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Close the Books on 2020

I’m breaking the publication schedule to do a wrapup post. There are going to be a lot of them around this time, and a lot of them are going to mention the pandemic. Or the election. Or both. As they should.

Me, too.

This year did not go at all as planned. I admit that I probably wouldn’t have made my original goals even in a perfect year, but I doubt I would have fallen this far short.

But I did add to my pile of rough drafts. The fantasy sword & planet series books 2 & 3 now have properly sized zero drafts. Between the two, I added a solid 50k or so during April Camp. Book 4 is pretty hefty now, weighing in at a solid 50k (halfway there!). I know where the story is going, which makes hitting the beats in book one much, much easier. I’m comfortable with the large changes I made in revision (moving an entire character arc to later, introducing an alternate character in a position, and massively changing focus at one point), and that they’ll work longer term.

Maybe I shouldn’t have bitten off a series to start with. Or decided my first serious revision toward release should be my second first draft, which was mostly pantsed, rather than one of the better plotted, later NaNoWriMo projects. This one’s been trailing around a while.

Book 1, parts 1 & 2, received critique. I wasn’t told “why are you bothering to write?”, so I consider it a massive success. Book 1, part 3 (and final) is… actually, as I write this, I don’t know. There are two weeks left. We’ll see if I “show up”.

I plotted (with a new plotting approach) book 3 in the housewife spy in a magical world series, and spat out a 90k word rough draft in November. I’m happy with how it developed, and I look forward to revising books 1 & 2 now that I’ve got a satisfactory trilogy. If nothing else, I think it’s going to require less major surgery than the other book 1.

So. Despite the pandemic (which was a huge cognitive load in general, but which affected my life primarily in that the spouse has worked from home since March, and my in-person write-ins vanished), it could almost be considered a productive year.

Here’s to a better 2021!

Published inWriting