I’ve said before that I have trouble with endings. I just don’t have enough practice with them. And it’s still presenting a problem. But I’ve realised recently that I’m not that good at finishing things in general. I start a lot of new stories that never get far, and I start a lot of Minecraft worlds that I give up on after a while. I’ve started a lot of games I’ve not finished, including the Nuzlocke Run on Pokemon Heart Gold. I’ve created a lot of new characters on Guild Wars and more recently Guild Wars 2, and deleted them in favour of starting another new character before getting far into the story. There are a few drafts to blog posts I’ve never finished.
Finishing things evades me.
So I’ve decided I’m going to finish some things this year. I’ve got a lot of story starts, so I’ve selected some and decided to finish them. And in order to be held accountable, I’m going to tell you what they are. Ask me in a month how I’m getting on.
Project 1: Pilgrimage
This is continuation of a story I began for One Hour Story 4. It is the story of a character seeking justice against those she believes have wronged her, and on the way she meets some people on a similar quest, but she doesn’t believe the stories they have of the reasons for their journey to the temple of the god of justice.
At the moment it’s sitting at about 2,000 words and I think there’s a lot of build up and some seeds to be sown before I can start on the pay-off, so I’m thinking this might end up around the 8,000 word mark in first draft. So I’m giving myself ten days to finish it – more than I think I need, allowing a little leeway for bad days.
Project 2: The Tomb of the Empress
This is one I started a few months ago on the basis of some prompts, and I liked it but I thought it felt a bit linear. I’ve changed it around a bit and will start afresh. It follows one of the many kings of an empire seek to determine what has happened to the late Empress’s body, without letting anyone find out that it has gone missing. He acts as detective and loves it, using it as an excuse to avoid his duties.
It is still a fairly brief plot, not especially complicated, but I think a bit more interesting than the original version. Maybe you’ll see when I’m done. I think this will be in the region of 10,000 words, so I’ll allow two weeks for that.
Project 3: The Archivist
This leads on from my One Hour Story 3, or rather builds upon it. I’ll give it more depth and focus on the character’s gradual change from scholar and librarian used to a life of comfort, through a more field antiquarian in a land torn by war role, to becoming something more like a journalist and finding what feels like her true calling in life, or at least what life has become, recording for future generations the injustices she sees around her.
I think I want this to be a bit longer. I’ve not done a huge amount of planning beyond the overarching character change, but I think the changes that take place require sufficient space to let them develop, so I’m estimating about 25,000 words for this. I’m not ready for a full length novel yet but I think, once I’ve got to grips with the shorter stories, this will be a suitable challenge to follow.
Project 4: The River Story
This is also based on a one hour story. I really enjoyed writing it and I want to explore it in a bit more depth, and expand the story into something of a greater length. I’ve not really got more than that at the moment but at some point I’ll have a good old brainstorm and work out what I want from it. I’ll aim for longer still, in the 30,000 to 40,000 word range, because I want to keep pushing myself and challenging myself, but I don’t want to go all out on a full length novel just yet.
If I aim for 1,000 words a day, with a few bad days and a week or two editing Pilgrimage after I’ve written the Tomb of the Empress, I think it’s not unreasonable to aim to write all of this, in first draft, by the end of 2013. So that’s my goal. And I’ve put up some progress tracking widgets to help me keep track.
Wish me luck, and if you want to share your WIP or your goals for the rest of the year, feel free,I’d love to hear them.