November Progress Report

1 Dec

To refresh everyone, my goal is to release three books next fall (September/October/ November) and  then a boxed set of all three in December.

To make that goal, I need to finish the second draft of the second book in the trilogy, The Demon’s in the Details, by the end of the year. I know this because I’ve done a fair amount of project management over the years and Rule One of project management is: Meet your intermediate milestones.

You may recall that, citing the pressure of the holidays, I set only a single goal for November: revise 125 pages.

I didn’t make that goal, but I’m happy to report that I did get through 102 pages. (Rule Two of project management: When you miss a milestone, put a positive spin on it.)

I’m now at the beginning of Act 3 and the manuscript exceeds 50,000 words. The finished book should run between 80,000 and 90,000 words–approximately 300-350 pages.

So, not goal, but not too shabby.

What makes me even happier is that I’ve reached a point that I think of as “critical mass,” in the book. This is the point at which the writing starts to flow and I stop feeling like I’m extruding concrete with every single word.

For the past week I’ve been typing so much that by the time Old Dog gets home from work, the first words I say to him are “Rub my shoulders.” Which he does because, after 20 years of marriage, he’s still wonderful.

This is when writing starts to be fun. I wish it came sooner than 50,000 words, but it rarely does. It seems to take me that long to know my characters, and my story, well enough to just write.

The other thing that happened this month is that I checked the newsletter signups from my website and I have nine subscribers! That may not sound like much, but considering that I don’t actually have a newsletter yet (or any books published), I’m pretty tickled. I have a nice little core of friends who support me that much.With an actual newsletter and actual books, the sky is the limit! (See how useful Rule Two is?)

My plan for December is:

1) Finish the book. That’s a stretch, given that I have 30,000 to 40,000 words to go, but if critical mass continues, it’s possible. Also, necessary if I’m going to hit next fall’s target dates.

2) Put together my first newsletter, that will come out in January.

If any of you already subscribe to author newsletters, what kinds of things do you like to see? And those of you who so graciously subscribed to mine, what are you hoping to see?