Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday ROW80 Check In (11.27.11)

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine has been smaller than usual the past few years, but still my favorite, family, and of course, football -- especially my Dallas Cowboys who delivered an exciting win Thursday.

Now, on to my update. I've not done too bad. Next time I do ROW80 (and I will be back) I will create more manageable and focused goals. Having said that, by participating in ROW80, I feel like I've been devoting more of my time to writing. I'm starting to build a platform for my Customer Service book and have finished the fourth chapter of my techno-thriller and ready to start the next.

I've read more - both about writing and fiction. Honestly, I'm not much of a fiction reader but since I write fiction I thought I should read more of it and I'm glad I have. If anything, it gives me a benchmark upon which to judge my own writing, and I don't think I fair too poorly.

Here then, is an update on my goals:

1) Read three writing magazines each month: I've read one so far, and will read a few more. I have read a few on-line articles and a few out of my Writer's Market.

2) Participate in Three Writer's Digest On-Line Seminars: I attended a local writer's workshop so I will count that toward this goal, but I haven't done anything else.

3) Write One Short Story or Article Each Month: Been busy working on my novel, so that hasn't left much time for writing short stories. I do have a few ideas though.

4) One Submission/Query a Day: I haven't sent out any queries this week but I have a few outstanding to publications that don't want simultaneous submissions (is that the same as simultaneous queries?)

5) Three Blog Entries/Week for This Blog and My Customer Service Blog: I think I've been keeping up on my blogs. See also Zen of Customer Service.

6) Sign Up For a Spring Semester Class: Nothing yet, but I need to get looking.

7) Customer Service / Techno-Thriller Book: As per the note above, I've been working on both of these. As for customer service, I am thinking about reaching out to a well-known customer service professional I've worked with in the past and seeing if she might even want to co-author the book. She has the platform and name that I don't.

8) Read Three Craft Books: I skimmed through "The Art of Compelling Fiction." A lot of good information. I am going to have to go back and read it in more detail, but I have other books I should read.

9) Read More Fiction: I finished "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown. Not bad, and as I've mentioned before I see a lot of similarities between his work and mine, so I was able to harvest some good technique ideas from him, mainly to limit the number of main characters, keep the action moving, and shift POV (although I think he did it a bit too much -- often in the same chapter between people involved in the same conversation!). What's next? I don't know. I'm in the mood for some classic sci-fi.

10) Read More Blogs/Emails: I've actually done pretty well and have learned a lot about networking, building a platform, and developing my story.

This week: Read more short stories, continue to work on techno-thriller, build customer service platform, and network via social media more (I've been pretty absent from Twitter save an occasional rant about politics). I will also start another craft book - either "Scene and Structure" or "Story Engineering" - or both.

Hope your own ROW80 is coming along!

1 comment:

  1. I'm reeling from your goals list, while surreptitiously trying to fluff up my list. I think you're doing remarkably well for the gargantuan goals list you've got.

    I own Scene and Structure -- brilliant, but I can only read "parts," then I break. My favorite craft book(s) are any of Blake Snyder's Save the Cat books, and even though they're listed as scriptwriting -- they've been invaluable to me. Good luck!