I’ve been chewing on a plan. Have been even before announcing My Story Is Not Done. A week or so prior, I had reached out to a handful of people to get some advice, and I received some great feedback and responses. And now, it’s official.
I have a plan.
Only for this year. I’m in the process of outlining and ironing out a five-year plan (I know, crazy, right?), but at the present, I’m going to focus on the here and now.
My Writing Work Days, as I mentioned earlier this week, are an experiment. I’ll have two in February, and four in March, assuming all goes well. So what I’m doing is giving myself a schedule from now until the end of that experiment, and that schedule is accomplish this year’s main goal.
What is that main goal?
To send Codename: Telepathic Soulmates out to agents.
I don’t know how many of you are actually interested in particulars, so I’m going to list these behind a cut. It’s for me and anyone interested in holding me accountable, and don’t worry, I’ll be posting progress reports. Not daily, and you’ll see why once you see the schedule and what it entails, but I’ll definitely be posting them weekly.
And now, without further adieu, my schedule:
1) Read Codename: LB Prequel. Take notes on world-building, write down questions to get answered in Codename: Telepathic Soulmates. Deadline: Sunday, February 8th.
2) Read Codename: Telepathic Soulmates. Take notes on world-building, write down any questions that aren’t answered, figure out what, if any, questions should be addressed in a sequel. Deadline: Sunday, February 15th.
3) Use notes and questions to determine what changes need to be made to the current draft of Codename: Telepathic Soulmates. Ultimate goal: reduce word count from 132,000 to around 115,000 words, if possible. Consider:
- Does it need a total rewrite?
- Does it need a partial rewrite?
- A very surgical rewrite?
- Or just a super-hard final polish?
Deadline: tentatively, Sunday, April 5th. Deadline dependent on what kind of rewrite/polish the draft really needs.
4) Once the super-hard final polish is complete, do the following:
- Research agents (allow one month)
- Write cover letter (one week? two?)
- Start sending out queries (how many per week?)
5) Read How to Draft a Novel in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner, which came highly recommended and will be useful to do the following:
6) Start drafting a new novel. If I had to pick one now, it would be Codename: Ghostcatcher.
That’s it. That is my 2015 plan. What I’m hoping is that the Codename: Telepathic Soulmates stuff will be done by the end of June (and by done, I mean I’ll be querying agents at this time, and from there, things are out of my control). But I’m allowing the possibility of a complete and total rewrite, which means I need to have a hard, drop-dead deadline of year end.
As I said earlier, I’ll be posting weekly progress reports (probably on Fridays). I’m also still sketching out my five-year plan, but since that deserves its own post, I’m not going to babble about it in this post.
This is my first real step to taking myself seriously as a writer. I’m not going to say it’s my first step in becoming a “real” writer, because while I’m not published, I’ve written three novels. I’ve written short stories. I’ve written hundreds of blog posts. I’m a writer. Writers write, and that’s what makes writers, well, writers. This is about taking steps to become a professional, and in order to do that, I have to take myself seriously and start developing habits that will serve me as a professional.
Now let’s get started.