2016 Writing Review

It's been a busy year. On the personal front, in June my wife and I moved halfway across the country to Fort Worth, Texas. Showing our house and then selling our house and then MOVING out of our house took a boatload of time. So, my writing suffered a bit.

But only a bit. Here's my writing, broken down by quarter:

  • Q1: 171,623
  • Q2: 114,737
  • Q3: 102,995
  • Q4: 34,372
  • TOTAL: 423,727 words written

TOP DAY: January 21 (10,021 words)

TOP WEEK: January 18 (27,378 words)

TOP MONTH: January (84,269 words)

LONGEST PROJECT: Books of Bathyly #2 (100,238 words)

SHORTEST PROJECT: Home Movies (6,459 words)

I came up short of my 500,000 word goal, entirely because of my lackluster final quarter. But hey, shit happens. 423,727 is still nothing to sneeze at, especially since I did a lot of editing this year. So what specifically did I work on? 

Full Novels

  • Ultimate Ending: 137,000 words, spanning 4 books. Danny McAleese and I launched the first 6 books of our CYOA series in April, and have since added 4 more. They're aimed at ages 10+, but they're great for adults too.
  • Books of Bathyly #2: 100,000 words added. That puts me at 170,000 total for the book, and I still have another 30,000+ to writeYikes. Book #1 is still out with agents, so I have a lot of time.
  • Gear: 50,000 words added. This is a techno-thriller about two cyclists attempting to bike across the United States but stumble across a government facility in the desert. This is now finished (at 110,000 words total) and ready for a second draft.
  • Bathed in Light: 62,000 words. The 6th book in my Tales of a Dying Star series. Written, edited, and then published on December 25
  • Days Until Home: 33,000 words contributed. This was a collaborative sci-fi novel about a distressed asteroid mining ship. Completed in July with Mark Gardner and Greg Dragon.
  • Spore: no words added. This is a techno-thriller about a man suffering debilitating sleep insomnia who weasels his way into a secretive drug trial. This year I finished two rounds of editing, sent it to beta readers, and then began querying agents. It is currently seeking representation. 

Short Stories

  • One Gentleman of Suraya: 8,700 words. This was my first stab at fan fiction, writing a submission for the Star Trek Brave New Worlds competition (spoilers: I didn't win). It was a fun, if brief, exercise.
  • We Don't Tolerate That Nonsense Here: 9,000 words. A story about a girl who wakes up one morning with superpowers, and how to cope with it. Currently seeking publication.
  • The Ghost War: 10,000 words. Super soldiers are kept alive with machinery and continuously sent back into an endless war. This is probably my favorite short story out of any I've ever written. Currently seeking publication.
  • The Watchers: 3,133. A short story about two perimeter guards defending against an invasion. I wrote this on a whim while flying to Las Vegas, and ended up not finishing it. RIP, unfinished manuscript.
  • A Kite Without Wind: 10,000 words. A story about a mechanic on a space station accused of pedophilia. Currently seeking publication.
  • Katie: 6,200 words. I wrote this after watching the movie Deux Machina and wishing it had a different ending. Unfinished, but I'm still tinkering with it.
  • Home Movies: 6,500 words. A man begins receiving alarming videotapes from his past. Currently seeking publication.

Other Noteworthy Items

  • Two of my short stories (The Lancer and The Ghost War) were awarded Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future Award. That makes three stories total! I'm running out of award space on my wall.
  • The Lancer was accepted into the second Immerse Or Die anthology. It won't be published until later this year, but you can read the first anthology here
  • Siege of Praetar skyrocketed in popularity in April, reaching the #2 spot in SFF on the Nook store and #3 on Kindle.
  • My own personal author ranking peaked at #37 in the science fiction category, ahead of Michael Crichton and Neil Gaiman but just falling short of passing Stephen King.

2017 goals!

  1. My goal for 2016 was to beat my 2015 record. Spoilers: it didn't happen. So, I'm going to keep my goal realistic and just shoot for 500,000 words again. That's fewer than 10,000 words per week. Totally doable! 
  2. Write and submit four more short stories. Short stories are a great break in between larger projects, a way to cleanse the writing pallet and get a small, quick victory. I hit that goal in 2016, and want to do it again.
  3. Write/Finish the following novels:
    • Gear: First draft is finished, just needs a second and third draft.
    • The Information War: 27,000 words done, another 80,000 to go. This is the first thing on my list, and I'll be jumping into it next week! 
    • Books of Bathyly #2: I added 100,000 words to it this year, but still have 30,000-50,000 to go. It's going to be a monster when it's done.
    • 144 Hours: A sci-fi thriller. It's all outlined, and I planned on writing it in 2016 but never did. That will change next year! 
    • Untitled Thriller: Gone Girl meets Euthanasia. Like above, I wanted to write it in 2016 but didn't. 2017 will be the year of the thriller!

Happy 2017, everyone. Get writing!