Last week, I put a list together of all the books I had plots for. Nothing new, I didn’t invent on the spot, and I came up with eight titles. Later that day, I remembered another three. Today, I found another. Just typing this up now, I remembered another one.
That’s a lot of imaginary books.
And that’s what they are right now: imaginary. They don’t exist. I haven’t written them. And carrying around the ideas doesn’t make me a writer. After I jotted the first eight, I decided it was time to kick off the novel phase of Operation: Awesome.
The goal is to write three novels within the next six years. One novel every two years is doable. I hope to fill the remaining time with paying gigs and island vacations. The former more probable than the latter but while I’m hoping, why not?
So, three books. Okay, sure. But which ones?
Good question. I have a couple connections with some solid genre publishers. It makes sense to me that I aim in the sci-fi, fantasy, and/or horror direction. I said my goal with Operation: Awesome was to become a better writer first, sell second, and that still holds. I’m still in Phase Four, certainly, but I see no contradiction in rolling both goals into one action, if I can.
I’m aiming at one publisher in specific. I’ve read through their mission statement, history, and have researched their catalogue. I think some of my ideas are well-suited and am currently looking through them, trying to suss out which is the leader. There’s the one I’m sure I can write, write well even. It’s horror, a genre I’m comfortable with, but I wonder about its marketability. It’s a bit strange. There’s another that is in a genre dear to my heart (near-future sci-fi). It’s a thriller and, frankly, is probably too smart for me. It’d be a great challenge, would be impressive if I could pull it off, but I worry about plotting something so complex. Truth is, I’d probably worry about my ability to pull off a coloring book depending on the day. There’s a trilogy I’m psyched for I originally conceived for the Young Adult market. Could be converted though. It’s near-future again, conspiracy this time. There’s another horror one, a mystery, that like the near-future book is larger in scope than I do normally. But y’know what? I normally don’t write novels so maybe stretching out in all directions is exactly what I need to do.
(The other books are either non-genre or Young Adult- or Middle Grade-focused which is outside the purview of this publisher.)
So, anyway, there it is. The next phase of Operation: Awesome. I’m writing my second novel. My first adult fiction novel which means more swearing and twice as many words as I did on that Little Fears: The Wolf Pact book back in 2007. I don’t have a hard deadline yet. I’m already milling on some for-pay projects and am in the running for another gig I’m really excited for. Fingers crossed, I’ll have a very busy holiday season and into early next year. But this is a commitment I’m making to myself. It’s time to push forward.
The next step in this will be choosing the project. I need to think on that but eventually I’ll need to just pick one and go. Any advice on that? What criteria do you use when picking a project from a stack of potentials? How does one idea rise to the top?