Well, as usual I’ve completely ignored any kind of logical progress toward clearly defined goals. Last year, I decided to go easy on myself and just make it my goal to keep writing and keep learning. That, at least, I’ve done.
Writing-wise, I finished the first draft of my 2008 NaNo, HUNTED MOON, around March. I still haven’t finished the second draft though. For some reason I’m completely bogged down on the antagonist parts, perhaps because they’re merely plot devices and not people to me in the same way the main characters are. Sigh. It still needs a lot of work.
While I was waiting for HUNTED MOON to cool, I attacked NYX again, trying to get past my obsessive tweaking and get some real work done. Working on NYX, I realized that feeling my way forward wasn’t working for me, so I wrote an outline. Surprise! It’s a trilogy. It’s not my fault; I only read epic fantasy as a child and the series structure is imprinted on my brain.
Over the summer I also worked on what was supposed to be a short story with a July anthology submission deadline. But I just couldn’t get the structure to glue together, so I let the deadline go screaming past. I looked at it again recently and decided it’s probably a novel too, or perhaps a novella. Oh well, I never wanted to be a short story writer anyway.
I also came up with the first seed of this year’s NaNo over the summer. As always, NaNoWriMo gave me a good kick in the butt as far as writing goes. I managed to finish a complete draft of my 2009 NaNo, SWORD AND KNIFE, by the middle of December. It’s also the longest piece I’ve ever written at 100,000 words and counting.
This year, especially November, has been all about trying new things and expanding my writing comfort zone. I took on some really big thematic ideas in NYX, I tried to write a short story this summer, and with SWORD AND KNIFE I tackled epic fantasy for the first time in years, as well as multiple first person narrators. I doubt all these experiments will pay off by themselves, but I’ve learned a lot just trying new things. All I really want is to be able to look at my most recent story and see that it’s better than the one before that. And I have confidence that the next one will be even better.
That’s all I’m really trying to do in 2010. I want to get better, and the way to do that is to keep writing. I want to learn how to revise this year, and I want to always be producing new ideas. I want to continue to learn about the art and craft and business of writing. I want to read more, both new and old. Pretty simple on the surface, but it’ll be a lot of hard work, I guarantee. And a lot of fun.
Happy New Year and good luck to you, whether you have your own list of goals or not :)