The Next Chapter: October 2014 update

The month’s been a bit of a wonky one.

I started out working on Gerod and the Lions, but with NaNoWriMo coming up, I started to work on my outline for my project more and more. That work was all done by hand in my handy-dandy Moleskine notebooks. Handwritten words are a pain to track, so I don’t.

I don’t outline like a normal person. Actually, to put it a different way, I don’t think there is a normal way to outline. Everyone will do it differently.

my outline (such as it is)

I start sketching things out, make notes, what to research, and then I’ll get to a point in the story that I have to figure out a few things. So I’ll leave the “outline” and start on a character’s backstory, because I need to know what it is. Who’s the antagonist? What’s her or his motivation?

And then I’ll go back to the outline until the next gap emerges. I’ll deviate to fill it, and so on and so forth. I finished off one notebook and started another. I hope to have time to transcribe my notes before I’m neck deep in word deficits.

The blog was my big word-producer again this month. No surprise there.

The only other thing I worked on was a short story for a contest. Sadly, I realized too late that the story was double the length of the word limit set out in the contest rules. Doh! Homer moment. I didn’t have another suitable story to offer up, so I let it go. There was an entry fee anyway, and I try not to enter anything with an entry fee these days.

Fortunately, I’ve identified another market for the story and, as ever, will try again.

Everything else went by the wayside, Initiate of Stone, Apprentice of Wind, Figments, everything. This happens when I get focused.

So this is how the month looked, production-wise:

October's writing progress

GatL – 2,852 words. Short of the 5,000 I was aiming for, but my new story is kind of obsessing me right now. That’s a good thing 🙂

Blog – 11,766 words.

Short stories – 49 words. There was a little additional writing, and a little editing.

Total – 14,667 words.

I’ve got the Excel all revved up for NaNo, with an extra project and column for November.

Eeeeeeee! Let the writing begin!

So far, we’re on track for continuing with the blogging, even during NaNo. I hope it lasts, but if it doesn’t, forgive me, won’t you?

Anyone else out there doing NaNoWriMo?

WWC 2014, day 2: Business planning for creative people with Sandra Fitzpatrick

Sandra Fitzpatrick

Write first. You don’t have a business without something to build it around.

The Business Plan

  • Executive summary
  • Industry and market analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Marketing
  • Operation
  • Financial

Let’s look at each element in more detail.

Executive summary

This is written last but presented first. It contains the high points of all the other aspects. It’s as long as it needs to be.

Industry and market analysis

How will you make income? Are you aiming for self-publishing or a traditional deal? If traditional, are you aiming for the big 5, or a small press? What is your genre (prose, poetry, or drama)? What resources will you need (editors, cover artists, layout, etc.)? What is your social media plan and/or platform?

Competitive analysis

First, are you competing or collaborating? Know how to get your ISBNs in Canada and in the US. Also how will you get your ITIN for US sales? Where will you publish? What magazines, anthologies, and contests will you submit your work to? Are you querying agents or sending proposals to publishers? Do you know how the slushpile works? Understand copyright in your country of publication. Understand trademark and what it means to be in the public domain. How do you regain your rights? Understand basic contract law.


How will you use social media to market? What festivals, conferences, and conventions will you attend? Will you facilitate workshops or critique groups? Will you give public readings? If so, how many and where? How much money will you invest in travel? Will you be setting up a podcast or YouTube channel? How much money will you invest in promotion?


Set your goals? How many words will you write per year? How many novels will that translate into? How will you track your productivity? How will you track your submissions? Make sure you back everything up.


If you do public readings, facilitate workshops, or sit on panels at conferences, investigate the options for charging for your time. Will you be able to make a living by royalties? Keep receipts and make invoices for everything. Filing is not a four-letter-word. Consider crowdsourcing through Kickstarter, Indie-go-go, or ongoing income via Patreon. Set aside 35% of any income you receive for taxes or investment.

Sandra then went through an example of a business plan to illustrate.


Next week: YA and the rough stuff. Chronologically, there was a Brandon Sanderson session in there, but I attended three of his sessions altogether and I’m just going to cover them all in one abbreviated post. I didn’t take notes. I just took it all in 😉 So that one will be me fangirling just a bit and offering a few references.

After YA and the rough stuff, I have Querying your YA novel, and Marketing your book, then Brandon Sanderson, and finally, the wrap post. So we’re very near the end of the WWC 2014 reportage. If I can keep this up during NaNoWriMo, we should be finishing up with When Words Collide on the first weekend of December. Then I’ll fill you in on the Humber workshop I’m attending next week and whatever else comes my way in the meantime.

Next up: The Next Chapter: October 2014 update.