Tuesday, January 5, 2021

2020 Results and 2021 Goals

Any time is a good time to review accomplishments and consider goals, but the beginning of a new year is an especially good time. Here’s what I did last year and what I’m planning for this year.

2020 Accomplishments

  • Published a novel. I released The Fountain Mechanism and a re-edited version of Uriel’s Revenge as well.
  • Developed software tools for creating book covers. I began development on this in 2019 to create the cover for Fall of Aulus. Last year, I focused on robust tools for rendering text properly, which require various functionality: kerning, justification, stroke, trimming text layers, proper alpha compositing, and multiline text. I used these tools to create the cover for The Fountain Mechanism in April as well as revised covers for Uriel’s Revenge and The Fountain Mechanism in August.
  • Wrote 80k words on a new project. This makes up about 80% of the second and third books in trilogy (a Cliptic side story) that I started with my 2019 NaNoWriMo project. I originally intended these to be novellas, but the second book became a full-length novel.

2021 Goals

  • Finish and publish my work-in-progress trilogy. I think this will require about 20k-30k more words, a bunch of revising, and cover design work.
  • Serialize short fiction for my newsletter subscribers. I have a couple of story ideas that I think are about 10k-12k words. Currently, the plan is to whip one of these up after I’m done drafting the above trilogy as something shorter and less complicated to cleanse my palate. It should be ready for promotion during the release of the trilogy.
  • Draft at least 30k words of The Cliptic book 3. The trilogy is going to take some work to complete and revise, and I don’t want to rush book 3 as it’s the last full-length novel that I currently have planned. But I do want to get a good start on it.
  • Publish 12 blog posts throughout the year. I need to get in the habit of more long-form writing on topics of interest to me that I want to form deeper thoughts about. I also want to write some technical articles and share Cliptic lore as well. Roughly one per month seems like a reasonable number.
  • Publish paperback versions of my books. I started the effort to create automated tools for this back in December 2019, and I made a lot of headway this summer. But there are a few formatting gotchas that my code doesn’t handle, and once those are fixed I need to bite the bullet and and order a proof or two to review.
  • Read and review 6 fiction books. I read a lot of nonfiction last year, mainly about indie publishing. Time to get back into fiction and give back to other indie authors. Watch for reviews here as well as at Periapsis Press.
  • Develop a game demo that I’m proud enough of to share. I’ve been interested in game development for a long time, in fact, Uriel’s Revenge began its life as the story for a SNES-style JRPG project I had in high school. I’m not sure about JRPGs anymore, but I have several other game ideas that use the Cliptic setting and lore that I think could be implemented with a consistent few hours of work a week. One new idea that I’m especially excited about would force me to answer a bunch of technical questions and help with the writing of The Cliptic book 3, so I will probably prioritize that one.

What are your goals for 2021?

Check out The Fountain Mechanism today for a unique blend of science fiction and supernatural horror.