Writing–Goals for 2014

Each writer has a different approach to his craft/skills.  And no one’s right.  And no one’s wrong.  But I work better when I give myself goals.  One of my friends at Scribes–my writers’ group–believes that a writer should give a book however long that story takes to grow into itself and be the best that he/she can make it.  He says that a writer who writes less, writes better.  And that works for him, but it’s not necessarily true for me.  If I dilly-dally over a story too long, I tend to rewrite it for no good reason, and I don’t always improve it.  I do better when I think out a story BEFORE I start writing and then make it the best that I can while I pound on the keyboard.

I do believe that a writer can rush a story, to the novel’s detriment.  Or to the writer’s.  I’ve seen people do it.  They burn out.  But I also believe that a writer can play with a story over and over again without making it better.  I’ve seen people do that, too.  This year, I am going to push myself, but I think that my goals are do-able.  This year, I want to write the third book in each of the series that I’ve started.  That means that I’ll have to write three novels in twelve months.

Like I said: do-able.  I’ve never tried the nanowrimo month of pounding out words.  50,000 words in one month would leave me with so many re-writes, it wouldn’t be worth it.  My brain doesn’t function that fast.  It would take me longer to fix the holes in my story, play with transitions, and smooth out the wrinkles of a plot on speed that I’d spend more time polishing than doing it my usual way–plodding along.  I won’t even mention how much work it would take to flesh out my characters.  I usually have to do that anyway.  In a hurry?  The reader might learn what color hair and eyes they have.

But when I plop my fanny in a chair and get serious, I can usually produce 5 to 10 pages a day.  I never work on weekends–except for writing my blog, and that doesn’t count.  It’s “talking” to friends, not writing.   And I never write on Scribes’ days, because I think and talk writing so much, I can’t write when I get home.  But even with those days scratched from use, I should still end up with twenty, good, writing days a month.  That’s 100 to 200 pages, probably somewhere in the middle.  In 2 months, I should have a rough draft.  Give me another month, and I might have a finished draft.  If I’m lucky.  That means, if nothing jostles me off track–and I am well aware that Life happens, best laid plans, and all that–but if nothing goes seriously awry, I should be able to write a book in three months.  That gives me time to think and plan about the next book before I have to start writing it.  And if I finish THAT book in three months, I have a month to do character circles and plot points before I sit down to write the third book.

It all looks good on paper.  It could work.  So why not give it a shot?  If it doesn’t happen, I won’t hang my head in shame.  I might bang my head against a wall, but that usually improves my thinking:)  Anyway, hopefully, by the end of 2014, I’ll have three books in each of my three series.

I don’t know what your writing goals are for 2014, but good luck with them!  It never hurts to plan (and maybe dream) ahead.  Here’s wishing you all the best!




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