2014 Recap and Reflections

The Last of the Ageless available in ebook and paperback formatsBefore looking back, let’s assess the present: I’m working on narrowing down my title ideas for The Ageless. Right now I’m leaning toward The End of the Ageless, but we’ll see what my editors think.

The Ageless survived major developmental edits and is now going through another phase of closer edits. I’m lining up a copy editor and proofreader and have drafted my next recruits to be my final round of beta readers. I have a huge list of designers, which I’ll start narrowing down in the next couple weeks.

My Next Novel

Earlier in the year, I planned to work on The Century when I passed The Ageless off to beta readers and editors. Midway through the year, however, I changed my mind and decided I’m not going to tackle The Century anytime in the foreseeable future. The characters just aren’t compelling enough, even though I love the world and the technology and the magic.

However, I don’t consider my time writing a new draft of The Century to be wasted time. I’m sure I honed my skills during that time.

Instead, I decided to start a new project with a blend of magic and technology. I got really involved in the world building, character building, and history of the world. It was awesome to really stretch with something new for the first time in years, and in some ways, I had to relearn my own process.

Juggling in Glacier by Evan Lovely

Juggling in Glacier by Evan Lovely

In the end, I developed the entire outline. I’m now poised on the precipice. I’d like to wait til I can sit down and just write and write and write the whole thing, once The Ageless is wrapped up. But I’m starting to realize doing so would be folly.

I need to be more flexible about working on multiple projects at once. Not that I’ll be writing two at once, but I need to juggle multiple balls at a time. Balls being novels. Different colored balls, at different stages. Yeah, I didn’t really think that metaphor through.

Editors

Developmental edits have been extremely useful. I managed not to totally freak out at the huge changes I needed to make to various characters and their backstories. It’s not a surprise to me that control of characterization was my weakest point.

I’ll work with a copy editor in February once I’m done with later phases of developmental editing.

Beta Readers and Publishing Schedule

As I mentioned in my Six-Month Checkup post, having two sets of beta readers failed utterly, partly because Round 2 pushed up against my developmental editor schedule.

I also said I was on track to publish The Ageless in first quarter of 2015. I’m not sure if I’m just dragging my feet, but I’m still not ready to do that. I want to have that second round of beta readers tell me that what I did during developmental edits wasn’t crazy. (You can sign up to read here.)

At this point, I’m targeting a summer release. (Sign up for the new release newsletter here.) I may not worry about having two rounds of readers for future novels, I just feel like I need that extra security blanket to be sure I’m not publishing something awful for my first one.

Scifi Conventions in 2014

As for attending conventions, we didn’t make it to as many as I’d hoped. Anachrocon and Mysticon were both out.

Of course I made it to ConCarolinas, which is in my own town, and we had a blast at Dragon*Con. (My series of blog posts recapping Dragon*Con starts here.)

Reading Genre Fiction and Non-Fiction

My reading speed slowed down in the latter half of the year, but I achieved my reading goals for the year, which you can read about in my last post.

I also bought a bundle of excellent self-publishing books and have begun treating my Kindle app as something not just for pleasure, but for learning more about the next phases in my publishing career.

Writing and Publishing Podcasts


Of course, I wouldn’t have known about that most excellent bundle of self-publishing books if not for the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast. Every day on my commute I listen to Simon, as well as other podcasts including Speculate!, Writing Excuses, Lindsay Buroker’s walking podcasts, Hide and Create, and Geeks Guide to the Galaxy.

Online Presence

I’m not sure I was necessarily more active on Google+, but I was certainly more successful with my efforts. I now have 4,500 followers and am always meeting new writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy there.

My presence on Facebook and Twitter dropped drastically.

Facebook, because I truly no longer see the point. Like many other authors and freelancers, I’m troubled and annoyed by the changes to Facebook Pages. I’m still trying to decide how public I want to make my personal profile, considering I’ve used it since I was a teenager. I might just obliterate it and start over. I’d treat it more like Google+ then, posting publicly almost all the time and never assuming anything is private.

Twitter irks me. Expressing myself in 140 characters gives me a headache. Nothing has any context.

I definitely wasn’t more active on Goodreads or other fan sites, but I’m OK with that. I’m happy to have a decent if not active presence on Goodreads, which I’d like to try to expand to Shelfari and LibraryThing in 2015.

Your Turn

What were you up to this year? 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.

My Posts in 2014