I wanted to give a brief overview of my writing projects closing out 2022 and rough out my initial plans for 2023.
|Bloody, Sweaty, Teary||Novels||Rough Draft Complete||An embittered fighter rediscovers his self-worth.|
|Dragonette||Short Stories||Rough Draft Complete||A knight attempts to commit suicide via a grudging dragon.|
|Golden Prince||Short Stories||Work in Progress||A foolish prince learns dark truths about himself and the neighboring kingdom’s subjects.|
|Homecoming||Flash Fiction||Work in Progress||The prisoner of an alien collector avenges herself and her people.|
|Mechman||Short Stories||Work in Progress||A widowed supervillain has his deceased wife’s greenhouse rebuilt.|
|Monstress||Novella||Writing Second Draft||A chimerical monster is captured by a king who eats dreams.|
|Narcissus and Echo Retelling–Blight||Short Stories||Work in Progress||Echo finds an undead Narcissus.|
|Pine Needle Tea||Flash Fiction||Complete||A girl is haunted on her expeditions to get ingredients for tea.|
|Recipe for Disaster||Short Stories||Writing Second Draft||Following the events of a cooking show with fantastical ingredients, a contestant discovers his competitor has been turned into a monster.|
|The Milkmaid and the Sea Serpent||Flash Fiction||Complete||A milkmaid helps a sea serpent recover her human form.|
|We Don’t Bite (Much)||Novels||Work in Progress||Three semi-benevolent vampires attempt to help a human in danger of being attacked by a werepire.|
|Winter Spring||Short Stories||Rough Draft Complete||Hosts of winter and spring magic have their love doomed by their powers.|
|Wintry Sea||Novels||Rough Draft Complete||A merpeople huntress falls in love with a merman.|
Not included on this list are five ideas that were so rough/underdeveloped that I had a hard time writing a synopsis for them. To give you an idea, one of them is called Soy Boy and it’s a horror story about a vegan infected with a parasitic carnivorous parasite. And I play it straight. Yeah.
Also omitted are the twenty or so fanfics that I wrote, which is actually remarkably restrained by my standards. Going into 2023 I’m going to try to curb the urge to indulge in writing as many of them because it’s definitely a time suck and holding me back from focusing on my original stories, as fun as they are to work on. I think it’s a truth universally acknowledged that a lot of the appeal lies in not needing to do the hard work of worldbuilding, establishing character relationships, etc. and by not forcing myself to do that with my own stories I’m taking the easy road. Rather than doing fanfics I need to just take note of tropes, archetypes, and storylines I like so that I can incorporate them into my own work.
We Don’t Bite (Much) had two beta versions titled simply Three Vampires and Pretty Boys Have Sharp Teeth, respectively. I’ve omitted them from the list to reduce redundancy, but I thought it was worth mentioning that that story has gone through a couple of rough idea phases before I hit drafting for it a bit harder in November. I intend to start working on concept art for that project early next year once I have a more concrete draft of Monstress. I have a new computer and my tablet up and running so I can comfortably start working on artwork that I think will be worth sharing.
I am going to clean up Pine Needle Tea and The Milkmaid and the Sea Serpent in order to submit them to some short story magazines. I’ve got one rejection so far. Here’s to many more!
In terms of shorter works that are WIPs, Winter Spring (I swear that’s just a really bad working title) and Golden Prince are the ones I would like to finish in 2023. We Don’t Bite (Much) and Monstress stand out as the long-form projects that I want to press forward with.
I keep feeling tempted to add more than two to each of these categories, but I think I need to be more realistic with what I can reasonably get done. If/when I have Monstress solidly done and need a break from the unconventional formatting of We Don’t Bite (Much), I think then it will be acceptable to go back to editing the solid hunk of drafting I have done for Bloody, Sweaty, Teary. But then and only then!
Warm-Up and WIP Wednesdays will continue on, but I will try to put more emphasis on the Warm-Up variety next year; say, three Warm-Ups for every one WIP. Trying to find acceptable snippets of my longform works in progress to share took hours and was frankly stressful. I don’t want to nix them entirely, but I do think that limiting them will be better for me overall. Plus, by making myself do more self-contained warm-ups, I’ll have more finished flash fiction that I can later clean up rather than so many longform projects that take a long time to finish.
Overall, I’m proud to have gotten so comfortable with sharing my work on a regular basis and think that it has been valuable for me to be able to consolidate and look back on what I’ve done this year. My life has changed a lot within the past couple of years with my first home and two major job changes, so I still feel like I’m figuring out what my current “normal” looks like on some level. Establishing good writing habits and setting attainable goals related to it is a part of that.