doing. The prospect of doing so will, I hope, encourage me to do more of what I really want to do: write.

Anyone else setting goals for their writing next year?

–dp

On NaNoWriMo 2012: An update for those who wonder

December 11, 2012 9 comments

It’s December 12th. NaNoWriMo ended twelve days ago. On November 25th, I had reached over 42,000 words. The end was in sight. And then the world fell apart.

Late that Sunday night (the 25th), I received a phone call from sister that my father was in an ICU, suffering from double pneumonia. I left for the airport around midnight so I could make it to the hospital that following day. Later that week, on November 30th, my father passed away. I wrote about this in my personal blog, which you can read here if you want.

Needless to say, during those couple of weeks, NaNoWriMo was the last thing on my mind. Even now, in the grand scheme of things, it seems pretty unimportant. But the truth is, it would have been nice to finish this year so that I “won”. But considering all that has happened, I’m going to be nice and just give myself an honorary “win”. November will return again next year.

Now I just need to care about writing again. For the moment, the passion has waned. But I’m sure it will come back … eventually.

–dp