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Well, November was certainly interesting. I finished a couple of books, which I shall be posting reviews for in the coming weeks, I entered a writing competition where I review and edit six short stories every 12 days, and I completely failed at National Novel Writing Month. That’s okay though. Oh, and I’m packing to move. Yes, there was that last little detail.

Starting with NaNoWriMo, I think it’s okay to say that I failed. In fact, I’m not too worried at all that I didn’t sit down and write and that’s most from a creative perspective, let alone the logistical nightmare that my life became briefly. Set out to write a novel that wasn’t set in the universe I’ve been working on for 10 years. For me, in hindsight, that was my first mistake. While working towards publishing the Tears of the Phoenix, I’ve become to used to a set character list. I’ve realized the amount of effort that goes into developing histories and relationships and even names. For me to jump cold into a universe was much harder than I had anticipated. Having the basic plot doesn’t help when a new cast of characters need molding and discovering.

Some people can read different books at one time, I have never had that ability. I find that it ties in here, because I need to immerse myself in the world, invest myself there. For NaNoWriMo, I couldn’t. I think, that story, Morpheus Rising, is a story I definitely want to tell, but it’s far more complicated in my head. It involves time and space travel, nonlinear dreams, hard science, science fiction. And the structure of the book, a series of short stories that are complete unto themselves but build towards something greater, is far more ambitious than the Dark Masters universe. The only way to grow is to push myself, but I’m not ready yet.

Instead, I’ve decided to finish book one, which has stalled as I’ve attempted to find the balance between practical work issues, such as commute to work time, dinner, sleep, holidays, and, well, the work. And, for my writing, I need to finally write the first drafts of the final three books. No real thinking this time. I know the characters, I know where they are headed. And, since first drafts change, I need those initial details tumbling around the back of my mind. To that end, I want to write all the three books before the end of 2014. Again, just first drafts. That ought to give me plenty to do.

If books 3, 4, and 5, turn out to be as extensive as books 1 and 2 (and by all indications, they’ll be more so) that’s 450,000 words in a year. Not exactly shabby, even if most of it’s going to get rewritten. That’s 37500 words a month, 1250 words a day. A step up from my previous goal of 500 a day, not including blogs and reviews, but definitely a doable goal. Previously, I’d been averaging about 700 words a day, so I have hope. I know where everything is headed. I know the characters and the story beats. I’m looking forward to this challenge.

Second, I should be able to share the results my entry into SixFold’s winter submissions by the end of the week. I’m looking forward to the comments. Part of writing is communicating with the readers. I think I’ve learned a bit from editing 18 stories in one month. I’ll share some thoughts on that next week, when I reveal the results.

I’m glad to be back here, writing. During November, I felt this was a void in my life. This week, I’ll be posting a review for Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel’s Changing the Way We Die. It was supposed to be an early release review but… November happened. Still, looking forward to it.

Back to the standard Tuesday, Friday posts, with Saturday book reviews. See you all on Friday!