About a month ago, I talked about how I needed to add new direction in my life (“A Metaphorical Haircut“) and that, even though I was sitting pretty with a great job at a great company, I was left partially unfulfilled because I very much still wanted to break into the fiction market. At the end of that post, I declared that I was going to write a novel.
Well, I’m going to retract that.
Next year, I’m writing six novels.
Now, before you think I’ve gone Forbeckian in my madness, these are not all full-length adult novels. I will be writing two Middle-Grade novels, two Young Adult novels, and two Adult novels. Word count-wise, that’s two 30k books, two 50k books, and two 90k books for a total of 340k words. Totally doable inside twelve months.
I’ve long maintained a list of potential projects for the day I acquire infinite monkeys to make use of all these typewriters I have laying around. I revisit the list periodically to cull the bad ideas, add new (hopefully not bad) ideas, and lay out a sort of priority. It’s an intimidating thing to stare at such a list and realize all these babies may never be born. I faced the same situation over a decade ago when I was trying to sort out which of my many game ideas I was going to work on (the winner being the game that turned into the original Little Fears).
Ultimately, back then, I had to pick one of the better ideas and just run with it. Because if I didn’t start on any of them then none would ever get done. So yesterday, I went through the list and added up, in an ideal world, how long it would take me to bring the better ideas to form.
Turns out, it’d take about five years.
I went through the list again and pulled out the best ideas—the strongest ideas, the most marketable ideas—and it turns out, at 1k words a day, I could get them all to first-draft format inside a year.
The fact that two books stood out from each category was coincidental. But it works nicely. I get to ramp up word count every two projects and also use some non-writing time the first half of the year to research and plan out the adult novels (one of which is quite intimidating plot-wise).
The goal here is first-draft quality. If I can revisit any during that time, great!, but I’m aiming only for a solid draft.
As for schedule, here’s how that looks:
Book 1: MG Drama – January 2013
Book 2: MG Horror – February 2013
Book 3: YA Superhero – March & April 2013
Book 4: YA Sci-Fi – May & June 2013
Book 5: Adult Drama – July, August, & September 2013
Book 6: Adult Thriller – October, November, & December 2013
Something I really like, seeing it laid out like this, is the diversity of not only the market but the genres as well. I get to scratch a lot of different itches here. And autumn is the perfect season to write the last book which is a nice coincidence.
The rest of this year, I aim to clear my extracurricular plate in preparation for The One-Year Plan. That includes all the projects remaining on the Streets of Bedlam docket and a potential short story.
Throughout The One-Year Plan, I’ll run word count trackers and post updates on this site so you all can help keep me honest and on track. I’m sure I’ll be looking for first readers as I finalize each draft and I’ll use this as a means of getting some volunteers if you folks might be interested.
So. Onward. Come 2013, I stop wanting to be a novelist and I finally become one.