Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 49 Results

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge - Week 49 Results

The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Week 49 Results

More winding down the year, boiling down what I’ve learned. Getting ready for the next challenge…


Published Words Fiction:

– free – 0  (Own Site)
– paid – 13772 (D2D, Amazon), 0 (Medium)

Published Words Non-Fiction:

– free – 4318
– paid – 0 (Medium)


New Instafreebie/PW: 216
New Others: 0
Overall Total: 3478

Book sales this week:

Amazon – 12, Draft2Digital – 0, Gumroad – 0 = Total Week’s Fiction Sales – 12

Books (pre-)published this week:

Aggregate Production:

Total fiction books published this year: 126
Total short stories published as individual ebooks: 97
Total anthologies published: 27 (plus two 200+ page books)
Countdown to 100 published short stories: 3 in 3 weeks
(100 total short stories, plus around 7 more anthologies for 34 total – 140+ original books published in a single year.)


Worked on the boil-down of this year, plus getting two short stories out. I don’t know how this count still keeps saying I have to produce more, but “such is life”.

Got one summary and one-boil down done. Now I’m going to reduce that to a bullet list for a nice Medium post this week, as well as my own understanding. (Also, I’ve got a podcast coming up on this, so that will help with my homework.)

Didn’t work on getting content to Medium or Wattpad this week. Busy with both the analysis and also setting up the next challenge. I’ve started listening to various podcasts recently during my pasture walks. Getting a feel for what is out there again. Also some “how-to” ebooks on book launches.

Submitted to romance giveaways to see how this will increase my lists. I haven’t duplicated how I was doing so well this last summer. And found over a couple hundred last week had been 90 days since they had opened anything.

Key point and gain to this last year was certainty and confidence as a fiction writer. All because I developed the habit of writing and publishing.

How a Habit Doesn’t Stop Nagging You

DW Smith talks about this some – once you get into the habit of doing something, then you tend to get nagged about it. For him, it was blogging daily. For me, it’s writing and publishing at least two fiction books per week. The muses don’t let go of you until you comply.

I’ve got a set of 8 books that are all interlocked as a series – procedurals, as far as I can tell – so the character doesn’t develop much during these. In fact, she is a new character every time, but the same “code name”. Much like Quantum Leap – but in this, the MC doesn’t really have any idea of her other identities, only her own skills and the detective work she has at hand. She has many abilities, but these have to show up before she knows they are there. And a new love-interest with each episode, so it’s an interesting idea.

But those stories aren’t “ready for prime time” and so I then pull another out of the bag and create it. Again, the solution became looking though the covers I’ve saved for the inspired “twinge” I need to start writing. And so, the two books this week.

I still have several anthologies to publish at the end of this year – and it would be better (especially with the Christmas distractions coming) to just get that goal met and done with. It’s something like 7 anthologies to produce, but I would have to figure them all out again.

Then there is also the year-end analysis that will be done in January, part of the preps for the first weeks of the next challenge – to lay out what percentage of sales, etc. was from fiction sales – and neglecting my other books.

That is one approach I haven’t seen others attempt. It fits the single-mindedness I can get into with my research. (As in one of my characters, a bit of an “autist”.)

An Interesting Example of “Back-burner Cooking an Idea”

“The Ghost of the Machine” above, was earlier an idea from a book I’d “covered” as “Smart Home Revenge”. But something wasn’t right – and it never went anywhere. The original cover had an evil-looking house with hands reaching up from below.

This new cover has a set of curtains opening to show a semi-clad woman as a mysterious figure – but opening in side a set of machinery. Hence, the new title. Same general subject. Like “The Second Civil War” the story wasn’t about the problems (and inherent insecurity) of connecting your home and its devices to the Internet, but more the personal story of how that affected people. The family that was kicked out of the house was peripheral to the plot – the story was all about solving that ghost’s problem with their “missing soul”.  More personal cover, more personal approach.

And these two paragraphs tell why I need to start podcasting about my books. I’m sitting on a world of background data and analysis of each book – as well as Easter eggs and subtle mentions I put in them. (Like the use of a character here who had her own book earlier.)

One interesting point is that I just created a spirit who lives inside the Internet – and so can give us some fascinating stories, much as my Harpie character has gone on to live in several more books (and introduced her sister, as well.) Expanding universes.

The Kickstarter Lessons Fiasco

I did my assignment, which meant recording a talking-head video. And will probably never do another. Way too much preps on it. Unless I want to start filming regularly (like Jeff Walker) and become some sort of on-screen personality (not.)

On their end, they were supposed to get the other homework “graded” and back to us to re-work – and that didn’t happen. I used the day I was supposed to work on their returned homework to get the graphics done and posted on my kickstarter site. One lesson coming this week, and it’s a wrap. Then I drop it.

How the Week Went

The podcast recording on Monday was only a couple hours out of my day. And the taking-head video ate up the rest of that day.

Tues-Wed was writing and publishing the first book.

Thurs was the weekly auction visit, plus the kickstarter homework.

Fri was getting my backlogged emails out (should have been Mon.) And started the 2nd book that night, finished it on Sat with two proofs and publishing, that spilled over into this am.

And now I’m writing this weekly report.

Last Week’s To-Do’s:

  • New Podcast Recording (Mon) DONE
  • 2-3 new short stories written and published. 2 DONE
  • Another Kickstarter Lesson and updating my site for them. DONE – at least on my end.
  • Analyze the Challenge Summary document and author “What I Learned” article. DONE

This Week’s To-Do’s:

  1. Today: Boildown of the Lessons Learned to a bullet point series.
  2. Mon: Emails
  3. Tue-Wed: New Book Written & Published.
  4. Thu-Fri: New Book Written-Published.
  5. Sat-Sun: New Book Written-Published.
  6. Sun: This analysis.

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