Monday, February 22, 2010

With Shovel in Hand

A new chapter begins this morning. Literally.

Today, I'm starting to write the sequel to KILLER ROUTINE. I've done my character sketches (sort of). I've outlined the plot (kind of). I've compiled a list of scenes (to some extent). Now, I'm ready to start writing the prose. Today, the dirty work commences.

I've completed a number of manuscripts, and I've always been fairly disciplined in my writing approach, able to keep to a writing schedule. I've set daily/weekly word count goals and knocked them out consistently. Two thousand words a day, five days a week (first draft quality). Sometimes the writing was more of a slog than at other times, but I always managed to catch up quickly if I fell behind.

But circumstances were a little different then. I didn't have a book to promote.

Oh, I always had other writing-related things to do, in addition to the actual "stringing words together" part. Querying, learning about the business, editing, outlining, critiquing, and networking all spring to mind. They're all important in their own way. Now, though, I seem to have a host of other (time-consuming) activities on my plate. Blog touring, preparing/giving presentations at various events, general conference prep, interviews, travel, and a variety of other promotional endeavors. If I chose, I could spend my entire day doing these tasks.

But I've got some writing to do, too.

So I need to figure out a way to get it all done. I've still set daily/weekly quotas for myself, although I'm not aiming for as many words per day as I have in the past. And I'll probably have to pare down some less essential time-wasters activities (Facebook).

But I'll get it all done.

Who needs to sleep, anyhow?



Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I feel for you! That's when life got complicated for me, too. At least it seems like it dies down a little a couple of months after the book comes out. Good luck!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like you have a plan in mind and that's a good start. Good luck.

Elspeth Futcher said...

I would suggest small word goals are a reasonable expectation at this point and some days are going to be more productive than others. I'm sure you'll do well.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

When you figure out how to do it all, please let me know! I can't give up sleep because I get too grumpy.

Alan Orloff said...

Elizabeth - Now you tell me!

Mason - Sometimes I wish I had an 80,000 word plan.

Elspeth - If I lowered my word count quota any farther, I could call it a day after I finished commenting here.

Jane - I'm grumpy with or without sleep. So I figure I might as well get some more stuff done.

UPDATE - I hit my (reduced) quota today! Unfortunately, I think only about 3% of the work is even "readable."

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I didn't notice time allocated to snow shoveling. As this activity will probably last through July, maybe you should budget for it. It could have an impact on word count.

Best Wishes, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Rachel Brady said...

I'm not sure that any plan that calls for reduced Facebooking sounds very good. ;-) In all seriousness, though, good luck with the juggling act. Sounds like you're off to a good start with realistic goals.

Craig Hart said...

I was going to suggest that perhaps you could stick to writing and con Galen into doing your promotion for you. Then I remembered that you want to actually sell books, not wind up in prison.

Good luck!

Unknown said...

Dag--2,000 words a day! That's twice the RDA of 1,000 words or four pages.

Alan Orloff said...

Galen - I think I'm retiring from snow shovelling. It was fun and all, but...

Rachel - Maybe I could somehow combine writing with Facebook. Maybe a novel composed entirely of Status Updates?

Jack - Take it from me, prison is no fun. Just sayin' (although you can get a lot of writing done!)

Alma - Yeah, I don't think I'll be nailing 2000 words per day consistently during this stretch.

Tuesday Update - Yes, I hit my quota again today. The quality is definitely poor, however.