The biggest obstacle to my finishing novels seems to be a slight case of ADD. Just when I start moving along on a particular project, I get side-tracked and start working on something else.
That's why, beginning in 2015, I started a new system. Every morning, I wake up at five, make coffee, and begin work on my main priority novel. I am determined to finish that book this year, hopefully by the end of the summer. After writing a minimum of one page, usually more, I may or may not begin work on another project. I also give myself time in the evenings after I get home from my day job to work on whatever happens to capture my attention. So far, this plan seems to be working and I have made steady progress since I started in September.
Below is a list of my current projects in the order I expect them to appear:
1) Blood Cries (crime fiction) 40,000 words and counting. 40,000 words in six months is nothing to some writers, but to me it feels like I'm accomplishing something. Loosely based on a series of insurance murders allegedly committed by a Baptist preacher with ties to voodoo, the story alternates between covering those events that took place in the 1970s and an investigation undertaken by a famous author not completely unlike Harper Lee. In real life, Lee investigated the story for a nonfiction book in the tradition of In Cold Blood, but the manuscript, if it ever existed, was lost. New chapters appear every two weeks on christamar.com. Expected Publication date: Late summer/early fall 2016
2)There Are Sneetches in My Breeches and Other Parodies (Humor/Parody) Print edition: 60,000 words/eBook: 40,000 words. The print edition includes the satirical science fiction parody Dinosaur Ghost, which has already been published as an eBook. This collection of very silly humor pieces runs the gamut between high and low brow, playfully satirizing authors from JK Rowling to David Foster Wallace. The book features open letters (in the tradition of Ted L. Nancy), fake book reviews, essays, poems, short stories, and the romance parody novella The Oiliest Secret. All of the pieces in this book have been completed, and I am deep into the revision process. Expected Publication Date: July 2016.
Cover Design by Christiana Helgeson
3) Franken Bubba (Humorous Paranormal Thriller) Word Count: 30,000 and counting. The story of Bocephus T. Boswell, the world’s greatest redneck zombie. He’s trying to track down the man who once killed him with the help of his lazy friends and the demented scientist who brought him back to life. I haven't worked on this one for a while, but I plan to start back once I finish Blood Cries. Expected publication date: summer of 2017.
4) How to Trick Your Children into Eating their Vegetables and other Parenting Advice by Some Random Guy (Humor/Parody/Parenting) word count: 5,000 and counting. A silly take on the parenting genre based on my own experience raising children. This one comes along slowly as the kids give me ideas. Consequently, I only work on it sporadically. Expected Publication Date: My youngest is only 10 months old, so it may take a while.
5) Dashboard Hula (Humor/Satire/Literary Fiction) Word Count: 65,000. The book in which I hope to launch a new (tongue-in-cheek) religion. My wife and I joke that this is the novel I’ll be working on for the rest of my life. I started it 20 years ago, and I've never been able to get it right. I refuse to give up on it, though. Sooner or later I will finish this book. Expected Publication Date:?
I have plans for others of course, but these are the ones I am most active about. As long as I stick to my strategy and refuse to deviate from my priority novel, I believe I will be able to start pushing out finsihed product.
So, what are you working on, and how do you prioritze? Let me know in the comments.