Six-Month Checkup: 2013 Edition

Checking in about my writing progress on The Ageless, a post-apocalyptic novel set in Earth’s future with fantasy elements. I’m a month late on this post, but there’s a good reason!

I’m getting married to a certain fellow named +David Dorian Granruth in October. How do I feel about this? Although writing is still a priority, planning our kickass steampunk wedding and awesome honeymoon takes precedence, of course!

Writing Frequency

Success! (Mostly.)

My plan was to write 4 times a week except around certain holidays and vacation. Up through May, I continued to do so. Then I came down with a really bad sinus infection just before a trip home. For a couple weeks after that, I fell to 3 times a week before returning to 4 times a week.

Three months before the wedding, I dropped back to 3 times a week. Hoping I can keep this up a little longer. The closer we are, the harder it is to juggle everything. I may go down to 2. And of course, during the honeymoon, I’ll just be enjoying myself!

After October, I plan to hop back in to 4 times a week. Let’s see if I can achieve that goal!

Finish The Century 

Success!

My plan was to finish the first draft of The Century by March. I managed to pull that off just barely, although I still had a few pre-chapter blurbs left over to write. I left myself a few revision notes at the beginning of March and moved on.

How to Publish

Success!

I wanted to come to a decision about how to publish both standalone novels by the end of this year, which I’ve done. My idea is to start with self-publishing (after extensive revisions, cover design, editing, and proofreading of course).

With later books, I may sell rights to a small or large publishing house. Later still, I may continue on as a hybrid, publishing in both arenas. Find full details and an explanation as to my reasoning on My Publishing Path.

I also started a short list of who I’d like to beta read The Ageless. If you’re interested, contact me by sending me a private post on Google+ at +Traci Loudin.

Review The Ageless

Complete! Much later than I expected… You can see how I progressed on my Current Projects page.

Once I learned more about self-editing, I realized I needed to carefully review each scene of the novel before making revisions. In some cases, scenes needed immediate triage.

Complicating things, I joined a critique group too early. The group seems to be geared more towards beta reading moreso than alpha reading, so there were lots of hang-ups and false starts. I ended up spending a lot of time revising early scenes before having the clarity of later scenes.

As of today, I’ve reviewed the entire novel and am ready to make my first attempt at a full second draft. It took five whole months of scene audits to reach this point, so that’ll be good to keep in mind for future self-editing.

I’ll estimate 5 full months to complete the second draft, but now that I’m under 4 times a week, it’ll naturally take even longer. Let’s make it a goal to have the second draft of The Ageless complete by February, shall we?

Engage Online

Fail!

One of my goals for 2013 was to engage more on Goodreads, but if anything I’ve become more of a recluse, both online and off. Hopefully this will change after October.

I found some amazing co-moderators to help me with the Speculative Fiction Writers community on Google+. Unfortunately, with the wedding planning, I haven’t been able to participate as much as I had been. Since January, the group has gained 1,100 members.

Read More

Fail in progress.

My goal was to read 20 genre books and a few outside the speculative fiction genre. I’ve certainly fallen behind on this.

Goodreads says I’m doing well, but Serenity, The Emperor’s Soul, and Legion aren’t full-length books. I never actually finished The Lab or Gardens of the Moon, as neither of them kept my interest. The World Without Us was interesting, but I tend not to read “non-fiction” straight through, so I marked this complete without reading the whole thing.

So by my count, I’ve only read 7! Hoping to catch up after the honeymoon, but I doubt I’ll reach my goal.

2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Traci has
read 13 books toward her goal of 25 books.
hide

SciFi Conventions

Pass/fail.

Part of my goals were to talk to more people at cons. Did I actually do this? Yes and no. I talked more to people I actually knew, but still didn’t really go out on a limb and talk to anyone new.

As for 2014, so far we’re planning on MystiCon (where my friend Donnie is a guest!), ConCarolinas, and Dragon*Con. I don’t think I can afford a World Fantasy Con in the same year as a Dragon*Con… Though it is in Virginia next year…

If you have any recommendations on fun science fiction conventions to attend, let me know! Leave a comment below or find me as +Traci Loudin on Google+, the perfect place for fans of science fiction and fantasy to hang out.

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