Writing plans for the month

A neat place for writing plans To paraphrase, all the best laid writing plans of mice and me…

But it’s a new month, so I’ve got some new plans. I have a notebook where I write out my productivity goals for the week and month to help me keep things in mind. And of course, a lot of that just involves writing plans about writing, as it were.

At this point my offline life is in a bit of a crunch. My household is headed to Hawaii in a couple of weeks! We’re leaving on the 14th and we’ll be back on the 20th, and while I plan to allot a lot of time to being a completely lazy person and pretend I’m a fancy lady, it does mean we’ve been pretty busy trying to get things ready in the these upcoming weeks. There’s cleaning, buying stuff for the trip, and arranging for someone to come take care of the cat while we’re gone. We’ve hit the point where we’ve realized how little time there is left, and how much there to do.

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been trying to keep up with things! Writing Plan Number One started last week, where I decided I would write a very short story (1000 words) a week, posted in 200-word increments a day. Obviously these aren’t grand sprawling epics (or even your garden variety novella, the format I’m most familiar with), though I can definitely foresee linking stories together. On top of that, I definitely want to write some connected to my novels as supplements and additions, so for me, that’s all pretty exciting.

For now I’m posting the daily segments on my tumblr, and I will be trying to get those out in the 5-6pm pst hour. (Not so coincidentally, 4:30pm pst is when I get out of my dayjob and head off to write before going home.) My goal is to post the full compilation here when they’re done. My original thought was to do that on Saturdays, but since I write and post regular blog entries on Sundays, I’ve rethought that a little. The new plan is to post the full compilation on Wednesdays, just so that there’s a little spacing.

I’ve enjoyed it, honestly! I am currently working on revising large chunks of a draft finished back in 2016 — a story about a young fantasy-world priest coming to grips with his personal tragedies and his own destiny. It has a lot of things that I like: mythology, unreliable characters, world-ending plots, and kissing. However, I wasn’t terribly happy with the overall story once I was finished and couldn’t determine why. Several insightful betareaders and workshops later, and I finally have an idea of where to go with it! And that’s extremely exciting.

Which means my general writing schedule is a bit skewed as I start pulling out the guts of the story to rework them. But it’s also very nice to have these smaller, shorter pieces to do daily during the week as a break from the bigger project. There’s a different set of challenges in trying to write that short, since every ‘scene’ is exactly 100 words. I tend to overwrite, and one of the things I hope to accomplish with these weekly stories is learning how to be concise. I still very much want to write bigger, longer stories; my writing plan encompasses at least seven pieces that I want to write at least novella-length, if not longer. That’s not including the piece that is almost ready to go, nor the priest story mentioned earlier. Going by that alone, I’m ready with ideas for the next couple of years.

But the honest truth is that I don’t want to do Just One Thing when it comes to writing. There’s a decent amount of advice that notes how the best chance of writing success is to pick a niche, however big or small, and to stick with it. I don’t think it’s bad advice, or wrong advice, and I’m very aware of what I would consider my niche. (Queer fairytales or stories with strong fairytale elements, usually with some sort of either Regency-to-Victorian era aesthetic.) It’s not a bad place to be, either; I love fairytales, and I love writing them. I love working them into what I’m working on in some fashion.

That doesn’t mean I don’t want to branch out, now and then. Or even often! There’s a lot of stuff that is out there that I would love to try. The other genre near and dear to my heart is horror. I love an effective scary story, and I’m always happy to find a new well-written piece of creepypasta. I’m only a very casual dabbler in sci-fi and contemporary stories. Mysteries are great but also out of my element. While I don’t really think I could conceivably write a lot of these things in 1000-word self-contained stories in a week, I’m hoping that making a practice of it will help me get to experiment.

And hopefully, these writing plans will entertain readers, too.

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