Posted by Layla Messner
Hello, and welcome to 2012. It’s going to be a great year! Do you have your writing (or other) goals/intentions articulated, yet? Here are mine.
FOCUS–2012 is going to be all about nurturing my creativity. My focus can be summed up thus: Don’t try; just be yourself. & don’t give up. Trust the characters, the story, and your creative process. (Stay tuned for related Molten update, at the end of this post.) Without further ado…
Author Goals 2012:
- Finish draft 12 of Molten
- Proofread-via-Kindle Molten
- Query Molten—at least 3/mo (total of 33 in 2012), or until I sign with literary agent
- Edit YA dystopian WIP
- Send draft 3 (or 4) of dystopian to betas
- Edit dystopian post-beta-feedback (no more than 3 additional drafts)
- Proofread-via-Kindle dystopian
- Book proposal for dystopian
- Submit/query dystopian
- Write, edit, and submit for publication at least one short story
- Draft a new novel
- And, of course, continue to build author-related relationships via social networking & blog
- Reading goal: Read 50 books (having never before counted my reads, this may turn out to be an insane goal for me; we’ll see)
1st Quarter Author Goals:
- Finish draft 13 of Molten
- Proofread-via-Kindle Molten
- 5-10 personalized queries for Molten
- (Optional) Draft creepy short story
- Send first round Molten queries
- (Optional) Synop for Molten
- Read straight through dystopian SNP
- Synop of dystopian (for me)
- Draft 2 of dystopian—structural + (optional) fill in blank spaces
- Draft 3 of dystopian—edit text all the way through (Beta-review draft)
- Send second round Molten queries
Peeking ahead to the 2nd quarter: While dystopian is with betas, write pitch & synop. Submit/pitch/query dystopian by end of May, at latest.
I planned to tell a long story about how I came to the realization I’m about to share, but I’ve been journaling all day and I’m tired, so I’ll just share the essence. On Jan 31–in other words, last year, but also just yesterday–I had a conversation with the hero of Molten. And he says he’s a vampire. The de-vamped experiment is thus over. I got three things out of the experiment: 1. I wished I’d written in present tense; I no longer do. I like the past-tense version. 2. I wasn’t sure I’d gotten up all the metaphorical bones of the story. After reviewing the novel, I’ve filled in the holes I found, but for the most part those were small. It hangs together as a whole. So well, in fact, that I havn’t been able to make the de-vamped plot work. 3. I’d come to doubt my choice to write a vampire book at this time. I no longer do. This is the story that came to me, and the story I want to write. I knew that when I started, and it’s good to be reminded. Molten is, in essence, a about a guy who will not give up on that which he loves. How can I do any less for him and his story?
This decision is reflected in the goals above. I ache a little about it–for the character possibilities I saw that will now never live, at least not in this book–but I think the ache is just part of the process.I remain, as always, willing to be wrong about this. If an epiphany to the contrary strikes, I’ll get back to you .
[Update, March 28, 2012: You know how I said I was willing to be wrong? Well Shortly after writing this, I began to dream about the de-vamped version, and I realized I had missed something obvious. There is an alternate vamp-free plot hiding in there, it just isn't exactly what I tried before. The best part is that since the changes come out of the Molten universe, they are fairly straightforward. For the bulk of the book, the words can stay the same, especially since I'm sticking with past tense. I did some more editing and now have the first 100 pages of this version available as well.]
p.s. Oh! I just realized I forgot to share a token person goal. Want to know what I’ll be up to in 2012? Well, I’d like to go on at least one in-person date. Wish me luck!
Posted by Layla Messner
Hi, all. Ready to wish adieu to 2011? I am. Starting with a review of the goals I set 365 days ago. (Original goal in black, notes in orange.)
1. Revise Book 1 and have it proofread. √ <– by which I mean, “check,” not “square root”
2. Query at least 3 agents/month until I gain representation. This goal is still in the works, so I’ll just sum it up by giving myself a √. Agent feedback prompted me to return to the manuscript to a) edit again for a stronger (quicker) opening, & b) see if the book can be re-written without the vampires.
Write Book 2. I wrote about 40K on this book, 20K of which I figured was usable, and which I also edited. Then I put it aside to attend to the above edits, especially since if I end up going with the de-vamped version, this sequel is unlikely to work.
Make money in writerly and writing-friendly ways. (Still clarifying the shape(s) this will take. In addition to novels, possibilities include coaching and copywriting.) Attempted. Got a job for a resume writing company. Hated it–felt it took mental energy from my novels. Decided to revaluate my budget to avoid need of this extra job.
5. Upgrade my website. √ Tried two new versions, actually. I <3 this one. Pretty, no?
6. Continue social networking. √
(Optional) Edit Book 2.
(Optional) Write, edit, and submit “experiment project.” This beginning of this project is in the metaphorical drawer. Maybe it’ll come out some day, maybe not.
In my mid-year goal review, I replaced this goal with “Draft YA dystopian Shiny New Project.” For this I get a √. Thanks to NaNoWriMo for getting me started. Thanks to me for finishing. *patting self on back*
9. Read good novels. √
My favorite reads of 2011: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead (yes, I know I’m a bit late in reading this,) the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong, & The Willows: Havenby Hope Collier.
On Goodreads? Compare favorite books with me at Goodreads.com/layla_messner.
Lastly, the two personal goalsI mentioned: “deep-self-listening practice” & “wear perfume.” √√ Two resounding successes.
Stay tuned tomorrow for 2012 Writing Goals and, in the meantime *sets off fireworks* enjoy the party.
p.s. My writing highlight of 2011: meeting 2500 wds/weekday goals from Nov 1 through Dec 20. What about you?