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2018 Writing Goals

Time to lay out my plan for next year.



The first draft is done and resting at the moment. What needs to be done starting in late January or February:

  1. A couple of rounds of revisions. There are things I now know need to be established or foreshadowed. There are always things I need to flesh out–often description or improving blocks of dialog.
  2. Send it out to my beta readers, hopefully in March.
  3. Incorporate any revisions that come out of that.
  4. Polishing edit.
  5. Formatting.

This all indicates that the earliest I’m likely to be able to publish is May.

The only potential issue that could delay this significantly is the next goal. Either way, this one is getting published in 2018.

Second Goal: Finish and (hopefully) publish BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM.

Realistically, getting this all the way to publication in 2018 is a stretch goal. I’m slightly less than 10,000 words into it at the moment. Even if I keep up this pace, I won’t be to the half-way point before I need to turn back to revisions on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING. And it’s probably doubtful that I’d be able to finish it during March (while the beta readers have the first book.)

That is, unless this story turns out to be shorter than I think it is. And I still don’t have a real good feel for that. If it’s going to be shorter than BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING (which is already on the short side for an epic fantasy), there’s a chance I may decide to delay publication of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING and publish them together. That’s a decision for later, though.

Third Goal: (Re)Start the rewrite of MAGE STORM (which probably needs a new title, as well).

This is a story I wrote several years ago and one I still very much believe in. The problem with its current form is not the story or even the writing. It’ because the first version was essentially an upper middle grade story–for ages 10 – 12. And that’s just a really, really, rough market for several reasons.

But this story has plenty of potential and can easily become an epic fantasy for an adult or near-adult audience, which is a much, much better audience–and more where I want to position myself as an author.

So, what needs to be done:

  • I need to add a couple of years to the characters’ ages. The difference between twelve and fifteen is more than just a couple of years, though. Some things about how they interact with their families, each other, and the world, and what their aims are–or would be if they didn’t have to deal with the big story problem–will also have to change.
  • In the first version, I kept to only one character’s POV. That will also change. As an epic fantasy, there will be at least two and maybe as many as four more point-of-view characters.
  • And, the big one. There is a major, world-sized problem that was more or less in the background of the middle grade version of this story. That has to come to the fore and be made more dire and immediate.
  • I always intended this story to be the first of a potential four-book series of sequential stories that didn’t necessarily fit under a larger story arc. Some or all of those other stories may get more . . . sort of squashed together into a single arc. That’s something I’ll find out during the rewrite.

Fourth Goal: All the little, sometimes annoying, usually time-consuming, administrative-type things:

  • Complete the migration off of Pronoun and either back to Kindle Select (the four or five books mentioned in my last post) or onto Draft 2 Digital for wide distribution.
  • Finish setting up the x-ray option for selected books.
  • Some semi-regular promotions.
  • And whatever else comes up of this general type.

Fifth Goal: The perennial keep on learning.

  • Figure out how to do a better job of marketing. Including how to market audiobooks, now that there’s an audiobook version of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. TSC Audio
  • Keep growing as a writer. Try things that scare me or are difficult (like BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

And, lastly, the back burner list (things I’m not likely to get to next year, but they’re still out there.

  • Another story in the same world as DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Ailsa and Jathan’s story is complete (at least for now), but her homeland has not yet been saved. This series (MAGIC AND POWER) will have a succession of heroes and heroines, each taking their part in the greater story arc.
  • A couple of fairy-tale retellings, one of which might fit in as the third book in the MAGIC AND POWER series–or not.
  • My weird Oz story.
  • The prequels to the DUAL MAGICS series.Dual Magics 1-3 Boxed Set
  • The third book in the CHIMERIA series.ChimeriaBox
  • A secret-history-type story based, in part, on the Arthurian legend.
  • There are several others that are, so far, just a line or two–the beginnings of an idea, but not there yet.


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I didn’t have this link to share yesterday. But I have it now. The audiobook of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE is part of a nine-book giveaway running this week–through August 7th.  Go, enter now.Untitled-design-30


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Audio Book Soon!

I just now reviewed the handful of revisions to the audio book for THE SHAMAN’S CURSE

TSC Audio

And approved the book. If all goes well, it should be available in a couple of weeks!

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One-Day Sale

If you’ve wanted to start my epic fantasy series, today’s your chance. The first book, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE is on sale for $0.99 today only.


The two kinds of magic have always been separate. Until now.

Meanwhile, I’m proceeding with the edits on BECOME: BROTHERS. I hope to have that one available soon.

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Since I was a day late earlier in the week, I suppose I should make up for it by posting a day early.

It’s time to decide on my writing goals for 2017.

  1. Publish BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.becomeblue This means:
    • Finish the first draft.
    • Figure out how many books there actually are in this series and where the break points are.
    • Let it rest for about a month.
    • Run through a couple of revisions.
    • Get it critiqued.
    • Another round of revisions.
    • Polishing edit.
    • Format for publication.
  2. That first goal may be close to enough. But I also want to get restarted on the rewrite of MAGE STORM. (No cover, yet, though I have a couple of  ideas.)
  3. I doubt very much that there’ll be a lot of writing time left over. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be jotting down ideas on some of the other stories I have simmering on the back burners.
    • MAGIC AND POWER: Another story in the same world as DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING, but centering on another set of protagonists. (MAGIC AND POWER might end up being the series title.)???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    • A couple of fairy-tale retellings buzzing around the back of my mind. One of them might end up in the MAGIC AND POWER world.
    • My weird Oz story is always out there. I actually wrote about ten chapters of it, but it wasn’t working. Partly because I’d left my protagonist completely alone for too long. I need to figure out how to give her an unhelpful, but talkative sidekick that will fit in this more dangerous version of Oz.
    • The prequels to the DUAL MAGICS series, though I don’t think I’m quite ready to go back to that world yet.Dual Magics 1-3 Boxed Set
    • Someday, I’m going to have to go back and write the third book in the Chimeria series. That is a fun world to play in.Chimeria Box 2
  4. Get better at marketing. The only way that’s going to happen is if I make a plan and devote some attention to it at least every month, not just around book launches. It’s just not nearly as much fun as writing. But it has to be done.


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Time to see how I did against the goals I set for myself last year. (Results are in bold italics.)

  1. WAR OF MAGIC: Complete first draft, revisions, get critiques, revise again, polish, and publish. Done.warmagicprintcover
  2. Revise the already-published “Becoming Lioness” and publish the new edition. Pull together the tie-in short stories, “Hunter and Huntress” and “The Seeker”. Put them through the same revision process. Nope. Becoming Lioness Cover 2
  3. Publish a boxed set of the DUAL MAGICS series. Done, though I only included the first three books and one short story, “Modgud Gold”.Dual Magics 1-3 Boxed Set
  4. MAGE STORM: Rewrite this as an epic fantasy. Same revision process as above. Try to publish in 2016 or early 2017. MAGE STORM ended up being pushed back in favor of BECOME.
  5. BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING: Get a first draft done. Still working on the first draft.becomeblue
  6. Planning, world-building, etc. for some of the other stories on my back burner: Some planning, but no other progress.
    1. Another story in the same world as DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING.
    2. A set of fairy-tale retellings I’ve been playing with.
    3. The prequels to the DUAL MAGICS series that explain how the world got that way.
    4. The sequels to MAGE STORM.
    5. My Weird Oz story.
    6. The last novel in the Chimeria series.
  7. I would dearly love to be able to get to a writers’ conference somewhere in there, but that will depend on both time and finances. Nope.

In summary, the most important goal was met. But it took longer than I’d hoped and basically pushed all the other goals back a bit. Still progress. I’ll take it.


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A Day Late

Forgot to blog yesterday. Probably because I barely touched the computer all day.

Unsurprisingly, I haven’t gotten a lot of writing done on BECOME during the last few days.


But now, most of the distractions are behind me and I hope to get a lot more done before I go back to work on January 3rd. The most distracting thing I have planned for today is laundry.

But, you know, sometimes these little delays work out all right. In this case, just this morning, I found some very interesting perspectives on the relationship between the two brothers in my story here.

Back to work.

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