Wednesday 7 December 2016

IWSG December 2016

It's here - the final IWSG posting of December 2016. This year has gone quick! As ever, this is the day when we can gather to share our writing fears and insecurities and offer a helping hand to others. Ably commanded by Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh, the co-hosts for today are Jennifer HawesJen ChandlerNick Wilford (erm, that's me), Juneta KeyJ H MoncrieffDiane Burton and M J Fifield!

I recently posted about my insecurities, namely my slow writing progress. I'm working on upping my pace and doing a bit more each day, and this month I hope to be back in a steady rhythm. One thing's for sure - I can't see a time in the future when I'm not writing, and that leads me on to this month's IWSG question - "In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?"

The first thing is to have my first trilogy and accompanying prequel all out in the world, which I plan to roll out over the next couple of years. After that, I've got several other ideas for books that might be standalones or develop into series. What will these books be about? Well, with what I've been writing recently I've realised that I really enjoy the speculative side of things - and whether that be sci-fi, dystopian, paranormal, or multiple other avenues, this question really got me thinking about the idea of having a much more defined author brand or image. I used to think I would not tie myself down to any particular genre, and I'm still open to pursuing any ideas that reveal themselves to me - but "speculative" isn't really a genre, it's a way of looking at the world, pushing the "what-ifs", scrutinising things that may already be amongst us and exploring what would happen if they were developed to their logical conclusion. This is what writing is all about for me, and hopefully in five years I'll have reached more like-minded souls who'll enjoy the journey with me. And who knows what the social media and marketing world will look like by then? That sort of speculation could spark off all sorts of ideas by itself.

In terms of my publication plans, I definitely plan on doing more self-publishing as the sense of control is awesome, but it's also on my bucket list to have something traditionally published. It's not that I think one is more valid than the other, it's just another thing to be experienced. I also think there's something in the idea that some stories are suited more to one route than the other, and hopefully I'll be able to tell which is which!

How would you answer this question? Did you take part in IWSG this month? If you're not a member, thinking about signing up for 2017? Check out the list of other participants here.

Thursday 1 December 2016

November Progress Roundup

Wow! I can't believe we're into the last month of 2016 and Christmas is around the corner. Our tree is up, and lights are sparkling merrily in our windows as well as on the trees outside. This is a time of year when we pull closer together - of course, it was three years ago in November when we lost our superstar, and no one loved Christmas more than him. It feels right to get it underway earlier.

In terms of writing progress, things have been a bit slower in the last month. I added 3,000 words to my WIP, now standing at around 33,000 words. Yeah, not the largest chunk of material, but I'm looking at it as progress that's been made - and it's more than I've managed at other times this year. This is definitely the hardest book I've ever written, but nothing that comes easily is going to be truly rewarding, right? I just need to stop dancing around it, get a grip and get the rest of the story done. There are things that are hard here - hard for my characters, but I know they have it in them to deal with it and I just have to keep them on the right path. I at least have a tentative plan for how things will play out and when I'm done, I think I'm going to really enjoy editing this trilogy and pulling it all together. That's something to look forward to!

In other news, I did finish and submit both short story competition entries I was working on in October, so time to set them aside for now. Just over a month until the IWSG anthology winners are announced - did you enter the contest?

Well, that's about it for now. I'll be back next week for the final IWSG instalment of 2016. What have you been up to in the last month? Any NaNoers out there - how did it go?