Monday, 1 September 2014

Writing Update: The End Is Now!

At the beginning of August I worked out a writing plan for the next 12 months, with certain weeks or months set aside for different projects. I gave myself a 45K word target for my YA science fiction series by the end of August. At 39,856 I didn't make my target. However, I did add another 24,137 words in August. So, I'm pretty happy. I'm still not sure if I'll be releasing this as a series of 15K episodes or as three 45K novellas. At the moment, it could be either.

As it's now September, I've moved on to the second of the three projects I'll be balancing - book one of two apocalyptic novellas. I'd like to write more novellas and make it a series, but only if the story calls for more. I've read trilogies were it's apparent the author forced a third book and it didn't quite work. I don't want to make that mistake.

This month's project is apocalyptic fiction, one of my favourite genres. It's hard trying to think of something fresh and original. I think I've got it. I guess it won't be until the beta readers get hold of it that I'll know whether it's different enough from what's already out there. Expect nail-biting to commence once I reach that stage.

I've decided to be a tease and give you a taster of the cover for book one. Hope you like it!


Talking of apocalypses, I'm a huge fan of The Walking Dead and anything related to zombies. The more blood and guts, the better. Earlier today two friends sent me a link to something that nearly had me punching the air with happiness. The nearest city to where I live holds an annual zombie walk. How cool is that, and how did I not know?

Exeter's 4th Annual Zombie Walk is being held on October 31st. I really want to go. All I need now is to find some local friends willing to join me, and get made up as zombies.

How do you decide the length of a book? Do you set out to reach a certain word limit or does the story sometimes dictate the length? Are you a fan of the apocalyptic genre? Have you done or would you like to do a zombie walk? As always, I'd love to know your thoughts.

24 comments:

  1. Looks like that will be a cool cover. I bet your critique partners dig the story.
    I just write until the story is done, all the while praying I at least hit 70,000 words for a full novel. (And just made it with my latest manuscript.)

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    1. The elusive word count - I know it well!

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  2. I think you just need to write the story until it's done, and also I think these free days there is a lot more freedom with word count conventions, especially if you self-publish. You've achieved a lot this month in any case and sounds like you're on a roll! Hope to see pictures from the Zombie Walk if you go. :)

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    1. I agree, Nick. I think the days of having to publish something of a set word length are gone. If you Indie publish, you can pretty much choose any length you like.

      I'd love to do the zombie walk, but only if I can get the time off work and find someone to go with!

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  3. Oops, don't know where free days came from... except that's also something you can do with self-publishing!

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  4. Love the tease! And I just got into The Walking Dead and I'm obsessed. I don't know what took me so long. Currently on S3 and I'm beyond addicted. The zombie walk sounds fun!

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    1. At least you can watch several episodes at one!

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  5. I think a zombie walk would be awesome.

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  6. Congrats on meeting your goal. Oh man, I can't wait for Walking Dead to return. I'd go with you if I lived in t he area.

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    1. Thank you, Donna.

      I wish you lived closer. I can't find anyone who wants to go. Sob.

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  7. What is to love about zombies? They smell awful and they keep trying to eat your brains. Try to organise a nice brisk walk and they just shamble along at their own pace. As conversationalists they suck. And talking of sucking, those with no teeth left try to suck out your brains. Give me a good old fashioned ghost any time, even a banshee is preferable to a zombie, although they never cease moaning. Anyway, enjoy the walk.

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    1. You make me laugh and smile, Snafu.

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  8. Impressive word counts even if you didn't quite hit the target, so well done I say! As to writing to a word count, I've done it both ways. Depends what I'm writing I guess. With a novel I just let it become as big as it needs to be...

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    1. Thank you, Simon. I do believe in not writing to a set word limit. My monthly word counts are just a target. Too much restriction stifles creativity!

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  9. I always just write the book until it's done. Sometimes it's shorter or longer than I expected.

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    1. One of my current projects started as a short story, but begged to be longer. Those pesky characters are never satisfied!

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  10. Sounds like there's awesomess afoot on your end. I love me some zombies, too. For me, I decide what my word count will be and then do some math to figure out how many days I want to spend on the project and how many words a day I need to write to make that happen. It's been fairly effective. :)

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    1. Thanks, David.

      Everyone seems to have a different system. I guess it's about finding what works for each person and sticking to it.

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  11. Yes, that golden eye totally got me!!!!! A picture is a fine place to start.

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    1. Thank you, Catherine. I pleased it had the desired effect!

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  12. Great teaser. It looks like the eye is dripping gold.

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    1. Thanks, Southpaw. My cover designer has struck gold again.

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