So far, I've purchased 5 books (Jim C. Hines' The Stepsister Scheme arriving tomorrow). I've also finished reading Gail Z. Martin's The Blood King, which I quite enjoyed. And I'm now halfway through Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself, which really kicks ass so far.
Besides enjoying the writing of others I've managed to take care of a couple of things of my own:
- Started writing the revised opening scene to my WIP (about halfway through this) and loving it. The old opening was very good but the first two paragraphs just bothered me. So, I tried a very different way to present the same scene and so far it throws the reader into the story and introduces the first POV character. He goes from passive bystander to fighting to not get himself killed. I like it, a lot.
- So, I have a map I drew over 30 years ago that ties into many of my stories. I have a 5 book epic fantasy story that spans a 20 year period that this map is central to. My WIP is a standalone fantasy but it really is a prequel to this larger story. Anyway, in the larger story the antagonist has to try and accomplish something. The one thing I've had missing was how he expected to do what should be impossible to do. And then it hit me. There's an artifact placed in this particular land, and that artifact is noted on my map. For 30 years its been sitting there (it has a couple of purposes already) and I finally realized that this was what he was going to use to accomplish his goal. And that if I just moved the artifact to the south of this mountain range it would be the perfect explanation for this geographical anomaly there...So, it only took me 30 years to figure it out. Oh, and I got started down this path because I was annoyed there's no map to Abercrombie's stories and that got me thinking about my own map and how cool it is and then a thought about this artifact sitting there came to me...
- I've established what I hope to be a productive writing/reading schedule: Mon-Thu after coming home from work will be writing time (expecting 1700 words a day for these days). Friday will be a day off for family and fun. Saturday and Sunday will be for reading (since I have a long list of books to get to and, after only reading 6 books in 2008, I'm motivated). That should allow me to keep on track for each of my goals.
- Next up is setting personal deadlines for this year. It helps. Since I'm writing towards the goal of getting published I want to push myself to improve. This year will be not just for writing a lot but for getting better each month.
- Reading project: revisit books with my favorite dialogue and study how it's done. (Dialogue is really difficult for me.)
So, there it is so far. Add in a set goal for exercising as well and I hope 2009 is a very productive year.