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Wrapping up 2012: Writing

31 December, 2012

In my last post, I covered my favourite books of the year, but now it’s time to look at my own writing and work out how much (or how little!) I’ve accomplished. First up, my overall total fiction word count for 2012:

232,894

That is, I have to admit, a little bit lower than I’d anticipated, but it’s still the biggest word count by far that I’ve ever produced in a year (by way of comparison, I wrote about 150k words in 2011). The first couple of months of the year were a bit of a write-off, as I jumped between projects and plodded along with the previous years’ work, which I eventually abandoned. At the end of February, though, I started a new novel, which comprised about 120,000 words in (almost exactly, down to the day) three months.

After that, things become more fragmented. I started a new novel about two weeks later and wrote a few thousand words of it; a whole two months later, after limited progress, I started a novella, which took about 6 weeks to write. That was followed by another novella (not quite finished), and a ‘short’ story that kept growing until it reached 15k words.

So, what does all this tell me? For a start, that there are some considerable gaps, up to two months at a time, in which I’ve written virtually nothing new. I was working, of course, but on editing or research or planning – I wonder now if just producing 500 words a day through those periods, on a separate short story for instance, would have left me with more finished pieces at the end of the year.

I have, after all, got very little finished at this stage. I’ll be returning to that first novel, for substantial edits, in January; I hope to write the second novel after that. The first novella was finished and edited, but sadly didn’t sell to the market I’d written it for; the second novella also isn’t quite finished, and that’ll be a priority in the next few weeks. In the end, I’ve written a huge number of words, but have very little that’s ready to be sent out into the world.

On the subject of submissions, though, 2012 seems to have been the year of the almost acceptance. For the first time, I’ve received a number of ‘positive’ rejections for submitted stories: elements of those stories described as ‘deft’, or stories that the editors ‘really liked’ but didn’t quite make the final selection, for example. In the end, these aren’t sales, but they’re about the closest you can get without selling – a tad depressing, until you realise that rejections of this sort mean editors are genuinely taking your work seriously, and that your next submission might just have that extra je ne sais quoi that gets it sold.

Finally, 2012 has seen both a positive year for this blog, and the start of my serialised fiction at the Chronicles of Tyria fan-site. Both add to my feeling that no matter what else has happened, this year has really been quite good, writing-wise, and that a smidgen more success might be just around the corner.

And, with that, I’d like to wish all my readers a Happy New Year. Roll on 2013!

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