Can you believe that it’s been only two months since I started this blog? Wow. I sure feel like it’s been a lot longer. In such a short period of time, I’ve met so many new people, talked to a lot of you over the comments. This little corner of the internet has an irresistible personality, marked with imagination and creativity. I feel like I’ve accomplished so much already. Most importantly, I have returned to the habit of regular writing. Maybe not every day, but I write a lot more in a week than I used to. And, comparing to my previous tedious attempts to restrict my writing to a schedule, I actually feel good about it this time, and I have fun. Loads of fun!
In the packing order of ‘fun’ on this blog, the #BlogBattle short story contest is right at the top. What a thrill it was to post a 1000-word piece every Tuesday, get some feedback, and read other people’s stuff. Coincidentally, #BlogBattle is celebrating a one year anniversary this week. Congratulations! What a tremendous accomplishment! Thank you, Rachael Ritchey, for nurturing this cozy community and for being such a wonderful host to all of us. Rachael, by the way, is a self-published author and a woman of endless energy and imagination, balancing her writing/publishing/promoting with a vibrant family. This is something we all could look up to. Her two books, “The Beauty Thief” and “Captive Hope” could be found on kindle. Check them out and support a fantastic entrepreneur and writer.
Another cool person that I’ve met here is Mark Fearing, an author of children’s books and a great illustrator with a lifetime of skill and experience. Rumor has it, Mark also loves science fiction and is interested in various aspects of ‘malleability of reality’ (that’s at least what we’ve discussed in one of the comment threads).
Grace Petrelli is another cool person I had a privilege to meet through this blog. Grace is an aspiring writer with an upcoming novel in the pipeline. She is also an author of the ‘Smugger’s Story’ series, featured in the weekly #BlogBattle submissions. This science fiction story follows the adventures of an ‘Indiana Jones’ kind of a character (at least this is how I imagine him) in the far future, whose amenable morals and loyalties are a thrill to follow. Check out “The Smuggler’s Story” and find out more about Grace in her interview.
Lucy, who runs blog BlondeWriteMore is another great person and fun writer I’ve met in these two months. Lucy writes chick lit and comedy, and does it lovely, might I add. Two of her series made me chuckle more than once. Check out “The Diary of Roxy Collins” and “The Writing Club“. Lucy harnesses the power of observational comedy, like Jerry Seinfeld or maybe Julia Dreyfus, however she most definitely has her own style. Following her bog, you will get a steady stream of hilarious and charming entries outside of those two series.
Simon Farnell, who evidently just renamed his blog into “Planet Simon” is an engineer and a raging sci fi lover. As the result of this explosive mix, he writes imaginative stories with plots spanning across the galaxy and beyond. Check Simon’s stories here. Simon also is a huge music fan and posts a lot of great music to pick up your day.
Finally, another blog that I enjoy, is TheScienceGeek. Mr. Geek is a professor of astronomy from England. He runs a well organized blog explaining real science to all of us out there, who love science, but did not invest time in a PhD to be able to understand it. I remember once commenting on how well written and well cited his article was, and only later I went to read the ‘About’ section. What an innocent faux pas! Of course, his stuff will be well researched and well written! Mr. Geek is a professor! Anyway, if you would like to brush on the science ideas that were not beaten to death in places like space.com and such, check out Mr. Geek.
Wow, so many great people. Unfortunately, I cannot mention everyone who I’ve met here, in one post. Rumor has it, many people struggle to read past the twitter-size amount of characters (that is why, as a form of social protest, I do not have Twitter account), so I will try to keep it short.
As much as meeting new people is an accomplishment in itself, I, as an aspiring writer, achieved a great deal in these two months. Everyone’s measure of success is different. I am not trying to force my benchmarks on anyone. I just would love to share with you my joy of accomplishment.
The Word Count
Apparently, in the writing business, the word count is a big deal. I have read various benchmarks of various writers, and they span from 500 words a day to, and I know it is hard to believe, 10.000 words a day. Ten fricken thousand. I need to gasp for air at that. But wow. Most of us, probably, do not write that much a day, because, well, many have day jobs that pay bills, or families that require attention, or just simply for someone this is an impossible goal. I don’t know what my word count should be, but I know that when I write, I am capable of 2k+ output. My issue is more of a consistency. There are days when I simply get in mood for way too long, until my writing slot in the day is over. Sometimes it is a necessary evil, because I think of what to write about, come up with new plot lines. Although I do admit, that this ‘pseudo-research’ excuse could be considerably shortened.
That being said, this month, I wrote phenomenal (for me) 27k! I think, sounds impressive.
There are, however, a few problems. As with any statistics, the devil is in the details.
When it comes to the composition of these 27k, here is how the statistics looks like:
Fiction: 16.9 k
‘Million Deaths of Lt. Mazula‘ series – 10 k
‘Ebony River’s Diary‘ – 5.5 k
Other short story (fan fic) – 1.7 k
Reviews and opinions (over 500 w): 10 k
As you can see, I write a lot for this blog. I am not sure if it is helping me to become a better writer or simply robs me of the quality word count. I guess, time will show.
This is what my ‘visibility’ looks like in two months. I don’t know if it’s good or bad. I guess, again, all is relative. I did not do any special ‘tricks’ to draw more traffic other than just writing posts, so I guess I’ll have a learning curve in the future. I don’t know anything about plugins, email subscriptions and such, and maybe it is not the time to worry about it too much. My first priority is to get some writing done. That takes me to the last portion of my post.
Targets For The Future
Currently I have three writing projects.
First, “Million Deaths of Lt. Mazula” is constantly written and posted on this site. Currently it is 25 k long, and at the end of Season 1 (or Part one if you will). There is the side project to that, which I occasionally write as a character exploration. This is the “Ebony River’s Diary“. I guess in the coming month I would like to revisit it, substantially edit it and think what should I do about it at this point. Should I keep it at the novella length? Should I continue with it and write 3 more seasons to make a complete novel? Or should I try my luck and write a TV series script (pilot)? These are some serious questions and I am entering an uncharted territory with those questions.
Second, “Dark Mater Rises” is a draft of my first novel that is set in a different universe. It probably could be described as a dystopian sci fi, but more on a YA spectrum. The ideas are quite adult, but I think my command of English, especially at that stage, made it sound more ‘soft’ then I would naturally wanted.
Third, is the sequel to the “Dark Matter Rises”, called “The Day I Died”, that is an unfinished novel (about third of the way), but it is already written in a stronger voice, and the characters are not so timid any more. I kind of like this universe a lot. It is moody, quirky, sometimes a bit absurd… What I need to do, is somehow unify the feel of the both novels, make them sound like they belong together. And, of course, get back to writing “The Day I Died”. Which I haven’t been able to do in a while, so there is that stiffness, and maybe fear. But I hope that I will get a boot from someone somewhere and continue working on those two.
Finally, it would be nice to focus on the direction for this blog. I write about many things related to sci fi. Then there is the project that I sort of abandoned in the making. It is the Jalapeño Fiction Award for strictly science fiction novels and movies aired/published in 2015. I have a few posts for that in drafts, but haven’t gotten around to actually post them yet.
So many plans, and I’m looking forward to all of them. I thank to all of you who came across this blog and was so kind to invest your time in it. Hopefully, you found something worthwhile your time.