Thursday, April 28, 2011

Summer Writing Plan

In an effort to procrastinate further, beyond gathering all my first semester notes together, I've planned for the second time my writing time for the summer. I've split my time to writing fiction on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; editing on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and writing non-fiction on Saturdays and Sundays, which also includes the necessary research for it.

I plan - perhaps too-optimistically - to write about five thousand words of fiction on each of the days. I hope to write more, so that I can get through more books. I have, at the moment, nine lined up to write. While that seems like I'm already well on track, to me it's nine casts of characters all trying to live their stories all at the same time, and it gets crowded in my head. I have a plan drawn up for one of the books - the first one I'll be writing - and notes for six of the remaining eight. But at five thousand words a day and three days per week, I'm only doing enough writing to maybe finish three first drafts. That's not enough for me, thanks to the modules of God College, which inspired three of the nine books from just the second year work. There are chances I could get yet more ideas next year, which will only drive me completely and utterly mental. Fact.

As regards editing, eleven pages a day. Not a huge amount. I'll probably cover more with some books each of the days than others. It's twenty two pages a week, and with the books I have lined up I still have time to edit a book of about 35,000-40,000 words, based on my estimates. The eleven pages was just my rough estimate for a bare minimum - the higher estimate, mind you, since I'd originally been vague and said between nine and eleven pages. But with eleven, I can get Meet Sam edited within a few weeks. By then, I hope to have the first novel written for the summer. I'll be moving on to edit Love is a Remarkably Destructive Bitch second, taking the advice of another author to use emotional arcs more than actual events when writing; I'll be reconstructing a lot of the dynamics of the book and removing many resemblances to real life. I really liked writing the book last year, so I want it to be something I can still be glad to show my friends, even if I later decide it's not worth submitting to a publisher. The editing will make that decision for me. I have two others books from last summer to edit, too mind you, but I'd like to edit the first novel of the summer early on, so they can wait. If I edit quicker than I thought I would, I'll still have plenty of time for all five books to be edited.

As regards non-fiction, I only have two ideas for books, and only one publisher in mind for them. I haven't exactly gone looking around for another one, I just liked the look of this one. It's not a big publisher, but it will do. I have to research one of the books quite a bit, though I'm fairly comfortable with most of the material already. The other I really just have to write well, because the idea is too simple for me to have to do much research. I will see. That may change. If either one goes well, there's a chance they could be available by New Year's. I think. I'm not too sure how long the process takes, but with my taking the publisher and format into consideration, if a book is accepted and submitted in the summer, it shouldn't be too long before it can actually be bought. They only publish e-books. If someone can verify that estimate, please do.

And of course, I have deadlines to meet with some other things. One of the books needs to be written, edited and submitted by summer's end, though it's significantly shorter than I want some of the others to be, and could actually be written and edited within the space of just a month. There are also short stories with varying deadlines and interesting themes. And I'll be working during the summer, though at the current rate only on weekends. While I do have some plans to do other things, such as step outside every now and then, I have not directly made plans for that. I have simply planned to write a lot more than is healthy and see where the summer takes me. I have personal deadlines for things, obviously. I want to get my first novel done completely before the summer is over. I want to get the shorter book done by about half-way through September, editing included. I want to get most of these done in as short a time-frame as possible, because I will be hand-writing them and will later need to type them. Thankfully I'm a fast typist. I just find that I can let myself write more if I'm not restricted to my laptop. Plus, I can avoid the Internet if I'm writing by hand.

It has been advised I go on walks. I will probably do so. I don't know where I'll go, yet, but as I begin to get the need to see places I haven't seen in a while, I will get my runners on and go for a walk. I will enjoy the sun, until I lock myself away with a book in the making. I will appear anti-social, until I pop onto Facebook and Twitter to announce my accomplishments, like walking a ridiculous amount or beating a target a day.

While I am aware I have to sit exams before all that, I can face the summer with some sort of determination now that I am not just planning to write during the summer, but planning what to write. Last year it was simply write for the summer and be happy. It didn't work out that way. I wrote three novellas, yes, but I wrote them within short periods of time, and a couple were based on dreams. I tried and failed to start another book, which is my first book to write this summer, now that I have a plan, a character and some motivation for the project. I have an idea of where I want most of these books to go, and it will be but a matter of deciding what to write when. And of course, once I meet my targets for the day, I can read. I have my reading list all made up, and I will pick books from that based on how much time I have to enjoy them, and my general enthusiasm for the book at the particular point in time.

This will be a productive summer, and not one I want to let waste. Who knows, it may by the summer that gets me published along the line, and I will be all the happier to know that I went into it ready and determined to show myself what I've got.

Oh, and if you're in college with me and aren't in your final year: I plan to start a Writing Society in the college in September, but you need at least five members to start up. I'm hoping to do a few interesting things aside from just having writers in the college (of anything: novels, short stories, poems, drama/film, songs, personal essays, etc.) come together to work; I want to keep ideas private for now until I can determine some costs in advance, but there'll be some fun stuff to do, and some of it will look good on a CV. If you're interested in joining, could you email me so I can remind you closer to the time? College email number is 22.

Now, it's about time I got on with some study. Jesus isn't going to study himself. (No seriously, Christology and Revelation... it's a hoot!)

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