My writing goal of 1000-words-before-breakfast has worked out very well! From early January until mid-February (taking a week out for a personal crisis), I cranked out 76,000+ words and completed the first draft of After the Fire. For a couple of weeks after that, I spent my before-breakfast writing time making one quick editing pass through the draft. I didn't count words for that process, because most of the editing involved cutting a lot of extraneous crap. Now, the manuscript needs to rest for a while before I get down to serious editing.
In the meantime, I'll be editing a couple of other stories that have been resting. As if that weren't enough, I have an idea for a new story, featuring the same protagonist as After the Fire. The working title for the new novel is Marathon Nightmare. Bev Deller will once again investigate a suspicious fire. This time the fire is in the central Keys in Florida. That will give white-bread Midwesterner Bev the opportunity to experience the weirdness of Florida, which can be a serious shock to the system (believe me, I know). Bev may have a love interest this time. I'm still kicking around ideas, but I can't wait to get down to business on that one. At 1000 words a day, with extra on the weekends, I could blow out a preliminary draft relatively quickly.
However, I realized this week that I get so caught up in the fun and excitement of writing new content, that I have neglected the hard work of querying. Therefore, I have decided to set a new goal of getting serious about querying. By the end of March I want to have polished queries for at least four of my stories, and keep at least two or three of them “out there” at all times. That may slow me down a bit on Marathon Nightmare, but it will keep me moving forward toward the real goal.
Let's see if I can do as well with that goal as I have been with 1000 words-before-breakfast!