Shoot for the Moon Challenge 2016 – February Roundup


Where did it go? I know it’s a short month, but I turned around twice and February has moonalready slipped past with terrifying speed… So how did I do with the stupidly ambitious 2016 targets that I set in the New Year, aided and abetted by writing buddy Mhairi Simpson?

• I hadn’t been near my space opera novel, Running Out of Space since the mess last October, when formatting issues meant I couldn’t publish it as I had initially planned. When I revisited it in the middle of February, I was expecting the manuscript to be littered with a forest of niggling errors after my desperate efforts to manually replace all the italics and bolding that had been wiped out by the likes of Sigil. But there were only a small handful of mistakes which were quickly fixed. I have loaded onto Himself’s Kindle to see if the format is as robust as I’d hoped, and so far, so good… I also completed another editing pass on the sequel, Dying For Space, after my major rewrite last summer. Again, there were a series of small errors, but nothing too major.
Challenge – To have The Sunblinded trilogy published during 2016. After my failure last year, I am reluctant to give any firm dates when this will happen until I have everything in place, but at present, I am certainly on schedule.

• Last November, I finally completed the first draft of the book that has been burning a hole in my skull for the past eighteen months – Miranda’s Tempest. So after Christmas, I started the editing process. The biggest issue was that the style was far too modern and snappy, so I set about ‘Tudorising’ it. I went through and expunged most of the main verbs that were not around in the 16th century and replaced them with older words, as well as making the dialogue sound more appropriate. The word nerd in me was purring like a well-fed cat, but aware I can get carried away on these sorts of tasks, I kept passing bits of manuscript around to my long-suffering beta readers to ensure I wasn’t getting too extreme. So far the feedback has been positive. As soon as I am sure, the manuscript is as strongly written as I can manage, I shall start submitting it.
Challenge – to get Miranda’s Tempest fit to send out to agents by Easter. I’m on target for this one.

• I read 9 books and wrote a review for every single one of them during February, as they were all really good. It’s been a joy to read such a great run of books – it’s the best year that I can recall to date. I wrote two New Release Special reviews and have been applying more to NetGalley for ARC copies, which so far I have been getting. I am trying to widen my reading to include more authors new to me, especially women. During February I encountered four authors I hadn’t read before.
Challenge – To review a minimum of 100 books during 2016 and widen my reading to include at least a third of authors I haven’t read before. So far, I’m on course for hitting this target, although it’s early days and later in the year it could very easily slip, when I’m grappling with my publishing projects.

Overall, it’s been a reasonably productive month. I have managed to get through a significant amount of editing. I wrote just over 6,500 words on teaching admin and just over 7,000 words on my blog, bringing my writing total for 2016 so far to just over 40,000 words.

8 responses »

  1. Glad to hear everything went as well as it could in terms of reading, writing, and revising / editing. And I know how you feel about modern terms and phrasing in historical stories (be them fantasy, historical fiction, etc.). It drives me crazy when I read a story and the wording or slang doesn’t fit the time period. I’ve actually made a habit of looking up words in the dictionary while working on my WIP, just to see when the word originated and whether it’s still appropriate for the story as a result. (Example: Several of my characters can fly, but since it’s set in medieval-esque times, I try not to use words like “launch,” “hover,” “zip,” etc.)

    • Taking the time to check the words certainly made a difference. It was a right old fiddle and took me best part of a month to get through the manuscript – but it certainly improved the whole period feel of it:).

      • Before I forget again – and it’s slightly off-topic – but thanks for the Amarock recommendation. I listened to the album on YouTube this morning and really liked it! I like that kind of acoustic-meets-synthesizer progressive rock sound. 🙂

      • You may well like the rest of Oldfield’s output then. He shot to fame when he was only 17 as the first signing of Virgin Records with his album Tubular Bells. It became one of the most popular albums of the decade, but he has a wideranging output and most of his backlist of excellent – I’d steer clear of ‘Heaven’s Open’ though and his ‘Man on the Rocks’ album, which I personally thought was awful… Everything else is brilliant, though:)

  2. I see you’ve been very productive in February. Glad to see you’re smoothly going through the editing process for both your sci-fi and your new project. Fingers crossed the trilogy is out this year without any unexpected delays!

  3. What a fantastic February – glad that you’re on target with your writing and editing. It sounds like you’ve read some amazing books too. I wish I was as on top of my reviews as you are! Here’s hoping March is just as good 😀

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