Happy 2018, TKZers! (Sorry for the exclamation point, John. I had to poke you after your great post on Note to Copy Editor.)
Has anyone made any new year’s resolutions for your writing?
I love the start of a new year, especially after I finished December 2017 with time off to replenish the creative well without a deadline to race against. I wanted to spend quality time with family and friends. Mission accomplished.
I have a deadline looming mid-February 2018, so I’m hunkered down with my daily word count, but the time off has done wonders for my enthusiasm.
My 5 Writing Resolutions for 2018
1.) Read Better Books – One of my 2018 resolutions is to read more books from some of my favorite authors. Well-crafted books inspire and challenge me. I love learning new things.
In 2017, I thought that since I read so much, that I should mitigate the hit to my budget by reading free e-books. I DID find some new authors I liked, but they were few and far between. For the most part, I had to stop reading many, many books (which I hate to do), due to the poor quality of the writing.
Some of the chronic problems I saw were novels with excessive passive voice, typos, missing words, rambling internal monologues, back story dumps, chatty dialogue without focus, bland characterizations, misuse of first person POV, characters I didn’t care about, and plots without structure or pace. My version of throwing the book against the wall was to delete/purge the free books off my e-reader.
To kickoff 2018, I’m reading Michael Connelly’s latest – Two Kinds of Truth – & I scored it when it was on sale. Win-Win.
2.) Dare to Try New Things – I have a partially written novel that I will finish in 2018. It involves an aspect of historical writing. It scares me to death. I’ve never taken on such an endeavor, something so daunting for me.
I’ve done my research on Victorian England (countless searches on the Internet and purchasing several research books) and need to infuse my prose with the right time period setting and dialect, without going overboard to slow the pace. It’s been a challenge on layering what I need into every scene, but so far it’s working. I’ve made a resolution to jump back on it after my Feb deadline.
3.) Stay Better Connected with my Family and Friends – This is a personal goal, but it contributes a great deal to my writing inspirations and my positive frame of mind. My close circle gives me the elixir of joy that I need to push myself to new accomplishments. The bigger challenge might be to find face time during the year, in between my deadlines, but this is important to me. It needs to happen.
4.) Add Depth to my Character Voices & Back Story – In my 2018 challenge novel, the one that will have historical elements, I have a unique character that makes me work hard to get her right. I struggle for every word out of her mouth, to make her distinctive. This has not been an easy feat.
As I write, I have my Thesaurus open and often must go back over what I had jotted down in haste, to fine tune her voice and truly listen to her as I edit. One of my pet peeves is to read a book that starts out with great care, but it gets sloppy on the character portrayal in the middle and toward the end. That feels like a cheat to me, so I am putting effort into every scene all the way through.
5.) Find a Better Balance with my Deadlines – I want to find a better balance between writing Amazon Kindle World novellas along with my full novels this year. Kindle World deadlines are totally up to me on how many I agree to write and what those deadlines might be. I will commit to fewer KWs this year (to write in more selected worlds), in order to find time for my full length novels and proposals.
Those are my top five resolutions. They should probably be called GOALS. In my mind they are very achievable and I’m determined to check them off my list as I get them done.
What about you, TKZers? Have you made any writer resolutions for 2018?
Do you have any rituals for goal setting? How do you celebrate your achievements?
Below is my next cover for a book I haven’t started yet. I have a general idea on the plot and had a broad outline, but after playing with the cover, I’m now inspired to launch into the story. I even changed the title to make it fit.
Valentine & the Lotus Circle
(Novella 2 of 2)
Coming Feb, 2018
Love made him vulnerable…once
Driven by guilt and revenge over a tragic death, Braxton Valentine is coerced into being the latest recruit to the Phoenix Agency as a covert operator and a powerful psychic, but he is not a team player. To confront his rogue ways, the Agency hires a mysterious woman psychic from the ancient and mythical Lotus Circle–and she takes no prisoners.