Friday, January 9, 2015

December 2014 Writing Contest: The Results

The revival of my earlier writing bets with a couple friends is now in its second month, so it's time to update you on how the first month went.

In the first month, I wrote 3,838 words of fiction. This doesn't compare well with a previous December in which I wrote just under 12,000 words, but I can plead extenuating circumstances. I was editing a novel for a client, which will be available on Amazon sometime soon. Between that and the end of an editorial internship I had with a magazine company, I had significantly less writing time than in 2013, but I made more money. :)

Here is what I did accomplish:

*Although I only finished bulking up The Thing in the Woods in preparation for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award this morning, I got much of the work done over December. One of the better critiques I'd received from my writing group is that a character introduced at the end of the novel in the first draft should have been introduced earlier. The technical term for this is a Chekhov's Gun--if you see a gun in the first act, it had better be fired in the third, or don't include it. In this case, it was the reverse. I plugged the scene introducing him (part of which I wrote in November and part in December) around two-thirds into the book and had his earlier appearance play a role in driving events toward their climax. He's going to play a much bigger role in the sequel, The Atlanta Incursion, so this will help set him up for that.

*I finished and then after writing-group critique heavily revised a chapter in my new novel project. I'm keeping this one more quiet until it's finished so I won't go into a lot of detail but now I've got four complete chapters. I've plotted out a fair bit more and this project plays to my strengths (imaginative situations, world-building) rather than my weaknesses (characterization), so I have high hopes for it.

*Little People, Big Guns got the short end of the stick, I'm afraid. Just under 200 words written. This is something I thought I'd be able to finish quickly. I start class again Monday, but maybe I'll be able to do more this month.

*Added a link to the sequel Needs Must to the "back matter" of √úbermensch, my supervillain-protagonist short story. For independently-published authors, "back matter" is something quite useful to have. That's your chance to link people to related projects, encourage them to leave reviews, etc. Hopefully this will lead to more sales for "Needs Must," especially during periods where I give "Ubermensch" away for free.

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