It's the Year of the Sparkle Dragon. I don't know why, but I can feel it's a year for big things. All this week, I'll be going over goals I've set myself for the year.
Goal #3: Write More
Last year was the Year of Living Write, and a lot of incredible things happened. I presented 2 succesful workshops at the Japan Writers Conference. I was included in a non-fiction anthology which raised funds for earthquake relief. I also had a short story-in-verse selected for inclusion in Tomo, a YA anthology to be released March 10, 2012.
I didn't however, make the progress I'd like in the novel-writing sphere.
Last year, I made it my goal to take a novel through the full pre-query process. Write, re-write, edit, critique, rise, repeat.I didn't get it done, so that mission carries over to this year. Actually, I have two first drafts I want to polish. My last nano MS stars a bipolar MC, and I think that premise has the best hook of all my first drafts, so I want to polish it.
Then there's MS2, my only speculative fiction. You may remember me ranting about how bad it is. Turned out, I'd never actually re-read it. And I did while resting the last nano. The delivery still kind of sucks, but it's got a great premise, and there's like half a plot- about 49.9% more than any of my other stories.
So my mission for the year is to run them both through a couple of drafts.
I still haven't managed to write a first draft outside of nanowrimo yet. Hopefully, I'll get to that this year. This is a sub-goal, though. I know I'm capable of turning out a first draft, so I'm giving priority to things I haven't been able to do yet.
Speaking of things I can't do...
In 2010, I lined up a conference in the US. Then I lost my passport, and couldn't go. I swear the minute I cancelled it, I found the passport.
In 2011, I lined up a conference in the UK. I was supposed to leave on March 20th. The great North East Japan earthquake happened March 11. Guess where I live. That's right, North East Japan! When the 20th rolled around, there were still no trains, and we had a gasoline shortage as well. I cancelled my trip and figured I'd leave the seats for people who really needed to get out. Plus I was afraid of not being able to get back.
2012? Third time's a charm?
I'm 90% sure I'm going with a UK conference. The vibe I'm getting is that the US will ask me to fit into their world, and that the UK will love me for being Barbadian. That's an oversimplification, and hopefully I'll get to explain in detail some day.
This conference is also a good reason to have a polished MS ready. In fact, the conference isn't really worth it without a polished MS. I mean, I'm sure I'll get a whole lot of fantastically informative lectures, but I can poke about the internet and find most of that for free. And I can go to the Japan Writers Conference, for under $500 including travel and accomodation. If I go to a conference, it's for the opportunity to make connections, and to get feedback on my work. (The UK conference lets you submit the opening of your novel for critique, and you get a one on one session with 2 agents/book doctors of your choice.)
By the end of the year, I want to look at submitting a novel-length manuscript. I haven't submitted so far because my work hasn't been ready. But I'm beginning to wonder if my work stays "not ready" so I always have an excuse not to submit it. If I manage to acheive the other points in this post, then I should be able to bring myself up to submission stage. I've been stagnating at the same point of the writing game for way too long.
That's all she wrote! Any writing goals for you guys in the Year of the Sparkle Dragon?