Jeanne: December Progress Report

My overarching goal, if you may remember, is to release a trilogy of paranormal romances in the fall of 2018.

At the end of last month, I was optimistic. I knew that to reach that goal, I needed to finish an editor-ready draft of the second book, The Demon’s in the Details, and be ready to start on the third book, a Faust story about a writer who sells her soul to the devil to make the New York Times bestseller list, in January.

I was feeling pretty good about meeting that goal.

Unfortunately, December proved to be one of those months that afflicts both men and mice–my plans went agley,.

November and December are tough months for writing. I’ve always figured that the person who thought it was a good idea set NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, in November was a man, who wasn’t going to need to combine Christmas shopping and making a turkey feast with with all that writing.

Despite the start to the holidays, I came pretty close to meeting my goal in November. Part of how I achieved that was by putting off buying Christmas gifts for my dozen or so grandkids, which left all that to be done in December. Along with putting up the tree, hosting Christmas Eve for my stepkids, visiting my daughter on Christmas Day and getting together for lunches all month with wonderful people I see all too seldom.

But, to be honest, all that holiday-making wasn’t the real problem.

The real problem was I got stuck. I hit a point in Book 2 where I needed to know why Satan was so determined to collect up my protagonist’s sculpture (left to her by her artist mother). With some Skype-advising from Jilly, a couple of phone calls with my clever older sisters, and some quality time with the brilliant plotting group from my RWA® Chapter, Central Ohio Fiction Writers, I was finally able to resolve the issue in a way that was not only satisfactory, but makes the whole book a lot stronger and more cohesive.

So, yay! but also, How the heck did it get to be January already?

Needless to say, I didn’t meet my December goal. I now expect to finish my editor-ready draft by the end of January. That means I’m running a month behind on starting The Demon Wore Stilettos, which was already going to be a fire-drill to finish in time to meet my June date with my editor.

All that said, I did make one solid bit of progress last month. I lined up my first guest blog post to promote The Demon Always Wins when it’s released in September. I’ll be guest blogging over at Nancy Lee Badger’s blog, Happy Ever After Meets the Road Less Traveled on September 7th. Hoping it’s the first of many!

11 thoughts on “Jeanne: December Progress Report

  1. I think the person who “invented” NaNoWriMo was a man. ‘Nuff said.

    November and December are horrible months to try to get any writing done. I had the added stress of my dad undergoing quadruple bypass unexpectedly. We went back home for the holidays, too (first time in 9 years), so I got zero writing done on my end. HOWEVER, the month wasn’t a total loss. Like you, Jeanne, I was stuck after the midpoint in my book and with a good evening’s brainstorming with my CP Lisa, I think I have something figured out that will get me from the midpoint to the black moment. Still some finagling to get to The End, but at least I have a trajectory that will get me ahead in the book, and we managed to figure out what scenes I’d written during NaNo that need to go (unfortunately, quite a few).

    Still, I feel better about the book than I ever have. Now I just need to get the kids back in school (which, unfortunately, isn’t until next week) before I can focus on some serious writing, then I get to immerse myself in a week’s worth of Immersion mid-month. In the meantime, I’ve cleaned up my whiteboard and will work on filling in the gaps on what Lisa and I brainstormed.

    Here’s good luck to all of us achieving our goals in 2018!

  2. Agreed, November and December are the worst writing months every year, and this year was busier than ever at my house. Writing? What is this ‘writing’ thing of which you speak?

    Still, it sounds like you’re recovering from the holidays and moving full-steam ahead! I can’t wait for your release dates in the fall. Any chance you would share your remaining editing and publishing schedule with us, maybe in a future blog post? I’d like to see how you’re laying it all out to make a September release. I hope to get at least my novella and novel 1 – and if stars align, etc., etc., also novel 2 – out into the world in 2018, but the first one or two might be more of a ‘soft launch’ as I feel my way through how much time each step of the process will actually take.

    • “Soft launch.” That’s a great term.

      I’m planning on September 1, October 1, November 1 and December 1 for a boxed set, but I already know I’m in trouble on Book 3, which makes the boxed set non-existent.

      And, since I’ve never done any of this before, I have no idea how long any of it takes. As I used to tell managers back in my project management days, “I can’t tell you how long it will take me to do something I don’t know how to do.”

      I’m planning to start working on covers for all 4 (because even if they don’t all come out this year, they will eventually) this month.

      What kinds of dates are you wondering about? You list may tell me things I need to do I don’t even know about….

  3. Still . . . you are on a track! This is great! And who knows, there may be wonderful things happening that let you make unexpected progress. This “I don’t know how long something will take” business can work both ways (-:.

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