Friday, June 24, 2016

My answer to: what should I work on next? / Happenings In The Outhouse 24-June-2016

No matter where I'm at in a current project, I'm always thinking about the next one and more.

As I've said before, I find it difficult to plan meticulously each and every book for 12 months in advance because not only do my interests change, so does the landscape of the publishing industry.  My plan for the rest of this year is to finish the current work-in-progress, Book 4 of Central Division Series, and then I have two more seasonal stories to write/publish.  One is set around Halloween and the other Christmas.

Those are a priority.  The ticking time bomb is off and running.

Afterwards, I had planned on writing book 5 . . . until I realized I had, two years ago, written the first book in a trilogy: The Shadowkill Trilogy.

So, after the two seasonal stories, my plan is to write the final two stories to finish out the series.

Afterwards, I'm exploring putting the four books in the Central Division Series in a box set.  Pretty sure The Shadowkill Trilogy will go into a box set too.

Ideas, ideas, ideas . . .

Plans, plans, plans . . .

Keep 'em coming.  Because I have other projects waiting in the wings.

(Hint: I even have two superhero series rolling around in my mind - very exciting!)

Friday, June 17, 2016

The tortoise revisited / Happenings In The Outhouse 16-June-2016

Almost four years ago I wrote a blog post titled "Lessons from a tortoise."

I re-read it again recently as I looked at the state of publishing and how everyone (well, not quite everyone) is preaching the gospel of "Write faster!  Write faster!"

I still believe what I wrote.  And it's as applicable today as it was back then.

Each writer is different.  Each writer has various life skills, talents, methods, and external forces that make each writer unique.

To me, the mantra of writing faster is equivalent to acting like the hare in the race.  Now, if it works for you, go for it.  I won't deny one's unique writing style.  But it's not for everyone, and writing fast doesn't necessarily mean you will succeed--and this has nothing to do with all fast writing is crap; I don't believe that for a second.

Being the tortoise means writing steady and consistently.  I don't care how you break down your writing tasks.  Back in college, I used to write X amount of pages in a day.  My first goal was to write one page.  Then I moved it to two . . . and so on.  Whatever you use for your goal is fine for you, as long as you do it consistently.

If you only have twenty minutes to write each day, do it.  Write with all your heart for those twenty minutes.  Over time, those words will add up.

Be the tortoise.  Speeding quickly towards something is not necessarily the key to success.  Keeping at something for a long period of time is your best shot at success (and I'm talking career success, not success on a single book).  Keep your eye on the finish line.  The finish line is your goal.

Because no one can read your book (or books) if it's not finished.

Friday, June 10, 2016

When all else fails, re-read what you have written / Happenings In The Outhouse 10-June-2016

Something happened when I hit the 20,000 word mark on the latest thriller: I stalled.  I didn't write for a few days (life happens, you know?) and then I struggled with where I wanted to go.

The fourth novel in my Central Division Series is going very well, and I know where I want to go from here.

But I need to fill in the gaps.

So, I decided to go back through my book so far, chapter by chapter, and re-read it.  I'm making notes as I go, to see where I had made promises, created clues that I forgot about, and in one instance changed to District Attorney's name and gender.

If you find yourself stalling, wondering what to write next, may I make a suggestion to try this.  It may work for you.  It may not.

But doing something is better than nothing.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Adjusting the summer schedule / Happenings In The Outhouse 03-June-2016

Summer is here.

And so are the kids.

Which means the schedule I keep nine months out of the year has to dramatically change.

Such is life.  When it comes to planning my week, I take into account various appointments I need to be at so I know how much I will be able to accomplish in that time.  It's not easy at times, and even some last-minute events throw everything out of whack.

I still find time to write almost every single day, even if it's a few hundred words.

I'm keeping it short today.  I am roughly 20,000 words into the fourth novel in the Central Division Series.  It's going very well, with the help of my new mode in outlining.  Not sure if that's the key to it all or if it's just that I'm getting better at this.

Could be a combination of both, if you ask me.