Quarter Two Goals - 2018
Spring is here! The birds are singing. The wind brings soothing breezes that rustle trees and bushes that are in bloom. Rainy weather starts to become more and more uncommon as the sunny days begin to bump against each other in larger batches.
And I get to bust out my shorts for daily attire once again.
Yup, spring has returned to California, the state where people describe "cold weather" as anything below sixty degrees. This also means that we're now in a new quarter of the year, which means we can look back and see how I did with the previous goals that I've set for myself. After a quick skim of the list of goals from my Q1 post, I look forward to sharing the results with all of you.
Let's review the Q1 goals and see where we stand as of April 1st:
- Complete my manuscript (first draft).
- Complete at least two rounds of self-editing.
- Done! The second draft focused on downgrading a main character, cutting out over 22 thousand words in the process. The third draft focused on further "easy cuts", such as scenes that didn't advance the plot or otherwise convey useful information; this amounted to another couple of thousand words.
- Attend the San Francisco Writers Conference.
- Submit the third draft of my manuscript to an editor.
- Not started. I originally planned on submitting in March, but due to scheduling conflicts on the editor's part (this happened because I didn't want to book until I was absolutely sure I was ready to lock her in) we ended up booking for a May 1st submission.
- Complete a final round of editing, based on feedback from the editor.
- Line up beta readers.
- Not started for both #5 and #6. I want to start beta reader hunting after I've submitted my work to the editor.
- Write a short story in the horror genre!
- Not started. Though I did publish my first flash fiction on my website, I haven't committed to writing a short story just yet.
As you can see, missing my initial goal of getting my work to an editor snowballed into several other goals I established. That said, editing is hard. I thought it would be easier than creating my story, but no. Combing through your work to make line edits, tightening up the plot and story, removing content, and making sure that your readers will get the most out of your writing is a lot of work.
Anyway, I'll write a future post on my experience with editing!
So with Q1 at an end, what does Q2 2018 look like? Let's see...
- Complete at least two more rounds of editing.
- I'm currently on my fourth draft (heavy line-editing focus), but I want to do another pass where I really scrutinize the way I describe people, places, and emotions to see if there are any areas that would serve better with more details without bogging down story pacing.
- Submit my manuscript to an editor.
- This will happen on May 1st, so barring extraneous circumstances on my editor's part, this is a lock.
- Line up beta readers.
- My alpha readers have already agreed to be beta readers, but I'll want several more people to get their eyes on my work.
- Create a query letter and synopsis.
- This goal probably should be split into two distinct goals, but I think it makes sense to have them together. I need both of these documents ahead of agent hunting, which means they are very important to have. I've talked about crafting queries and synopses with other writers, but I've yet to start. Time to put some ink to paper!
- Write at least two short stories!
- Yup, upping the ante on this goal. Once I submit my manuscript (goal #1), it will be gone for at least 2-4 weeks, during which time I won't be touching my story. With up to a month opened up, what better time to hone my writing skills than to create new stories? The horror story I planned will be one... the other story, we'll just have to see.
I've cut the goal count by two this time around, but I feel this list is far more likely to be accomplished in full.
What are your professional or personal goals for the next three months?