Ever since committing whole-heartedly to being a writer, I’ve taken the time every six months or so to sit down and plan out what I’m going to do next. This keeps me committed, keeps me on schedule, helps me practice hitting deadlines, and reminds me that new projects should always be just around the corner.
As we head into June, I find myself at one of those junctures. It is time – again – to plan out the next few months and to shape where I would like to go. Now that The Impossible Contract is – mostly – done and I have to wait for my second round of queries to go through, I need something else to focus on.
Unfortunately, at least for June, I can’t stray too far. I still have to wait for beta feedback and be ready to make a few last minute edits. When it comes to writing, I’ve tried multitasking on multiple projects and it just doesn’t work.
My solution is actually pretty simple: I won’t stray far. Instead, I’ll play with this short story that has to do with some events that happen off screen in the middle of the book. It’ll be fun and it’ll keep me writing and it shouldn’t be longer than 15k – perfect for a month.
But after that…
Well, July brings Camp NaNoWriMo, which is ideal timing for the start of a new WIP. 30 days and 50k words should give me a pretty good idea of whether or not this next story is workable. Considering I don’t think this story will be longer than 80k – it’s YA, after all – a 50k word draft zero is ideal. I’ve learned that I frequently have to add a lot more to my first draft, which seems to be the opposite of most writers’ processes.
In August, I’ll cool down with some edits and/or research. For TIC, I did draft zero in one big, two month & 80k burst, then I took a month and shored up the research I’d begun while writing. I can see myself doing something similar, even though this new WIP (OIBM) shouldn’t need as much research.
Then September onwards – rewrite rewrite rewrite. Depending on where I am in the rest of my life (my job might be changing, we might be moving, there might be some other big changes), I’ll set mini goals for those months. I’m not even going to try to set them now, though, since life is quite volatile at the moment.
Ideally, I’ll be done with the first major rewrite by December. If I follow remotely the same trajectory as TIC, then January-February will be the last of my edits before I round up some betas.
But that’s more than six months out, so I’ll reevaluate at that point. As much as I love TIC, I’m really looking forward to starting a new project.