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2015 Writing and Publishing Plans

Steampunk-Setting-IMG_2011-by-matamari-or-Matt-Kircher-on-FlickrHow did 2015 sneak up on me like that? Here I thought I’d publish my first book in 2014… I’m going to actually do it this year, though. In my last post, I reflected on what I did accomplish in 2014, such as outlining my next novel, attending scifi cons, and revising The Ageless.

Looking Back

It’s amusing to me to go back and look at my 2012 thrice-weekly writing goals, how in 2013 I was still trying to decide how to publish, and how optimistic I was about my timelines in 2014. I tried to use a Gantt chart in 2014 to help me better estimate my timing, but it was too cumbersome.

This year, I’ve started using a weekly planner called to keep on-task day after day and to visualize my longer editing, design, and publication schedules. I’m hoping these will help me defeat procrastination and keep more accurate timelines.

Of course, I said something similar this time last year. Round 2, Fight!

Table of Contents

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2014 Recap and Reflections

Before 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 worldbuilding, 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

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.

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Great Editors for SFF Novelists

In my last post, I talked about how I started with a broad list of developmental editors, how I narrowed down the list, and how I ended up with a difficult decision among 5 really fantastic editors. In this post, I list those 5 editors and talk about why you might want to hire them for your own novel. But first… what is developmental editing?

Editing a Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel

There are lots of terms out there for editing: developmental, structural, substantive, story, content, copy, line, and maybe some others I don’t remember. But in general, most editors agree there are three levels of editing:

Developmental, Structural, Substantive, Story, or Content Editing

Sometimes editors will break this task up into two. They’ll send an editorial letter or give an overview of opportunities for improvement. And then they’ll do a close read, leaving comments line by line. Regardless of whether they break this up, the list below mentions some things this type of editor helps you with.
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