2015 Writing Review

I'm a sucker for keeping detailed statistics regarding my writing, as you may or may not already know. Well, open your prose-holes because you're about to get a giant dump of information and statistics.

2015 was pretty fricken great. Broken down by quarter, my overall writing progress (words written):

  • Q1: 91,384
  • Q2: 114,842
  • Q3: 208,113
  • Q4: 169,462
  • Total: 583,801 words written

TOP DAY: July 18 (7,755 words)

TOP WEEK: August 31 (25,613 words)

TOP MONTH: July (74,283 words)

LONGEST PROJECT: Spore (123,000 words)

SHORTEST PROJECT: Their Eyes Like Snow (3,800 words)

Obvious disclaimer about quality vs quantity, that you shouldn't get too focused on word count, yada yada yada. My goal for 2015 was to write half a million words, or about 10,000 per week. Through the first two quarters it didn't look like I would be able to do it, but then an incredible Q3, where I averaged 2,200 words per day, catapulted me back on track. This is mainly because my writing pace increased overall: I went from averaging about 500 words/hour to closer to 1,000 words/hour by the end of the year. A year of writing every single day has helped me get to the point where the words just flow easier. Neat!

So, what did I work on in 2015? I'm glad you asked.

Full Novels

  • The Ancillary: 40,600 words. The second book in the Tales of a Dying Star series, I released this on February 16
  • Sword of Blue: 54,000 words. The third book in the Tales of a Dying Star series, this was published on April 17.
  • Drowned by Fire: 64,300 words. The fourth book in the Tales of a Dying Star series, completing the first quadrilogy, published on June 28.
  • Pillars of Wrath: 91,100 words. This is the first of the Books of Bathyly, a high fantasy series. It's actually 113,000 words total, but I began the book in 2014, so 91,100 is just what I added this year. I'm currently seeking representation for the manuscript, and will self-publish if I do not find any.
  • Spore: 123,000 words. This is a techno-thriller, about a man suffering debilitating sleep insomnia who weasels his way into a secretive drug trial. The manuscript is currently out with my wonderful beta readers, after which I will be seeking representation. 
  • Gear: 62,600 words. This is another techno-thriller, about two cyclists attempting to bike across the continental United States who stumble across a government facility in the desert. The first draft is currently 75% complete.
  • The Information War: 27,200 words. Another techno-thriller, surrounding an IT company that uses social media to manipulate world news and current events in their clients' favor. The first draft is currently 33% complete.
  • Born of Sand: 69,400 words. The fifth book in the Tales of a Dying Star series, and the introduction to the second quadrilogy. Published December 25, exactly one year after the release of Siege of Praetar

Short Stories

  • TP-03: 10,000 words. A small robot is built by its master to help around the workshop. Currently seeking publication.
  • The Lancer: 8,600 words. The veteran of a lost war sacrifices her dignity to keep her loved ones safe. Currently seeking publication.
  • Their Eyes Like Snow: 3,800 words. Mongolian 'patchmen' search deep within the great Siberian swamps for a cure to save their people. This was a submission to the Arizona State University Climate Fiction contest
  • The Ghost War: 10,000 words. A Shade travels deep within enemy territory to attempt to end the war. Currently revising prior to seeking publication.

Other Noteworthy Work

  • I've been collaborating with a writing buddy on a Choose Your Own Adventure series, which we will be releasing later this Spring. I wrote 62,300 words toward this project.
  • In April, my short story "The Sentinel" was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2015 Writers of the Future Contest. You can read The Sentinel in Siege of Praetar (it is the opening chapter). 

So that's how 2015 went. Pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. So now it's time to turn my attention to 2016. My goals for this upcoming year:

  1. Write more. Specifically, more than 2015, so the goal is 583,802 words. That's about 1,600 words per day, which is totally achievable. Luckily for me 2016 is a leap year, so I get an extra day to do it. Woo!
  2. Submit four more short stories. My goal is to write one short story per quarter, so four overall. I've got some ideas. 
  3. More collaborative work. I have several writing buddies with whom I'm hoping to collaborate on some joint projects. 
  4. I normally dislike fan fiction, but I'm making an exception for the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds writing contest. I'd hate myself if I didn't at least submit something to the contest. So far all the ideas I have involve Wesley Crusher being smothered to death by tribbles, so I need to, uhh, brainstorm some more. 
  5. Write/Finish the following novels:
    1. Gear: already 62,600 words done.
    2. The Information War: already 27,200 words done.
    3. Tales of a Dying Star #6: outlined and ready to write.
    4. Tales of a Dying Star #7: SUPER rough outline completed. 
    5. Books of Bathyly #2: already 60,000 completed, since I split the first book in two. Will probably be adding another 60,000 when all is said and done. 
    6. 144 Hours: a thriller I have outlined and ready to write.
    7. Untitled Thriller: Gone Girl meets Euthanasia. Already outlined, ready to write.

I have a lot of other projects planned and on the horizon, but for now the above are the main goals to keep me busy. Really busy.

How did your own 2016 go, fellow writers?