Writing Cycle & Release Plans | Revisited

This post originally appeared in May 2016. I’ve updated the information to reflect progress and plans. New info appears in bold.

I am trying to get this book done this month. No really, August is gonna make it happen.

And by done, I mean the second draft completed. Finishing at the end of August would put me at 13 weeks to write a full historical fantasy novel and redraft. At this point, I am targeting a finished length of about 80,000 words which feels right for this story. It took about 60 hours of writing to finish the first draft.

The Series

I planned this book to kick off a seven book series. For the direction I want to go, it just makes sense. I know I want to self-publish, but I don’t want to lose much visibility, so I am thinking of holding book one back until book three is almost ready to go. That way I can release books 1, 2, and 3 in quick succession. If I time it right I might be able to get book 4 and part of book 5 written in that time, based on how long it has taken me to do book 1. If I can then get 6 and 7 done I could potentially have a completed series in 18-24 months.

This is the part of the plan that is most in flux because there are so many life factors that have to be considered when planning something like this long term. For sure I want to publish the first 3 books pretty quickly. The rest is up in the air at the moment.

Writing Cycle

This is a super aggressive writing plan to get all three books drafted and somewhat edited by the end of 2016. Adjusted for summer off…

Book one first draft due May 31, 2016. Finished August 4, 2016 (summer off)
Book two working outline due June 3, 2016. Due August 31, 2016.

Book one first edit and notes due June 10, 2016. Due August 17, 2016.
Book two first draft due August 31, 2016. Due October 28, 2016.

Book one second draft due September 16, 2016. Due August 31, 2016.
Book two first edit and notes due September 30, 2016. Due November 4, 2016.

Book three working outline due October 7, 2016. Due November 11, 2016.
Book three first draft due December 16, 2016. Due January 13, 2017.

Publishing Cycle

This is more up in the air. I’ve never sent a book to an editor or beta readers or anything, so I really don’t know how long or how many passes, etc. But I want to publish book one in January 2017 at the latest, probably November 2016 at the earliest. Definitely not til January at this point.

That would put book two published between December and February, and book three published between January and March.

I know those are broad ranges, but until I get a little experience under my belt (and see if I can even keep up with my aggressive writing schedule) (Nope. But I’ve recalibrated) I just don’t know. These are penciled in dates that don’t even take into account getting covers, blurbs, etc done.

Final Thoughts

I’m glad to have a plan in writing. Heck, I’m glad to have a plan, period. Of course, I’ll update every step of the way. And hey, if anyone out there has any experience in this game and wants to let me know if this looks good/doable/sane I’d love to hear it.

Summer Vacation 2016

Another summer is winding down.

My last update in May held a schedule for writing and releasing a trilogy of books in early 2017. While I am off schedule I think it’s still doable to release as planned. We’ll see how editing book one goes. I’ll post an updated goal schedule later this week.

As for summer vacation, it was similar to last year. Similarly AWESOME!

I still spent quite a bit of time in the car but for different reasons this year. The oldest can drive now, so that helps, but she also attended camps in Central Texas and Arkansas this year, and who drove her to said camps? Yeah.

Middle and little are still busy, and with oldest driving herself to work and such, she’s not always available for taxi duty. This too shall pass and one day I will be wishing I had this time with them back.

The writing took a back seat until last week. I eased back into a daily writing habit with no goals. Made some definite progress, but it’s hard getting back in the habit of being okay with the pile of crap that is the first draft.

Before I started writing, I came back and re-read the last third of the book to get back into the world. You know what? It wasn’t terrible! It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t garbage… So, there’s that.

What was funny was that the read-through introduced a new problem – unclear goals and motivations for just about everything and everyone.

I kept writing, Gotta finish the first draft before I can finesse it, but if knowing is half the battle, I feel like I’m almost there. I have been puzzling out the whole tangled knot of GMC for each character and I think I have a good plan in place for when I go fixing everything.

Still, a couple of things coming before summer closes up shop for the year, but I’m mostly back in business.

Here’s hoping your summer was awesome too!