Novella and Novel Update

Blog No. 305

img_20180923_090213_2331Last night was the Third ChiSeries Windsor of the year. It’s the sixth that we’ve had overall, though there was some confusion on why we only did three last year. The answer is because we were invited to start hosing locally after the time the first one would have been. Normally, I write up a perspective post about the event, assuming everything is going to be super-awesome-rad, but I have other things I think can fill a post, so I’m going to try and leave it for next week and see how much I can remember. I still think it’s going to be a good night. I wouldn’t be able to suffer through the disappointing events if I didn’t. We have three great authors (two I know are good people and I assume the third is as well) and the musician is not only a nice guy, but he’s really good at the music stuff too. With that out of the way, I’ll move on the the topic of this post. A good, old fashioned update.

I like to think I officially started writing in twenty-thirteen. I had a few fits-and-starts before that, but Adventure Worlds started in January of 2013 and that’s when I started doing my weekly posts here. Over that time, every year in the summer, my productivity plummets. My schedule goes out the window around the same time which obliterates my routine. I haven’t directed how exactly it happens, but a mix of day job shakeups, clusters of events, a desire to take advantage of the weather, and burnout have something to do with it. Last year, there were a lot of things on my plate and I mistakenly let my writing go first. It was a mistake that resulted in one of the worst summers for productivity yet. Luckily I had a great start to that year, so with a late boost, I was able to finish a few things that were overdue. I am still behind from that time, though, and will likely never catch up.

39869242_10158036351927293_6161540935877394432_nThis summer, I was determined to not fall into the same trap. I event went so far as to plan some of my time in the spring, so I could focus and push though the trouble spots. Yet again, I failed. Between the day job falling to pieces around me and my brother and father working on the basement (with limited help from me) I completely blew it. For a solid month and a half I missed most of my normal writing sessions, most of my Flags and High Fives work sessions, and most of my regular workouts. The chaos lasted right into September. Thankfully, I have since picked up the pieces, and with the help of Christian joining me for some old school writing meet-ups, I am climbing my way out of the hole. In the last two weeks I’ve done more writing than the entire summer.

My main focus is the unconnected sequel to The Thinking Machine, The Neon Heart. I’m pushing to have a book out every year so at all my regular events, I have something new to sell. I’ve also wanted to do a pocket book and a novella series, so Neon Heart is the next step in that process. the format of a novella should allow me to knock out the book in a short amount of time and leave the rest of the year for longer projects that can be shopped around with no pressure to quickly release them. Right now The Neon Heart is over 28 000 words of an expected 34 – 35 000. It should be about 10 000 more words that Thinking Machine by the time I’m done, and if I can keep this pace up, I should finish in the next couple weeks. When the first draft is done, I’ll put it aside for a couple weeks and start on a novel that I’ve been planning for a while. I hope to alternate between writing the novel and editing Neon Heart over the next few months and release a really clean Neon Heart in late spring or early summer of next year.

img_20180919_122356_208Initially I planned the novella series as a summer thing. Get a new short book every summer to jump-start your reading, kind of thing. Since I was late to release Thinking Machine last year, it came out in the spring of this year. I was in a hurry to get it in time for some of the big events I go to every year. I may have to stick to that schedule depending on when those events are set for next year. Since one of the main goals is to have those new books available for annual events, I need to take their schedule into account. Because of the late release of Thinking Machine, and how much I struggled this summer and last, I’ve basically had to push back much of my timetable by a year. Neon Heart will be the novella (part two in the series) for 2019 whether it’s out in the spring or summer.

I’m going to try to get the novel finished as quickly as I can (I hope to start in October) but I don’t think I can get the first draft done by the end of the year. That means I’m more realistically getting a head start on next year and skipping this year. It’s all a big jumbled mess that I hope will work itself out. No matter how it all happens, the first draft of Neon Heart is almost done and I should have a long time to do the edits, and the novel will be started soon. I have no concept of how long it will take, but since I plan on shopping it to agents and publishers, it could be a long time before it is released. I’ll keep you updated on it though.

3 thoughts on “Novella and Novel Update

  1. Pingback: ChiSeries Six (Third of 2018) – Ben Van Dongen

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