Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Year's Resolutions 2011

The year is almost over, and as usual, it looks like it went by too fast and I wrote too little.
What did I do in 2010?
I took part in ScriptFrenzy in April, wrote a 100-page script, did the same later in summer, and wrote 57,000 words for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo in November. I continued writing after that to finish the first draft of that novel, a thriller mostly set in China, at about 72,000 words. Right now, I'm in the process of editing and rewriting that story. From the summer until NaNo started, I also worked on another novel, again a thriller, this one set among people vacationing on a Mediterranean island. I haven't finished it yet, but I intend to do so later next year.
So here comes 2011.
One other big thing happened in my life over the past few months: I lost my job. Instead of complaining and/or going to look for another job right now, I'm using this great opportunity to set myself new challenges. The main challenge has become my New Year's Resolution (upper case, please): write four books in 2011.
Now that I have the time, I need to be writing. I've carved up the next year in neat 3-month blocks, one block for each book.
I already have the main ideas of what kind of books I will write:
1/January-March: a thriller with an Asian theme, set in China, Taiwan and the United States;
2/April-June: a historical novel - a new genre for me - set either in Antiquity or the Middle Ages, about historical figures little known outside of some European countries;
3/July-September: a 'guru' book, yes, the only planned book that is not a novel, not fiction, but pure - well - fact and advice;
4/October-December: still so far away I have time to come to a decision about what I want to write, but candidates are a thriller closely related to actual European politics (think The Ghost by Robert Harris which was the base for the movie The Ghost Writer by Roman Polanski), the thriller about the island which I started this year but didn't finish, or another thriller set on a ship.
Add to that a vacation in Asia in January, the British Crime Writers' Association Debut Daggers in February, ScriptFrenzy in April, a European holiday after that, and the next NaNoWriMo, and I might have a hard time living up to those resolutions.
Anyway, 2011 is now or never. If I want a career in writing, if I want to get published, now is the time, now is the year to work hard. Wish me luck!

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