Yeah…so about that…Mass Effect 3

So, it’s been much more than a week since I updated the ol’ blog here, and I apologize for that. All I can say in my defense is that things have been a little busy around here…and yes, I got Mass Effect 3. Look, there’s a galaxy in dire need of saving and I don’t have very good self-control when it comes to actually putting down the controller once it’s been picked up.

I’m thoroughly in love with the world of Mass Effect. Its just good sci fi. Well written, awesome characters and some real good emotional engagement. I’d pre-ordered the game, but I was committed to doing another play-through of 1 and 2 before I dug into 3, just so I was ready and had what I thought was the “correct” story progress when I started. I should never have opened the package. From that point on it was a lost cause and FemShep was on the job again, meaning that I was no longer on the job.

In non-video game related topics, I made it out of February with 23,000 words finished. While that fell a little short of my 25,000 word goal I still feel pretty good about myself. Impervious has 16 full chapters completed, which is more than I’ve ever written on one story before. Ok, I may have written way more words, in total, for City of the Sorcerers, but most of that was rewriting things that I’d already written. Impervious continues to make steady progress at a pace that makes me think that at least the 1st draft will be done by the end of the year.

Right now, I’m focusing most of my efforts on Edge of December. We’ve got a new chapter starting in a week or so, and a new Saga shortly there-after. We’re getting into material in the comic that’s been born completely in my fevered imagination, so I’m getting really excited to see it play out visually. Also, I’m working on a short story that will be exclusively available in the third eBook as an extra. That’s proving more of a challenge than I originally thought it would since its a story that’s following a character that is only secondary at this point. Keeping everything in canon, interesting, and leaving enough for future volumes is a huge challenge.

Crunch time!

As of this time I’m sitting at around 16k-17k words done on this months goal.  I don’t have too many days left before deadline, but I think I’m going to be able to make it.  Yes, you other authors are probably snickering at me with my piddly goals.  You NaNoWriMo winners can poo poo 25k words all you like.  But though life brings Valentine’s Day’s and weddings and new apartment findings and writer’s block and attention deficit disorder I shall prevail.  And when I prevail I will have one third of Impervious done! Meaning if I can just keep on this, by the end of the year my very first, full book will be done.  In a first drafty sort of way, but done all the same.

In other news, the second Edge of December eBook hit the Kindle store a couple days ago.  So, ya know, go check that out and lay down $2.99 for an awesome graphic novel that looks great on you iPad, Kindle Fire or your regular old Kindle.  We’d also love a good review or two if you’ve got the time.  This one actually has copy written by yours truly!  My very first published words.  They aren’t much, but by gum, we have to start somewhere.  That’s all for me right now peeps.  I’ve got wording to do and it ain’t gonna do itself.

Edit:  This is something I actually wrote earlier on this weekend and forgot to post it.  As of this time I’m sitting at nearly 23k words.  With one day left to go, and just a little over 2k words, I should be looking at another successful 25k word month!  Also, I’ll have the Act of Impervious finished!

Further Note: The new Edge of December eBook is out.  Remember to keep an eye on the site for when the book goes free for a limited time.  We’d also appreciate your purchase as it keeps the servers running and Glenn in art supplies.

I’ve been slacking off…

…but I still want to make this 25k goal.  Alright, so I haven’t really been slacking.  There’s a lot of stuff that’s happened this month that makes me think, I should have maybe made next month the 25k word challenge.  Weddings, family stuff, travel, Valentine’s Day.  All of it adds up to “It is Febuary 19th and I only have 5 point something thousand words written.”  But, I think I can still make the twenty five thousand mark.

Is it impossible? No.  I’ve got 10 days left to write just under 20k words.  It will be hard, but it isn’t impossible.  From everything that I’ve read, writing is hard.  It’s a commitment and in this case it’s not just a commitment to myself.  It’s a commitment to my story, it’s a commitment to my fiance and family and it’s a commitment to anyone who happens upon this blog.  Someday, I’m going to have to ask these people to trust me when I say that I want to do writing full time.  First thing they’re going to do is ask themselves if I’ve got the danglies to back up what I say I’ll do.  Next thing they’ll do is check my cup to see if I’ve gotten into the drain cleaner again.  Assuming I haven’t been huffing paint, they’ll need to see that I’ve done this thing.  I’ve written a book or four.  It’s making money.  I’ve done the hard work, seen it to the end.  This month is just part of that goal, part of that hard work.  ]

I can’t talk about writing in the fashion of anything like an expert.  I can only give you a blow by blow of how I hopefully go from shlub to published author.  I’ll still probably still be a shlub, but I’ll have done something awesome.  So, I continue on.  Here we go into the breach.  My word count for the night is 340 so far.  By the end of the night it needs to be over 2000.  Check in next week to see how things went.  To quote Chuck Wendig, “I am a writer, and I will finish the shit that I started.”

The Big Question: Why 25,000 words?

This question bares a little explanation, though not too much.  I’m not going to go off on another word spree here where I create a novella out of a blog post.  Thing is, I love the idea of doing National Write a Novel Month.  Being able to sit down and crank out fifty thousand words sounds like a lot of fun.  Lots of other authors like to set aside the month of November and have a good time with it.

I’m under no pretenses that you can just crank out a full novel in a month.  Though 50,000 words is an impressive feat, its definitely not a whole book, most certainly not for me.  Still, writing that much in a month is a feat I would relish, and probably brag about to no end.  All this being said, November sucks for NaNoWriMo.  Whoever put it there needs to have their heads examined.  There’s family, pre-Christmas preparation, and my birthday is in November (hint hint).  You take that many days out of a month and your word count per day is climbing dangerously high.  On a really good day, I can crank out three to four thousand words.  That’s on a really good day.  More realistically, if I’m writing every day, I can expect a good thousand to fifteen hundred words.  I feel really good on those nights.  Given all that November has going on in it, and my own time limitations, NaNoWriMo is a pretty hard cookie to crack.  But I wanted to do something.

A couple friends of mine were doing their own writing challenge in December.  I know, not much better on the time format thing, but I’d already missed NaNoWriMo and I figured that something would be better than nothing.  I set a goal of 25,000 words, half of what a NaNoWriMo participant would do and went at it.  That puts my average writing at about 1,000 words per day and gives me a few days off, which is pretty much double my weekly word count goal from last year.  I’m not sure that I’d ever tried to write quite that much in a month or that consistently.  But I was game for a challenge.  Long story short, there were set backs, pushes, and writers block, but with the word count goal in mind, I pushed through it.  I didn’t have time to go back and rework the last section, if I didn’t like something, I blocked off the section and started over, counting all the words written.  The lack of backtracking and constantly looking over my shoulder spurred me on in a way that was … well, pretty frickin’ awesome.

25,000 words turned out to be just the perfect amount to push me, keep me on task and make me feel like I’d made a major accomplishment by the end of the month.  It worked out so well that I decided I was going to do six of them this year, every other month.  In December, I cranked out a rough ten chapters of Impervious and while not everything I wrote will end up in the final novel, I got a huge start on the project.  Two or three more 25,000 word months will see a first version done and in between I’ll have time to work on side projects like prepping my short stories for submission.  Or maybe I’ll just keep writing on Impervious.  Who knows.  But there it is.  Why I’m going to be doing 25,000 word months.  I can’t say if the same thing will work for you or not, but challenging yourself to achieve something greater is always a good idea.  Maybe a different word count would be better for you, but give it a try.  You might find the results equally thrilling.

The Big Question: What are my goals for 2012?

Alright, so granted, its not a question that’s strictly about writing, but it’s the subject of this week’s entry.  I actually started writing this last week, but life kind of went and kicked me in the face.  Turns out there are some things that will just kill the impulse that I have to write.  One of those things turns out to be an eight hour car ride.  No matter how good the ride, or how pleasant the company, something like that will sand-blast the creative drive right out of your brain. The most complicated thing I was capable of doing was shoving knives into the backs of pixelated bad guys. Which, I love doing anyway, but that will perhaps be a blog or rant for a different time

At any rate, I digress.  This is going to be a big year for me.  How do I know?  Well, a lot of things are going to change.  First and foremost, I’m going to marry the most awesome woman in the history of mankind ever.  I will fight you over this.  Tonight she agreed with my idea to have boxes of Legos at the tables for our wedding reception for guests to play with.  Put very simply, I win.  Nyah nyah.  Bragging aside, though, (well, never really aside since I’ll be doing more of it in the months to come) going from single to married represents the biggest shift in my life since I went to college.  Things is gonna be different, but in a very good way, I think.

Beyond marriage though, things are going to change in how I approach writing.  First and foremost, I’m going to be writing more.  A lot more.  Last year I tried out a weekly word count of 3500 words.  This worked pretty well and I kept to it about two out of every three weeks.  Sometimes less, sometimes more, but I got a lot of work, and story done.  In fact, I’d have most of a book done now if I didn’t decide that it needed some heavy revision and that it needed to be taken back to square one.  That’s besides the point.  Point is, I set a goal, and shit got done, son.  Maybe not as much as I wanted, but stuff happened.  Also, I started writing for Edge of December, which has been an entirely different experience.  I’ve had to get to know a little script writing and focus a lot more on dialogue, background, and a couple dozen other different things.  It has been, and is going to continue to be a lot of fun.

This year, I’m going to continue to build on that model.  This is going to be the year of the writer.  In December I completed a 25k writing challenge.  Yeah, you can point and laugh at me all you want you NaNoWriMo winners, but this is big stuff for me.  I pounded out ten chapters of Impervious in 31 days and I intend to build on that success. So, here’s what I’m going to do this year:

First, I’m going to do six 25k months, every other month, except in June because, ya know, I’m getting married and that’ll take up just a little time.  Just a bit.  Second, I’m going to complete Impervious, making it my first completed novel.  Third, I’m going to write, and prepare for submission two other short stories.  Forth, I’m still going to be writing for Edge of December, just more.  This is a tall list of goals, but I think they’re doable.  I’ll write on Impervious during 25k months and work on my other goals in the off months.  If I keep to this, I can easily have the first draft of Impervious done by the end of July.  I don’t know now what I’ll work on after that, but it would be extremely exciting.  I’m also going to keep blogging on a regular basis.  Hopefully not as long as this monster, but we’ll see what happens.  I’m an author and pretty long winded once I get going.  So, there you have it.  In a nutshell, I’m going to get married and write my butt off this year!  If I can do all of that, then next year might even see me published, even if only self-published.  Who knows.  Maybe by that time someone will even be reading my blog.  Though, I’m not going to hold my breath.