Archives: The Century

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.

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2014 Writing and Publishing Plans

2014 Writing and Publishing Plans

Time for another update!

2013 Review

Coming Soon! by Paul Downey | Flickr

Due to a certain wedding and honeymoon, I got a little behind on The Ageless, my post-apocalyptic novel with fantasy elements. But my writing is back on track now.

I’d planned to jump back to 4 sessions a week after the wedding, but I’ve actually been fitting in 5 writing sessions a week!

As for 2013 word counts, since most of the year was review and revisions, I only wrote about 50,000 words. That doesn’t count a lot of in-line revisions, but it does count entire scene rewrites (e.g. if switching POV).

You can follow along with my progress on my writing calendar.

I finished my review of The Ageless, and am deep into rewrites. I had hoped to finish them by February, but now it looks like it’ll be closer to the end of February or mid to late March.

I also clarified how I plan to publish The Ageless, The Century, and my unknown future projects.

In December 2013, I completed a business plan for Worldbinding, based on an episode of the Rocking Self-Publishing podcast. I think it’ll help make my goals clearer in times of uncertainty.

Now, let’s talk about 2014.

2014 Writing and Publishing Goals

In order to better predict when I’ll be ready to publish The Ageless and The Century, I started used a Gantt chart in Google Drive. It’s really helped illuminate how unrealistically optimistic I was being about my publishing dates.

For instance, I thought that I’d be able to publish The Ageless in late 2014. But finding a cover designer, developmental editor, copy editor, proofreader, and formatter will take time, working with them will take time, and putting it all together will take time. Which I’d not fully considered. With a Gantt chart, you can really see how dependent upon one another all these tasks are.

I’m now focusing on the following goals:

  • Complete Pass 1 and Pass 2 revisions to The Ageless and hand it off to beta readers by late February to late March
  • Finish incorporating feedback from alpha and beta readers and submit to my future developmental editor by mid June
  • Finish incorporating feedback from my editor and submit to my future copy editor by mid August
  • Finish incorporating copy edits and submit to my future proofreader by mid September 
  • Submit concept ideas to my future cover designer by mid September
  • Review proofreader’s changes and submit to my future interior formatter by mid October 
  • Receive first draft and send feedback of cover by mid October
  • Compare and choose final cover by early November
  • Give cover designer final page count for spine width, give formatter digital cover for ebook, other administrative stuff, upload to Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, CreateSpace, etc. 
  • Release around the first of the year, 2015. 
And while The Ageless is away with other people (beta readers, editors, etc.), I can be working on Pass 1 revisions to The Century. 

Non-Writing Goals

I intend to attend either AnachroCon in Atlanta or MystiCon in Virginia in February, ConCarolinas in June, and Dragon*Con in August. I’m hoping to attend 2015 WorldCon, but we’ll see how finances look later this year. 
You can see in my last post that I plan to read 18 books by female authors in 2014. 
I also hope to be more active on Google+, Goodreads, and other fan sites in 2014. 

Let’s Talk

Are you planning to publish a book in 2014? If you have any suggestions for good SFF editors or cover designers, please let me know.

If you’re interested in beta reading any of my novels, contact me by sending me a private post on Google+ at +Traci Loudin.

If you sign up for my new releases newsletter, you’ll be the first to know when I publish The Ageless.

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Six-Month Checkup: 2013 Edition

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.
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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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