The February Challenge

Tomorrow begins a month exactly four weeks long. An entire month of 2011 has gone by and I’ve barely written at all. I have goals for this year. I have to set myself deadlines and ignore the fact that they have no significance whatsoever to anyone but me. (That’s my problem with deadlines. I can be very productive if I have a real deadline, but without any concrete reason to finish the project, it doesn’t feel like a real deadline.)

I’m hoping that I can power through that problem, because I’ve set myself a goal I very much hope I can stick to. I plan to devote the month of February to Sleeping Beauty As You’ve Never Known It. My plan involved a daily writing average of 5 pages per day. There will be some days during which I will have to write more than 5 pages, because there are likely to be days when I barely have time to write at all, either due to social plans or work.

Let’s say that the average, at the end of the month, actually did come out to exactly 5 pages a day for 28 days. That makes 140 pages, at which point I’ll probably be close to finishing the story. My somewhat arbitrary deadline for having my first draft finished is Tax Day.

Somewhere during that time, I will probably need to find an unofficial editor. I am quite capable of doing my own line editing, but I would benefit a lot from an extra pair of eyes to point out any plot holes or areas of unclarity, or spots where a little more detail would go a long way. It’s hard to spot such things in your own writing. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to pay anyone until I made some money from publishing the story, so they’d have to be willing to wait a while to receive what’s due to them.

And here’s the preliminary character lineup of the moment. Some do not yet have names.

The Sleeping Beauty

Ric – the main character (Sleeping Beauty’s ‘prince’)

Adra – Ric’s mother. Pronounced with short ‘a’ sounds.

Henry – the town inkeeper.

Elli – a fairy (this is a shortened version of her name)

A Bard

 

The story has not yet been titled, but its final title will not be “Sleeping Beauty”

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Someday, I Will

I’ve been considering lately how much I would enjoy creating my own publication. Whether it would be a one-time endeavor or an ongoing pursuit, I haven’t decided – perhaps it would have something to do with how it went the first time. Just the idea of creating something from start to finish completely by myself – not including the writing, as it would be a thing requiring submissions from other writers – appeals to me. With my own writing I’d rather it be published by someone else, but I would really enjoy making a publication using other people’s writing.

I might not be the best person to create a largely successful writing publication. I have good editing skills and a good aesthetic sense, and I could create a website that would appeal to readers and would display the writing well. Getting submissions, and then getting it in view for a wide readership, is another story. I don’t know much about publicity, as you could probably tell from looking at the views on this blog. I know things that one can do in theory to publicize a website (or print publication), but they don’t always work as you might expect. I suppose at that point it’s the writing that does the work, and if that part is well-chosen I would certainly get more views.

Of course, this is very speculative. I don’t have money to pay for a domain name, which means that I would most likely have to create another free blog for it – and I have two, and only maintain this one. I would enjoy the experience but it would not be lucrative, and so I’d still have to manage gainful employment. At the moment, such an endeavor might just be too much for me to manage.

I am keeping this idea on the table. “The” meaning my table – my list of things to do. Who knows, maybe I’ll pick it up again a few months from now – or maybe I’ll wait until I’ve got a reliable fan base from works being published, and then start an anthology project, or a semi-annual online literary magazine. I love the idea of this. I will continue to consider it.

What do you think?