Hi guys. I’m going to do something a little different today, May 1st is a special day, because it’s May Day! I’m starting off the new cross-quarter right.
I won’t be dancing around a maypole today, unfortunately. (If there’s an event going on in St. Louis today let me know and I’ll try to drop by). But I figured with spring is full bloom, and the little break in the rain, that it’s time to change things up around my laptop.
My office, as some of you know, is everywhere. Anywhere I can put my laptop and work, that’s my office. Today it’s Barnes ‘n Noble in Fairview Heights, Illinois. This has kind of been my spot lately.
First goal, is clearing some things off my list. I have a house sale that is supposed to be closing soon, so at some point in the next week or two, I will need to make a trip south to Louisiana and sign some documents. Once that’s out of the way, a lot of stress will fall off my shoulders, so wish me luck.
Despite that necessary interruption, I started a new project the other day. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out, but I’m having fun, and I’m tired of my stories sitting in limbo with various publishers. I started a new series, which I’m calling “Dark Age.” Volume 1 is already available as a 99cent Kindle book that’s free to read on Kindle Unlimited. I’ll probably keep with that pricing structure. Volume 1 is very introductory, and future installments will be more story and less background, but I needed to set the stage pretty clearly. It takes place 20 years after a coronal mass ejection, which the characters refer to as “the event,” or “the darkening.” The people in this village are divided between those who were alive during the event, “the elders,” and those born after, who are referred to as “the young.” A divide has formed between the two groups, and a hot summer has brought their arguing and frustration to a head, as they aren’t sure if there will be enough food, or if their crops will even survive.
The series is an idea that I have been digging at for years, and the general theme is about rebuilding society. So I’ll be drawing on chemistry, specifically wet chemistry, as well as the inventions that came about in the middle ages, Rome, and ancient Egypt. I’m hoping to make one new invention center to each installment, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to squeeze them in like that yet. Everything is on the table, and once volume 2 is released, I’ll be increasingly interested in reader feedback. I might even start holding votes for story elements going forward, but we’ll see. This month, I plan on releasing at least four stories in the series, and depending on the result, my future goals will be based on what kind of output I can get from this month, and partially based on the response that the stories get. Each is 5000-10,000 words, and roughly 30-60 minutes for most readers. Short and fun. That’s the goal.
Thoughts on Viral
I’m also still working on novelizing my novella series, and the new “Viral Spark” novel is 35,000 words in, and growing. But novels are different than novellas, so I have a lot of things to consider. My goal is to have the first draft finished by the end of the month, so I can move ahead with another project next month, and that project is…
I have all the feedback I need from my early readers, and I’ve been itching to get back to work on my little monster story. So if I can meet my other goals for this month, I will be putting a final “spit and polish” on it next month, and getting the query letter ready. I’ll be pitching it to agents first, and possibly a couple of SFWA publishers who are small enough to interact directly with authors. I’m looking for professional representation on that one, because I want to give it every chance. I’m really attached to the story, and the characters. The process of traditional publication is a long road, but once I start pitching, it will free up time for another story. The goal, start the final editing process before May is finished.
All this together, I’m looking at a minimum of 50,000 words this month, not including blog posts, but I’ll be shooting for 100,000. I’ll let you know the breakdown of how it went at the end of the month.
That’s pretty much where I’m at. How are your projects going? What are your artistic goals for May 2017?