I’m not sure if 2016 is going to be my breakout year as a writer, but if I can manage to finish all of the projects listed here, it will definitely be the year that I’m writing. And considering that I have a lot of stories floating around in my head, I thought I’d give you not only a little teaser as to what, ideally, I’d like to accomplish this year, but also provide myself with some accountability. So, without further ado:
February-March(ish): Darryn and the query
- Goal is to edit the last book in Darryn’s series (titled The Destiny of the Dragon). It is the trilogy I have been working on for about the last four years or so, and with three completed manuscripts and a whole lot of editing still on my plate, I’d like to at least finish the first round of editing on the third book before I continue to query like a madman for the first. Once I get at least one edit done, then I can switch focuses and work on other projects while querying.
- Goal: book three edited once through fully by end of February; do query research and query throughout March.
March-Summer: Sci-fi stand alone and screenplays
- I wrote a full-length script in undergrad that is a science fiction, apocalyptic heartbreaker, as I like to label it. I got really good feedback from my workshop on the script, so I wanted to transfer the story into a novel length work, especially so I can expand on the world a bit more. It is set on Earth, but our planet is about to get a drastic makeover, after a war known as The Collapse leaves all but 5% of the population dead. And those who remain aren’t exactly thrilled when they learn what the new group in power–the Futurists–have in store for them. This brings in elements that don’t appear in my first trilogy: droids, a world without color, futuristic technology, aliens and global destruction. However, it also incorporates similar elements that I believe will be present in all of my writing: snark, love as a force of power and death. I already really love some of my characters and I only know their shadows. I’m hoping that by this summer, I’ll know them to the core.
- Obviously I have the skeletal work done for this one, almost like an outline, with the script. I tried to start working on this a few weeks ago and only got ten pages in, running into some roadblocks that I avoided by switching back to edit Darryn’s manuscript. I think the method for this one will be to use the script as a rough guideline and just get the first draft written. Later, I can worry about making sure everything fits the way it should. Another struggle I’ve been having with this is figuring out if I want to break the story down into multiple volumes or just make it a rather long stand alone. At the moment, I’m leaning towards stand alone.
- Goal: have a first draft written by end of July.
Late Summer through December: Begin 12-volume series
- This little project (little being the funny word here, as I’m projecting it to be a series anywhere from nine to twelve books in total) is one that has been bouncing around in the back of my mind for quite some time and I haven’t given it much focus to truly fester into fully-fleshed ideas. It is a bit risky and also, arguably, would be the most challenging project I would attempt to date. Yet, considering it won’t leave me (always while I’m showering, the characters like to pop up and play out scenes in my head; odd), I think it is something that I’m going to have to at least attempt, so I’m hoping to work on it throughout the second half of the year, while also editing the sci-fi novel. I won’t spoil too much yet, as it is so raw and in the idea stage at this point, but I will say this: if this works out they way my head is telling me it must, every book will fall into a different genre and clichés will abound. Interested? I hope so.
- Goal: Map out series and get half of the first book written by Christmas. Edit sci-fi novel and adjust screenplay accordingly.
Interpersed throughout 2016:
- Video game fanfiction: Many know I’m an avid gamer. I started working on a “novel-length” fanfiction piece based off of my favorite gaming franchise of all time, Dragon Age. What I wanted to do was write a narrative based on the decisions I made, through my character, for each of the games, obviously starting with Dragon Age, titling the piece “The Warden.” I wanted to take an already great story and write about the scenes we didn’t see, while personalizing it for my Warden. I wrote a chapter and posted it online a long time ago. I started on the second chapter, but the roadblocks I ran into have given me pause. One is I don’t want to break any copyright laws, yet I also want to give readers who are loyal to the games a story that they recognize through playing the games. Yet I’m not doing this for money, but simply as an ode to a game that I love and to practice some aspects of writing that I haven’t worked with before, i.e., writing in first person or using a world and mythology I didn’t make up as the foundation. So I’m not sure if I should include direct lines from the games into the story to make it fit more or go strictly off the page and only use the mythology and events as reference. I’m also not sure if I should do that large of a scope (following my Warden throughout her entire journey from her first days in Ostagar to her battle against the Archdemon) or scale it down. But it is a project I’d like to continue, because it is really fun and I really enjoyed writing it. Also, I’d love to do some fanfiction related to Skyrim (similar in idea and scope to Dragon Age) and do a much shorter piece surrounding Mass Effect regarding Commander Shepard, Kaiden Alenko and Ashley Williams. So that’s something for fun I hope to work on throughout the year.
- HELP: If anyone knows a great website where I could post video game fanfiction and get feedback from fans of the game, I’d really appreciate the tip! Again, not for money, but for fun. 🙂
- Also want to work on trying to find a director for a short script (12-15 minutes in length) a friend and I developed during my undergrad. I think it would be a great project for a developing filmmaker as a short film, so I’d like to polish up that piece and see if I can find anyone interested.
- Also have a short story that I wrote two semesters ago that has stuck with me ever since writing it and I finally figured out how it needs to be changed to have more of a story. So, I want to edit that and see if I can get it into a magazine somewhere.
- And, of course, edit, edit, edit and query, query, query.
So, those are some of the stories floating around my head and clinging close to my heart. Not to mention I want to blog more often. Regardless, I hope to write a post at the end of the year about a fresh batch of stories I’m aiming to tackle in 2017, along with a post about all the successes and failures surrounding these (and maybe an update about an agent or two?). Thanks for following along and I hope one day, these stories won’t just be ideas in my head, but stories you enjoy and debate about.