In my “entity” as M.A. Lee, my current mystery The Hazard of Secrets was supposed to be finished on the last day of June. Here it is 25 days later, and I’m still not finished. I’m running behind.
For HoS, I have 5 to 7 more chapters to write. My expected word count was 55,000. I am currently at 50,000-plus.
When I look at the scenes that are necessary to finish the mystery and solve the crime and close the other threads, I think that word count is going to be closer to 70,000 than 65,000. Those extra words are part of the problem.
However, the main problem with running behind is TIME. Writers can’t find the time to catch up.
Throughout July and the tail end of June–the reason that I am running behind–I’ve only managed two days of creative writing each week. As I am looking ahead to the end of July, I see no time to write on Friday or Saturday or Sunday, and maybe a little time on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. This is the kind of thing that drives me crazy!
I’ve had tons of disruptions–and have used the time crowded around those disruptions (when the brain won’t settle to creativity) to work on revisions–and I have been contending with a back injury at the end of May. I just found out that the back injury is actually a broken rib. No wonder I’ve been hurting and not able to sleep the night through.
12th rib. A floating one. It’s the bottom-most rib. Right there at my liver. Yikes!
When I launch into a year, I have a plan, the Yearly Plan, of what I hope to accomplish. For most of my teaching career, I over-scheduled. That helps when you’re dealing with teen-agers: Idle hands and the devil’s workshop and all that.
Based on my plan at the start of the year, Me as M.A. Lee should be in the middle of my 11th Hearts in Hazard book, The Hazard for Spies. Well, no.
That plan also had me nearly finished with a writing craft book, Discovering Your Characters. I was supposed to be working slowly through that nonfiction book (5th in the Discovering / Think like a Pro Writer series). Nope. I have about 21,000 of an expected 35,000 guidebook. I know what needs to come next. I’ve got words roughed out, some merely sketched out, and the vaguest of ideas for the rest.
At the start of June I re-adjusted by Yearly Plan at the start of June. I knew I was running behind on HoSecrets;H4Spies should start around July 20. I knew I was running behind on DiscChar; I figured I would finish it around July 30.
That ain’t going to happen.
Yes, I said ain’t.
Now my whole Yearly Plan is thrown off. Gee whillikers.
Mysteries by M.A. Lee ~
Hazard of Secrets, new deadline: August 15.
Hazard for Spies, new deadline: October 15.
That will finish the 12-book Hearts in Hazard series. I’ve enjoyed Regency mysteries. I’ve discovered that I’m really not happy writing “suspense” and “scary” and that I prefer mysteries and vintage gothics a la Mary Stewart and Phyllis A. Whitney and Victoria Holt.
One of the things that I have wanted to do for this series is to turn them into real paperbacks. Holding the book (rather than the electronic device), flipping the pages, dipping in and out–that’s a reader’s true joy. So, converting the manuscripts to paperback is the plan for 2020.
As for the Rest of my Writing Year
Writing Craft Books ~ also Me as M.A. Lee
Discovering Your Characters,new deadline: August 15 (half-a-month behind)
Discovering Your Plot, new deadline, September 30 (30 days behind). 50% is already roughly written; the rest has notes and ideas and sketched points that should speed along.
Discovering Your Author Brand, new deadline ??? About 15% is roughly written. The rest will have to come from scratch.
Discovering Sentence Craft, new deadline ~ ??? May not make 2019, so early in 2020.
Fantasy ~ Me as Remi Black and Me as Edie Roones (Oooh, two for one).
I have two fantasy novellas that I want to write. I really, really enjoyed the one that I published in early May. Writing To Wield the Wind was inspired and inspiring. I’m going to enjoy returning to this world with parts 2 and 3 of this Enclave World series under my pseudonym of Remi Black.
These two novellas to finish the series will happen, even if it means the Writing Craft books are pushed back into 2020. That’s okay. I want to bundle all five of the Discovering / Think like a Pro Writer books as ebooks as well as put them into paperback form. The paperback form wasn’t going to be possible until 2020, so I’ll just combine those projects into one big focus.
Poor Edie Roones is just sitting there, hanging out, waiting for her turn. I have the Sansward four-part series to finish, with Spring Magicks. I have ideas but nothing written. That’s on schedule for 2020 as well.
2019 Becomes 2020
I need to finish the Isabella Into Death series with Portrait with Death. That’s M.A. Lee. Maybe it will happen in 2020, maybe not.
M.A. Lee has 14 novels (as well as 4 nonfiction books) under that pseudonym. Finishing the Into Death series will put that number at 15. Ideas are popping up for the next series already. Geez, brain, slow down a little.
I need to devote more writing time to Remi Black and Edie Roones. Under my Remi Black pseudonym I have two novellas that I am desperate to write as well as the last 3 Alstera / Enclave books. I have more ideas for the Edie Roones pseudonym, remaining focused on Medieval–fantasy and mystery as separate lines.
When I look at 2020, I see so much that I want to write already, and this is not even an official plan!