Quick one today, as I've been flat on my back most of the weekend (and large parts of last week) with my traditional post-CES illness, with the added fun of something I picked up off a fellow party-goer on New Year's Eve (and not the fun way, either).
But in all that rack time I've been accruing, my thoughts have ranged across the insanely ambitious array of writing projects I've set for myself this year. Folks, it's gonna be a tough one:
1. Revise/rewrite last year's 4 screenplay treatments
2. Write 3 new screenplay treatments
3. Write a 4-6 issue comic based on one of last year's treatments
4. Write a 90k-word novel I've had gestating for a while now, and do it in 3 months
5. Submit short stories 20 times (which is turning out to include revising and rewriting certain stories, because my current pool of submittable stories is two)
And that doesn't include my reading goals, or blogging, or getting out to SF/F author events. It also doesn't include my goals in other areas of my life, like dating and fitness and travel.
Now, I'm not mentioning this to boast about how busy I am, but rather to note that I'm really hoping all the reading I've been doing on story structure, and all my practical work outlining my movie ideas, will translate to the comic and the novel. Comics are a new (ish) medium for me, and although I've written novels, I've never attempted to plot so much out before I write the damn thing. It might work, or it might be an epic disaster.
In essence, I'm hoping to put to use all the stuff I've been reading about the last couple of years now - Robert McKee's Story and Syd Field's Screenplay and talk of plot points, inciting incidents and act transitions. Lack of three-act story structure may not have been the crucial factor in why those early novels didn't work, but it can't hurt to know how it works now, right?
And the real goal, which I left out because it's hard to articulate in a non-vague form, is for this to be the year that I finally start down the road to writing for a living, rather than as a hobby. To be honest, it's been my goal every year since I started writing long-form fiction back in 2001. But, although I haven't quite achieved it yet - I'm still makin' money for the man in my 9 to 5 - I hope I'm making progress.
Frankly, that's all I can hope for - writing is a subjective enough thing that one can be really good but really unlucky. I may or may not be good, but as long as I stick to the old Robert Heinlein rule (read a lot, write a lot, send out what you write), I should be able to make my own luck.