We’re three months into 2019, but I still wanted to share this because I can.
At the end of 2018, I sat down to think about what would be a realistic goal for my writing in 2019. I wanted to aim toward something that I knew would push me as a writer and also move forward in one of the five novels I’ve drafted so far.
In the end, I didn’t come up with realistic goals.
I’m getting ready to work on the last issue of my school’s magazine, so most of my writing focus is on getting articles ready. One of the things I’m hoping for is to create a list of articles that really leave an impact on our readers. I’ve tried hard over the past five issues to come up with topics that stick with readers, and I want to make sure that this last issue is something our graduates can feel happy about.
Another thing that I really want to get done soon are my character profiles for my NaNoWriMo 2015 story. When I initially wrote the book, I had very little information on my characters. Now that I’m attempting to re-write it, I want to make sure that I know them well before throwing them into the story.
Goal #1: Read and revise my NaNoWriMo 2015 story
Of all the stories that I’ve written early on in my writing career, this one has stuck out to me quite a bit. It’s the only one of my early stories that I still have a desire to work on, despite its poor initial draft.
My mind had worked on ways to improve the novel while I was focusing on other stories and the process of me becoming a better writer has given me ideas as to how I could re-work the story. I still loved these characters and wanted to tell this story.
When it came time to decide what I was going to look at revising this year, this came to mind immediately. Knowing that the story was still sticking with me and wanting to be told despite being a little over three years old meant that I still had enough love and passion for it to try the story again.
Even though part of my goal is to re-read my original drafts before revising, this book is going to be a little different because I’m actually going to re-write the entire thing. I’ve tried going back to read the first chapter and it just made me cringe too hard.
This needs to undergo a complete re-write for multiple reasons, including the setting of the book and the ages of the characters changing. Along with that, the premise is changing as well, so a full re-write is far more appropriate. There’s also very little that I can salvage from the original draft outside of the idea. Though I’m nervous about starting from scratch with a new plot, I’m also excited to see what I can do know that I’ve grown so much as a writer.
Goal #2: Read and revise my NaNoWriMo 2017 story
I’ve already read through about half of this novel back during summer. It was one of my goals last year to finish reading the book and begin preparing for revision before NaNoWriMo 2018, but that didn’t end up happening.
Because it’s a much better draft than anything else I’ve written, this one requires less re-working than my other novel. It also hasn’t produced any severe cringe attacks as I’ve slowly read through the draft again.
This is the one I’m most excited to work on because I feel the most comfortable with the story and the characters. I already have ideas and notes for improving character and story arcs, as well as how to work on the things I’ve gotten feedback on from my critique group.
After I finished writing this at the end of 2017, I sent a copy to the girls in my Writing Fiction critique group and my roommate at the time. My sister later yelled at me for not sending her a copy, so she has one now and has read it. The comments I got from my friends and my sister have given me a better sense of how to approach the revision stage.
What’s unrealistic about this goal is that I don’t know how long it’s going to take me to finish a round of revision for one novel, much less two. I’d like to think that I can revise both in the next ten months, but at the speed I’m working at now, that’s not very likely to happen. Since I’ve never revised before either, I can’t say how long it’ll take me to get this done in a way that I’m proud of.
I would really like to have revised both of the novels I mentioned above over the next couple of years. Ideally, I’d revise them enough that I can think about querying them after I graduate, but that’s really something I can only think about when I see what progress I’ve made with my revision rounds.
In terms of work, my goal is to be in the publishing industry after I graduate. How likely that is will really depend on what kind of internship I get over the summer. I’m really hoping for one of my publishing internship applications to pan out, getting me a closer look at the industry and a foot in the door.
After that, the goal is to eventually be published. I know it’s a bit vague, but the nature of the publishing world is that I can’t predict when something will happen. My work needs to be clean and interesting enough that I can get an agent first, then marketable enough that I can sell it to a publishing house. As much as I would love to put a timeline on that and say that I want to be published in the next five years, it’s realistically going to take longer than that.
At the end of the day, my goals are mostly to keep improving my writing skills and to continue working on the magazine like I have been since August. Revisions are going to take me awhile, and if I manage to get through one round of revision for one of my novels, I’ll be happy enough.