Sunday, June 14, 2009

novellas and goals

I can't believe we're already halfway through June. It's unreal. It's like, dude, life is, like, going on around me! Dude! We're almost halfway through 2009!

I did finish revisions to "Never Be Alone" last night. That's the super-long SF story that reached the WOTF semi-finals (ages ago), got interest from one or two pro market editors, but ultimately never found a home. I sent it to Panverse last night, which is a new market focusing on novellas. To get it ready for them, I had to add a few thousand words. At first I wasn't sure I could add anything to an already long story--I thought it would either start to feel padded or try to turn into a novel--but it all came together beautifully. The scenes I added filled some gaps in characterization and plot, including one tiny paragraph that as far as I'm concerned made the entire story 100% better. Even if Panverse doesn't want it, I'm happy with it now in a way I wasn't before.

Since I'm bored and not feeling very good today, I've decided to look at my 2009 writing resolutions and see how I'm doing. Bleah.

land an agent--HAHAHAHA
sell a novel--HAHAHAHA
sell a novel to a major publisher (i.e. one which will get my books on shelves)--HAHAHAHAHA
sell at least four short stories--HAHAoh wait. I already did this.
sell a story to a SFWA pro market--HAHAHA it would help if I'd subbed to any
write at least six short stories (flash doesn't count)--I've written two so far; neither have sold
write at least two novels--I've written one so far

There was one other, to finish writing White Rose, but I've decided not to bother with that one. I have too many real projects going on to bother with one that was never anything but an exercise in writing badly. I'm already an expert at writing badly; I don't really need the practice.


Danielle Birch said...

I always start panicking half way through the year, worrying about whether I'm on track with my goals. Its scary how fast the days are going.

Good luck with the submission too.

K.C. Shaw said...

I was a little ambitious when I made this list, too. I don't think I'm going to stress about any of it except the "write six stories" part, and I still have six months to do that.

BT said...

As long as you're happy with "Never Be Alone" - and from the responses it's had in the past - I'm sure it's only a matter of time till it finds a shiny new home.

As for goals:

land an agent-this is a wish
sell a novel-another wish
sell a novel to a major publisher (i.e. one which will get my books on shelves)-wish!
sell at least four short stories-wish - oh wait. I already did this - but congratulations.
sell a story to a SFWA pro market-wish!
write at least six short stories (flash doesn't count)--I've written two so far; neither have sold - goal.
write at least two novels--I've written one so far - goal.

Your goals need to be controllable by you, and contain little or no measure of luck or reliance on anyone else.

All your wishes rely on someone you have no control over doing what you (and every other writer) wants.

Better goals for you:

Submit manuscripts to at least 20 agents. (or 10, or 3 - whatever)

Submit manuscripts directly to 3 houses who accept unsolicited submissions. Or perhaps research and create a list of said houses)

Continue to submit all of my short stories.

Submit at least 1 story to a SFWA pro market

Write at least six short stories

Write at least two novels.

See what I mean? All of this relies on you - not anyone else.

K.C. Shaw said...

So you're saying that I should only aim for the easily attainable? I don't think landing an agent is a wish rather than a goal, whether or not luck is involved. A goal is something one works toward; a wish is something that one daydreams about but doesn't actually do anything to attain. I'll keep my goals, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Your goals are good - I have many of the same and believe they will happen for both of us. Keep up the good work! "Never Be Alone" sounds like an awesome story that I'd like to read.

Oh, by the way. I read "Orcs and Trolls" the other day and liked it very much. Good job.

Carrie Harris said...

Keep on keeping on! That's what I say. It's not like the world will end if you don't meet a goal (right? RIGHT???). But they're handy motivators when you need them.

Of course, my list of goals is pretty simple, so maybe you don't want to listen to me. Mine has only one item on it. Finish this @$%*ing book!

K.C. Shaw said...

Jeremy--Thanks, I'm glad you liked that story. I think I wrote three stories with trolls in them last fall, and all three types of trolls were very different. Kinda cool, in retrospect.

Carrie--at least your goal isn't "Finish @$%*ing this book." Although it might be easier. :)

Cate Gardner said...

Ooh! Good luck with the novella. I refuse to look at my goals for 2009.

K.C. Shaw said...

I really hope they like it. But if not, at least I do.

BT said...

I'm sorry if you think I was dumping on your goals - that wasn't my intention.

We would all like to gain representation, sell books and become full time writers. I think that would be the ultimate aim of any writer.

I was trying, obviously badly, to talk about the need to do it in smaller, attainable steps that you control. As writers we get few victories as it is, so setting goals that are doable (with effort on your part), while staying on the road to the ultimate prize, allows us to get an occasional win, keep up good spirits and move forward.

I think a new goal for me would be to not upset my writing friends.

I'm sorry.

K.C. Shaw said...

That's okay, I didn't mean to sound so snippy. For reasons well beyond the scope of this blog (and the interest of anyone reading), I'm more stressed than usual this week.

Setting attainable goals is good, but there's no sense in taking baby steps either. I have to set my goals high or I won't try at all. I hadn't sold a single piece of fiction before I made myself a chart (back at the beginning of 2007) with the goal of ten submissions and one sale per quarter, for instance; anyone back then would have told me I was crazy to try, but I made every one of my goals that year including the sales. This year I don't know, but having "land an agent" as my goal has made me send out an awful lot of queries so far.

BT said...

Whatever works for you is a good thing to continue to do.

I'm glad we're still okay.

I'll leave you now to send that submission out to the pro market and to continue work on that second novel...


K.C. Shaw said...

We're cool. :) And I did actually send a submission out to a pro market, so that's one step along.