It’s been an encouraging and crazy year here at Casa de Hansen.
I started out by launching Nice Girl Like You, a short thriller, early in the year. I was still mostly treading water, though, trying to get past the book formerly known as EyeCU.
Then in August, I got pumped up again, motivated to get productive even if it meant short projects.
So I published Spoiled, the first part of a trilogy, and followed up with Rotten. Both were written as Eight Hour Fiction challenges to force me to be productive and not overthink it all.
Then, in something of a miracle, I finally finished writing EyeCU, though in the process to finalize it, I ended up calling it The Woodsman. That’s been a relief. It’s my longest published work to date, weighing in at 88,000+ words.
So in the first nine months of 2014, I went from a writer with only four books out to now being a writer with eight books out. That’s nice.
So how did I wrap up my year (which is not quite over yet)? Let’s check in on my Q4 ROW80 Goals:
1. Finish and publish Razed, my short zombie thriller. No idea how long it’s gonna run, but I’m already over 4,000 words in, so I’m off to a great start. Technically, this won’t be an 8-Hour Fiction book, but my goal is to keep it in that spirit. I definitely want to get it out there in time for Halloween.
As I said back in November, Razed has turned from a short novelette-length tale to a novel-length project. One I didn’t expect to write, but which is turning into a lot of fun.
At this writing, I’m just under 30,000 words, but I took a break to try and finish goal 2 before the year was out.
2. Finish and publish Ripe, the final book in my Spoiled Rotten trilogy. The series, in book two, introduces some important storytelling elements that will have ripple effects throughout my fictional setting of Veritas County and specifically Hope, Wisconsin. I love when my characters surprise me, and they certainly did in Rotten. That’s why I love being more of a pantser … I’m not tied to a plot that was pre-conceived before I ever set pen to paper.
As I write this blog post, it’s become clear that I’ve spun too many plot threads into this tale to wrap it up as an eight-hour fiction challenge title. I currently am on chapter 11, and have my characters assembled for the major showdown all this has been building toward. I’m over 13,000 words and by the time I write the final showdown and the closing action, I expect to be at around 20K, so Ripe will definitely be the longest installment in the trilogy.
It’s a fun project, and I’m still hoping to get it out before the bell tolls 2015. But we’ll see. If I make it, I make it. If it becomes my first title of 2015, that’s fine, too. The important thing at this point is the serve the needs of the story so it resolves in a satisfying way and keeps readers happy.
In 2015, at some point, I’ll probably do something about collecting all three volumes into an almost-novel-length work. But that won’t be my top priority in early 2015.
My top priority, once Ripe is out, is to turn my attention back to Razed.
First, I’m excited about the story I’m telling with Razed. In a distant way, it’s my version of Carrie by Stephen King, though significantly different. (Kinda like Shada was my version of The Body with four girls instead of four boys. Similar, but very different.)
As for what happens to Razed after I finish? Well, I’ve discovered Amazon’s WriteOn, and I’m getting great feedback there that will make it a stronger story by the time it’s “ready.”
And as for when it’s “ready,” it won’t immediately be up on Amazon, because I’ve decided I’ll likely place it in the Kindle Scout program and see if I can break through that way. If so, wonderful! If not, it’ll only delay my usual method of publication by a couple of months.
And while I’m waiting on that, I’ll be working on Seethe (aka Project Texter) and on Project POTUS Sitcom, as well as Ember, so I have plenty of irons in the fire. Maybe 2015 will be an even better year than 2014!
See you then.