Making Progress and Setting Goals

The last several days have been pretty productive.  Thursday through Saturday, I put down about 7,000 words on Masters of the Sun, bringing the word count to nearly 19,000 for the month of January.  Not too bad for my first month, I think.  Of course, I’ve still got a long way to go on the project, but I’m feeling good about it so far.  I’ve posted the first chapter under my books tab above.

Sunday morning, I read this post on Dean Wesley’s Smith’s blog about his plans for the coming year.  I hadn’t really considered writing short stories.  Back in December, when I decided to really have a go at putting this book down on paper, I was thinking just that: books.  But what he says in that post makes sense.  I don’t presume to have the capacity to crank out stories like he does yet, but I decided to try my hand at a short story on Sunday afternoon.  It took only a few minutes to think of an idea, then I got to it.  I probably started at 1:30-ish, and had it finished at about 5:00.  At about 2,600 words, it’s not very big, but then it’s a short story.  I call it How NOT to Rescue a Damsel in Distress, and it’s posted under Short Stories above.

I found writing Damsel to be a good exercise, for a number of reason.  First, I proved to myself I could crank out a coherent, tight story quickly.  Second, I spent an hour or so and made a cover using a picture I took in Vienna and Powerpoint.  I think it turned out pretty well.  Third, this gave me a chance to play around with the compiler in Scrivener, the program I’ve been writing on.  After some trial and error I managed to produce a kindle-format ebook that looks pretty good.  I pulled it up on my Kindle for Mac application, and it works, so that’s cool.  Finally, it just feels good to have finished something.  I’ve been cranking away at Masters for a few weeks, and while I feel good about the progress I’ve made, it’s a different feeling of satisfaction to finish something.

So, thinking it through, I’ve established some goals for the year:

  1. Complete Masters by the end of April.
  2. Complete the next book by the end of September.  I already have a working idea for it, and a title: So You Want to be a Dragon Slayer.
  3. Win NaNoWriMo in November (that’ll make it three books on the year, if I can manage it).
  4. Write 25 short stories.
  5. Do the leg work to set up Steel Shark Publishing as a business entity and get all this stuff up on Kindle and Smashwords.

These goals are,  I think, completely reasonable.  So I guess I better get to it.