Friday, 8 January 2016

Retrospective and Plans for 2016!

Welcome to the new calendar, everyone! I know some people get very excited about this but I'm still not too sure why. Another one of life's great mysteries, I guess.

It is a good way of organizing things, though, and on that note I've decided to let you all know what I've been organizing with my organizational powers of organization.

First and foremost is (hopefully) the completion of my novel Magic in the Machine, which, if you didn't know, I started writing sometime in 2008 or '09. It took a few years to complete, partially because I did a year-and-a-half course in horticulture. I spent another year going through it with a beta-reader via email before sending it off to an editor at the end of 2012 -- y'know, when the world ended?

That was a fun day.

Anyway, Mr Editor's advice was that (while stressing that I did actually have the talent to succeed) I needed some major structural work to make the novel something that would interest an agent. My world-building was too shallow, my protagonist wasn't proactive enough, and so on.

Now, writers can be funny creatures at the best of times and hearing that I would basically have to start the entire thing again was a bit much for me. I promptly lapsed into writer's block for an entire year, wallowing in my own misery like a pickled frog. It was truly pitiful.

When 2014 rolled around, I started again with new determination and... was absolutely awful. I'd lost all my skill and forgotten why I liked writing in the first place. It took nearly another year to get back on track, but in 2015 I finally managed it. With a bolstered world-building file and a completely revamped plot, I managed to write 15 out of the planned 20 chapters. Yay!

I was set back a little way by a competition I entered, which had me write 7 short stories over all before my eventual defeat by one vote. Oh, cruel fate! But much knowledge was to be gained so I don't really mind.

However, I was set forward by two awesome beta-readers from Belgium. They are awesome, and managed to spur me on far past what I thought I could ever do. So, thanks, awesome people!

So now, we're at now, and I've already gotten stuck into chapter 16. I'm hoping to have the bulk of the novel done by May, although I might still have some work to on the in-world languages. After that, who knows? I'd like to find an agent before the end of the year but that's not really up to me. Maybe if I don't have any luck by 2017, I'll just publish online or something.

Also on my to-do list is to write a few more short stories. I found that I actually really liked doing them and they allow me to explore more of my story-world than I can with the novel. If I can find more things to write blogs about, I'll write some more blogs, too. (Please let me know if there's anything you'd think would make a good Maz-blog!)

Now that I've been writing for over a decade, I think I can really start to get stuff done. I'm not a clueless noob anymore, and things have definitely changed since I started. Namely in that I have all the powers of the internet at my disposal. Hoorah!

So, lastly, I'd like to say a humongous "Thank You!!" to everyone who's supported me so far and I hope you'll continue to do so. May you all have a productive year, too! Let me know what you hope to accomplish in the comment section below because that would be awesome.