A quarter of the way through the year and things are going pretty well.  My aim was to get half a million words written this year and I’m already about half-way there.
My YTD target for March was 225,000 with an outlier goal of quarter of a million.  Sadly I missed the quarter of a million word goal but I did exceed the other one.  YTD total as of 1st April 2015 stands at a mighty 243,000.  So close, and yet so far!
It’s actually hard to be disappointed with March’s results as it was an incredibly trying time for me.  My father got rushed into hospital seriously ill, and even if I couldn’t always get up to the hospital to be with him, organising other things occupied my time and thinking about him occupied my mind.  But a good foundation of organisation meant that something as major as this didn’t derail me.  Yeah, take that universe!
Project 4S
So I wrote the first draft of a thing and I finished on my deadline.  The actual deadline, not the revised one or the one after that.  2 months for a 120,000 word novel.  Not bad, when you consider all the other projects and things going on.
I like the book, I think it has major series potential, but I need to put it in a virtual drawer for a while so I can look at it afresh when I come to edit it.  I write pretty solid first drafts so don’t expect much more structural stuff than a couple of chapter rewrites… but I’ll wait and see what editing brings when I get to it in the summer.
Not a huge number of articles this month.  I had my usual gigs at Fantasy-Faction and GPSTracklog.  I also did a piece on productive writing for the BSFA.  I didn’t like the first piece I did, so I completely rewrote it and think the second draft much stronger.  You’ll probably see that one in May, which means I need to have a project ready around the same time.
I’ve settled into blogging a couple of times a week.  This seems like a decent pace for me, although if there’s any major news that can’t wait, I’ll do extra posts.  It seems to be working for me.  It’s also been nice to finally be able to reveal some of the projects I’ve had going on in the background such as Project Tornado / Eastercon
Eastercon is just around the corner, and as I announced, I’m doing a presentation on Storm Chasing.  I’ve just finalised the last few bits, and if we can fit everything into the time, I think it should be a really informative talk.  Sometimes you just get a really good feeling about something, and providing the tech holds together, you should both be informed and entertained.
If you’re at Eastercon, be sure to come along at lunchtime on Sunday
Project Tornado
So I finally got to reveal project Tornado, my very own small press.  Having been working on this in the background for some time now, it was nice to take it from the planning phase to the execution phase.
Not only did I manage to get my test books out on Amazon (One even ranked in the top 10 for in its category), but I got them on other major platforms as well.
I’m working with a bunch of successful indie authors and learn something  new every day.
I’m now in the process of trying to market those books, and learning a lot in the process.  My first major gaffe was on trying to make one of the books permafree, causing me to lose a little time.  But my books seem to be moving, even if my sales funnel needs some major tweaking.
I’ve got a Geocaching book I hope to put out next month.  It’s written, just needs a bit of editing.  I’ve then got a series of books planned on my writing process (which I want the first to come out around the time of that BSFA article).
Moving forward, I’m toying with the idea of a prequel novella for The Four Realms, possibly timed around the release of The Thieving King.  We’ll see, it’s just an idea at the moment.
Editing Process
I tasked myself with getting some editing data in March.  This is one task I completely failed at.  I installed togglr so I have the ability to measure my work.  I just failed to put it into action.
Elsewhere I did some reading up on productive processes for editing.  With Thieving King due to start a pre-beta edit in April, this is the perfect time to really start playing around with it and getting some useful data.
Work Out On Submission
I have a couple of pieces that I’ve submitted that I’m waiting to hear back on that’s due around this time (as in Aprilish).  Seeing as there is nothing I can do but wait for a reply, I’ve just decided to forget about these until I get back from Storm chasing in late May, or I hear back.
Black As Knight
I’ve been dusting the synopsis off for this a bit.  I think the synopsis to this could be tighter and I read a very useful book on writing a tight synopsis that I want to put into action.
Behind the scenes I’m a little angry with myself that I have a habit of sending something out, getting a single positive rejection and then effectively benching the work.  I’ve got the organisational skills to be on top of the whole submission game, but I’m aware that I don’t have synposises of varying length required for different submissions.  I’m trying to put these together so that whether a publisher or agent wants a one page or five page synopsis, I have them to hand.
Plans For April
The big project for April will be The Thieving King edit.  This is going to be quite exciting as it’s the first big editing job of the year and I’m interested to see how this fits in with other ongoing work.  I have no idea how long this is going to take.  I’d like to get it done before I go Storm Chasing in May but I think 6 weeks might be a little ambitious for a 200,000 word novel.
Instead, I’m going to start on it and see how long it takes, hoping that my work ethic means I won’t procrastinate on it too much.  And I WILL collect editing data, God help me!
Tornado Press has one book that should come out, with a second book I hope to have at least drafted.
Aside from that, I want to get started on Four Realms #3.  I think editing Thieving King whilst writing the next book should go well together and help establish a consistency of voice.  I am aware that I have my trip coming up in May and ideally don’t want to be mid-way through a project when that happens.  Maybe I can write and storm chase?  That would be an interesting challenge.  I have until Easter Monday to decide what I write next.
Either way, some work on Book #3, even if it’s just outlining will be taking place.
There’s always bound to be opportunities come out of Eastercon so that might also dictate April as well.
Wordcount total:  I’d like to hit 333,000 so I hit a third of the way to a million words,  a third of the way through the year.  But I’m worried I might lose time in May due to holiday, so if I could push it to 350,000 that would be a nice bit of a buffer.
Whatever happens, I’ll report back at the beginning of May with an update on everything that’s happened.