Friday, 1 January 2016

2015 - the Year of an Aspiring Author in Review Part 3

So where were we? Oh yes, nearing the end of October with the Patternmaker's Daughter done and dusted. It was a little over a week until NaNoWriMo was due to start so I needed a project. Fortunately one had occurred to me - back to science fiction. This time it was the setting that came to me first - a vast space station with its own character. The story is named after the space station - No Man's Land.

I slowly added a detective story to the setting, then characters started to coalesce and off I went. Three chapters in I realised something. I realised the voice of the narrator was completely wrong. His character was much more coarse than I'd started, much more colourful. So I change tone. It does mean I will have to rewrite those three chapter when I revise but I was going to get the first draft done before worrying about it.

NaNoWriMo started well for me. Now for those who don't know what this is, it's a yearly event that encourages writers to actually write by setting this 50K word target for one calendar month. Given my speed at cranking out the words on previous projects I felt pretty confident. And at first it went quite well but then my narrator started to slow me down..

Not that the narrator is no good; far from it. My test readers have liked what they've read. It's just he speaks in his own unique way, with his speech filled with creatively colourful metaphors and euphemisms. The problem is the more you've written, the harder it is to think up the next one. So My initial daily writing average (target needs this to be 1667 per day) was at 2,118 after 10 days but had declined to just 1,591 at the end of the month). I ended the month 2.263 from my target.

It was an interesting experience and one that my twisted mind has decided to maintain throughout my writing. I kept a similar writing log through December and even including all the interruptions for Christmassy stuff and the revising of the Patternmaker's Daughter for submissions I managed an average of 1,360 words per day or a total of 42,187 for the month.

Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. Back to the writing. No Man's Land was done by the 6th December (1st draft - not revised yet) and I had an idea for a third Ben Williamson novella - one I could crank out by year's end. I failed, as I may have mentioned already, adding the final 2.3K today. Not far off so I'm okay with that.

Obviously neither of these stories have been submitted anywhere yet - that's to come in 2016. As are many other stories I hope. The coolest thing would be to have continue one or both of the book 1s I did last year.

Anyway here's the output stats. I'm not including either of the first two novels in this - one was written entirely in 2014, the other across the years - but neither are good enough to consider so they are excluded. The part finished horror novels are also not included as you can't sub an incomplete work.

Mr. Stinky - 96,187
Against the Fall of Empire - 122,127
A Parallel Life (Ben Williamson Novella 1) - 34,118
The Intersection (Ben Williamson Novella 2) - 30,597
The Patternmaker's Daughter - 87,957
No Man's Land - 89,705
Ben Williamson Novella 3 - 28,259 (finished today at 30,598)

That's 483,950 words of fiction written in a calendar year (including only completed works that I consider close to publishable). Or an average of more than 40K per month. If I added the others in I would probably be adding another 120,000 words. A little more with the short stories I've not detailed here - some of which have even sold.

Now to the non-boasty bit. I did say one was coming. For all this effort I have had four positive responses, and these so far are only to the point of a manuscript request. So far acceptance count for novels and novellas is sitting at zero. (Oh, and I'm not trying to make you feel sorry for me. I'm not that sort. I'm just trying to be even in my reporting.)

Golly - I've just realised I've spent two hours typing up these blog entries and over 2.5K words. Sorry if I've bored you. I should probably go now and do something a little more productive.

Here's to 2016

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