New Year, New Books — Clearing the Deck

I’ve cleared my desk (which took all of two minutes — with good shelves and a carefully thought-out organizational system, I’ve discovered I can be a tidy writer after all). I’ve pulled LAST GIRL DANCING from my active files and my WIP Progress meter.

Have opened HAWKSPAR and moved it into the first spot on my WIP Progress list and revised my wordcount.

I’ve also set up C: THE SECRET PROJECT with its own WIP Progress meter, started a new document for the version I rethought and reworked, and gave it an auto-link on my dock right beneath HAWKSPAR.

I’m excited — ready to move into fresh territory and meet some new folks. Ready to plan my assault on the new year. Keeping in mind, of course, that according to Dwight D. Eisenhower, and personal experience, "No plan survives first engagement with the enemy."

But, acknowledging that last year’s plan got shot all to hell, I’m still going to set up another one. If you have a plan, at least you have something to fix when everything goes south. Without a plan, you can’t even tell you’re lost in a swamp and surrounded by alligators (or at least can’t be sure this isn’t where you were heading when you started out.)

LIFE DEMANDS MAPS. In hopes of alligator-avoidance, then, here’s my plan.

I’m writing HAWKSPAR first.

200,000 words at completion
200 words per page
1000 pages at completion

3000 words per day
67 working days to end of first draft
10 work days for re-thinking, redirecting
30 days for one-pass revision plus type-in

107 working days total

Following HAWKSPAR, I’ll start writing my secret project.

C: Secret Project
150,000 words at completion
200 words per page
750 pages at completion

3000 words per day
50 working days to end of first draft
10 working days for stall-outs, rethinking, redirecting
20 days for one pass revision and type-in

80 working days total

Then, assuming that Claire wants to buy another book from me, I’ll start into that.

NEXT ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL FOR ONYX
100,000 words at completion
200 words per page
500 pages at completion

3000 words per day
34 working days to end of first draft
10 work days for re-thinking, redirecting
20 days for one-pass revision plus type-in

64 working days total

So …

IN THEORY, I should be able to complete three first-draft-plus-revised-once novels in 251 working days, leaving me with 113 days off. (Can you hear me snickering?)

I’m going to spread those projects out over the year, because there will be galley edits for TALYN coming, plus more work on LAST GIRL DANCING (at barest minimum, copyedits and galley edits.) Plus surprises, possible sick days, and who knows what else.

So just for fun, I’ll pitch 38 days of padding into HAWKSPAR, 38 days of padding into "C", and 35 days of padding into ONYX BOOK, and be finished with everything on December 31st.

HAWKSPAR to be done in 145 days, or May 28th.
"C" to be done in 118 days, or September 23rd.
ONYX BOOK to be done in 99 days, or December 31st. I’ve added all of these to the events calendar, and re-activated the events list, where these dates will pop up to amuse you. And worry me.

I reserve the right to finish early on any of these. Or all of them.

I also reserve the right to teleport myself to any location in the universe at any time using nothing but the power of my mind. Hey, it could happen.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

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