Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Setting Deadlines

OK, so it's been three months since I last posted here. That's very bad of me, I know. But for much of the first three months of 2009 I have been feeling pretty shattered, and not up for writing much. However, it's now time for me to start cranking things up a few gears.

My OU course has been going OK. I've got two more assignments to go, and then the End of Course Assessment. I've already done a draft of the next assignment, which isn't due in for about four weeks. The fifth assignment is due in around the middle of May, and the End of Course Assessment is due in by 5th June. And I've already signed up for next years course...

Tomorrow Script Frenzy officially starts (although I may not start until Thursday because I want to watch the football tomorrow). I'm going to be doing some radio scripts, with a serious intention of submitting one of them to BBC Radio 4 later on in the year. I've got my idea for what I'm going to write about, and I'm pretty excited by it! I won't reveal what it is yet, but I'm happy to announce the title of the main script: "The Trial of Timothy Hepton"

One of the reasons why I don't seem to be producing an awful lot in the way of writing at the moment is a lack of deadlines. NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy can help with that, but what I'm also going to do is announce a few things here, with deadlines, to try and force myself to get them done. And so here goes...

In my last blog entry I mentioned a new writing project that I was planning to start in either late January or early February. Well, I haven't started it yet, but I will do so in the near future. Because of my course deadlines, and something else I'll be doing first, it won't be for a little while yet, but it will definitely start on 20th June. What it will be is that I'll be writing a new novel at a pace of one chapter a week. I'll be releasing it as a series of freely downloadable PDFs, and setting up a forum somewhere so that people can discuss it - people can tell me if they love it or hate it, and discuss what they think will be happening next. However, what they say won't affect the plot as I already know what that's going to be! This novel already has a title which I can announce today: "Recall"

But, before that, by the 30th May, I'm determined to get myself into print! Well, self-publishing something anyway. I'm planning to write a long-short story, or, as I prefer to call it, a "novellette" (which is longer than a short story, but shorter than a novella or a novel). I'm aiming for around 20,000 words. If all goes to plan by 30th May it'll be available to purchase online at around £2.99 for the paperback version, or around 99p as an e-book. I still need to look into all of the processes involved with this and so those prices aren't final. I don't have a title for this one yet, so watch this space...

My NaNoWriMo novel (which is called "They Are Coming...") is still not completed, but I really want to get it done. And so I'm going to aim to get the first draft completed by 31st July, and the rewrites done by 31st October ready to start submitting it to agents and publishers. And just in time to start the next NaNoWriMo novel...

Also, (yes, there's more!) I'm planning to start a new novel writing initiative that everyone can take part in! I intend to run it through Facebook (and so if your a writing friend of mine on there you'll be hearing more about it soon) and start it on 6th June. I'm not going to reveal the details about that yet, but I'm pretty excited about it!

And then (nope, not finished yet!) I have an idea for another novel to write. I'm not going to reveal what it's about, but I think that it's a really good idea. However, it's also a complex and difficult idea - it will not be possible to get a draft done in a month like with NaNoWriMo. It will require a lot of planning and research beforehand, and so I'll be taking my time with it. But, if I can pull it off, it should be pretty special. I'll be starting work on this in September, but I'm not imposing any deadlines on this one as yet.

And finally, I want to start entering some competitions. There are a whole myriad of competitions out there, but I've selected the regular monthly competition in Writers' Forum magazine to aim for. All types of short stories can be entered into it, and it has a flexible word limit of 1,000 to 3,000 words. I subscribe to the magazine, and so it will cost me £7 to enter each month. The first prize each month is £300, second prize is £150, and third prize is £100. I intend to enter once each month from September for at least a year, aiming to win at least one prize, which will more than make up the entry fees, as well as getting the winning story published in the magazine. But whether I'll be any good to win a prize is another matter - I guess we'll be finding out nearer the time!

So, all in all, things are going to start to get busy. But I'll keep you all up to date with what I'm up to in this blog. (And I promise it won't be another three months until my next entry!)

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