WIP: A New Challenge


Sunday was a fairly normal day of services, visiting my parents, and having a nice dinner. I had some time to reflect on my ideas of the past few days (and weeks, and months), and I know what I want to do.

It’s scary and dangerous.

My Current Situation

At the beginning of the year I laid out a plan for producing books and releasing them at optimum times. Then, depending on your point of view, either I had things interrupt me and prevent me from reaching those goals, or I simply did not give things the proper priority and did not achieve my goals.

Either way, I’ve developed a huge backlog of unfinished book projects, and I have many looming deadlines that I can meet or not meet, but I can not change.

A few days ago I noticed Chris Fox’s 21-Day Challenge, wherein he set a goal of writing and editing a book within 21 days. I wish I had seen it at the time, it would have been fun to do with him.

In my current situation, I also have a challenge to get books done.

Except I don’t have 21 days for them.

My Challenge

In order for me to get back on track, I need to get three books out in less than six weeks. I have about 7 for one and 14 days each for the other two. Can that be done? Yes.

Chris was actually attempting to do the writing portion in 14 days, with 7 days following for editing (and he made both goals, by the way). Given the 70,000-word book he was aiming for, that’s about 5,000 words per day. When I wrote Zombies Versus Comicon, I averaged well over 6,000 words per day, and I wrote Winter Kills at a pace of over 8,000 words per day.

Also, my writing process is different from Chris’s. He makes no edits on his first writing pass, but I like to leave things mostly clean. Follow-up editing for me will be a matter of a day or two, not a whole week.

However, I’m not sure that words per day is the right goal. Books go over and under words all the time, but the structure I use always has 24 chapters, so two chapters a day gets the book done in 12 days no matter what. It also leaves two days to do editing and still meet my goal of 14 days.

So that’s it, then: Two chapters per day.

It won’t be easy (probably), but I have enough prepared that it should be possible with no more than the same focus and determination that I should use every day anyway.

Release Plan

So, my release plan looks like this:

  • May 3: Spring Rains released
  • May 17: Secret project #1 released
  • May 31: Secret project #2 released

That looks like a lot of work, and it surely is, even though Spring Rains is about half done at the moment. I have a plan to get up early for uninterrupted work time, and to arrange large blocks of time during the week. It should work.


To further necessitate meeting these goals, I’m going to do something brash: I’m going to set the projects up as preorders on Amazon. With preorders on Amazon, if you cancel or delay a project, you are barred from the preorder system for a year. So, keep your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keys, and get the work done. Unfortunately, because preorders have to be no less than ten days out, I can’t do it for Spring Rains, but I will for the other two.

It’s a little scary, because I don’t know the details of what happens in the secret projects, and I’m counting on the muse to bring me something good. She always does, but not knowing is scary for me. Nonetheless, I feel like a lifetime of learning and preparation has come to this, and few people are better prepared to do it than I am.

In the next few days, I’ll reveal these secret projects (there are still three others) and set up the preorders.

New Covers

Oh, and I’ve also figured out a way of numerically scoring my cover options to decide which is the best, and it looks as though my custom cover system wins by a landslide. Cool. I will change them over in the next few days, after I get my chapters done, of course.

Daily Results

  • New fiction words: 0
  • Chapters completed: 0
  • New weblog words: 750
  • Covers completed: 4

Here we go.