It’s a new year, so it’s time to work out what my writing career holds for me in the next 12 months (or at least until the apocalypse comes). As the years go by, writing is becoming a greater and greater part of my life, yet I still struggle with those ancient twin demons of procrastination and video games. My hope is that by declaring my goals here and making them reasonable and measurable, I’ll be able to stick to them.
1) Finish and publish the next Miles Franco book
2011 saw the publication of The Man Who Crossed Worlds, the first book in my pulp urban fantasy series staring freelance Tunneler Miles Franco. I’ve had a great response so far, and I’m currently waiting on reviews from several excellent book blogs and review sites. I Smell Sheep was first out of the gate, with a 4-star review up now, and an interview coming soon.
But I’m not content to sit around waiting. The next book in the series, tentatively titled The Man Who Walked in Darkness, is underway, with plenty more of Miles’ adventures to follow. Taking place a few months after the events of Worlds, it features a bunch of returning characters as well as several newcomers and an expanded look at Bluegate and the rest of the universe.
2) Finish and publish my superhero novel, Don’t Try to Be a Hero
My attention span is non-existent, so it was always pretty much inevitable that my focus would spread beyond the Miles Franco series. Don’t Try to Be a Hero is set mainly in New Zealand in the late ‘60s, following ex-superheroes Spook and the Carpenter. After the inevitable government restrictions on metahuman activities, Spook and the Carpenter get by doing semi-legal private detective work for whoever’s paying. But their latest investigation into the kidnapping of a boy spirals out of control, putting themselves, their families, and countless innocents in danger. In this world, it doesn’t pay to be a hero.
After reading several parodies and pastiches of the superhero genre, I decided to see if I could play the idea relatively straight while retaining a level of humor. I’m currently around 60,000 words through what I expect will be a fairly hefty 140,000 word novel (although that may get trimmed down in editing). My progress stalled a bit over the Christmas/New Year break, but I think it’s about time I got back on that horse and dig in the spurs.
3) Start and finish another novel
I have no idea what this one’s going to be about. Well, that’s a bit of a lie, I’m pretty sure it will have something to do with goblins. I like goblins. It might end up being novella length, because I kinda want to try writing something between a short story and a full-blown novel. Whatever it is, you can expect it to be the same kind of slightly silly, slightly serious, just-for-fun kind of stuff that I love to write. I don’t want to write things that are going to set the world on fire (it’s warm enough as it is). I want to entertain. And I figure that if I’m not having fun, neither are my readers.
4) Start the third Miles Franco book
Now we’re getting ambitious. I honestly don’t know if I’ll get this far, and I only have a rough outline of the major ideas I want to explore in the book, so I’ve got a lot of work to do. But we’ll see how we go.
5) I will consume stories like they are delicious cakes (and I do loves me some cakes)
This one’s a bit more informal than the others, but it’s still important. Reading books, watching movies and TV shows, playing narrative-driven video games, these things are fuel for writers. How can I write if I don’t know what I enjoy? How can I learn new techniques and ideas without studying the masters? I aim to read widely and eclectically, from as many time periods as I can and across genres and media.
Really, I swear this isn’t just an excuse for me to procrastinate and play more Skyrim .
I have no doubt 2012 will throw all sorts of shit at me to try and stop me from achieving my goals. Life’s a wily son of a bitch like that. But hey, that’s all part of the game, right?
Happy 2012, everyone.