Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 Writing Goals

As promised, my tl;dr 2015 writing goals:
  • 10 tokens
  • 2 pro
  • 4 subs

My longer read 2015 goals: Write productively by focusing on length and using past experience to set realistic goals. Write broader by putting more effort into other genres I write. Write smarter by implementing what I learned from that Kameron Hurley article.

Write Productively

The novelette has always been my sweet spot even though the market doesn't care for it very much, and vice versa for shorts. I'm focusing on length because I've noticed I have a habit of just writing until a story ends--shorts turn out to be novelettes and novelettes end up having only enough story for shorts, ideas that were too big and plots that cover too much grow unwieldy and difficult. All because I didn't plan and commit to what I wanted a story to be in terms of length and scope. This is counterproductive and results in disappointment and discouragement. At this stage in my journey, I've reached the happy middle on the scale of pantser to plotter.

Write Broader

Writing more poetry last year was a spontaneous why-not sort of thing. I didn't think I was very skilled at it, not the non-rhyming, non-meter, 'serious' kind anyways. But then I started subbing pieces and getting positive feedback. I have been exclusively researching and working to publish sci-fi prose fiction. It's the genre my ideas most readily spring from. I speak the language, so to speak. But that's not all I read or write. Just as I took my poetry more seriously to encouraging results, I'm going to give the other genres a chance to flourish.

Write Smarter

"It's the difference between knowing what I'm doing and doing what I know." That means understanding how I'm able to do it, and it isn't magic. It's replicable, which is the exact opposite of what I have always tried to do. Nothing new must resemble that previous story or else I was being lazy, unimaginative, and cheating. That has led to variety in my bibliography, yes, but also a lot of incomplete works, inconsistency, and long periods of unproductiveness. Here's the link again for why it is okay to be a little formulaic. By plugging new story ideas into existing formulas, by doing what I have already done and not always trying something new from scratch, I know in finer, more tangible detail the contours of similar stories, why having my protagonist make a poor choice is essential here, how allowing others to help her there will be critical later, what skipping this and elaborating on that will do to the feel and structure of the plot. By knowing those peaks and troughs, pitfalls, and yes, cheats, I can work more efficiently and with the most effective techniques to help the story shine.

So those are my aspirations for writing in 2015. Overall, I aspire to be very strategic in playing to my strengths as much as to the market. We'll see how it goes!

What are your aspirations? Comment or link below.

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