Updated on 12.24.11

2012 Resolution #2: Finish a Novel and Write Another One

Trent Hamm

For the rest of this week, I’m going to discuss the goals I’m setting for 2012 and the plans I have for achieving them.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had made some changes to how The Simple Dollar is managed in an effort to free up time for other writing projects that I’ve wanted to take on. For me, first and foremost among these projects is the fantasy novel I’ve long talked about writing here on The Simple Dollar.

Why haven’t I written it yet? Time, mostly. The ideas behind the novel float around in my head all the time, but turning those ideas into actual written prose is a time-consuming process.

Right now, the novel exists as a fairly detailed plot outline that I keep tinkering with, several character sketches, and one chapter that I’m not even sure will be in the final novel. It might actually be a prelude. Although the novel is self-contained, it could easily develop into a series.

I also have several ideas for a second novel that I’d love to write, one with a more modern setting.

2012 is the year that I’m going to write them both.

Obviously, the first step is to simply get first drafts finished of both of the novels. That in itself will take some time, particularly for the second one.

I intend to first draft the first one, then move on to making character sketches and a plot outline for the second, then moving back to the first for later drafts. This way, I give them both some time to breathe.

I have several test readers and a freelance editor lined up. This will help me polish these things up a bit beyond what I could do myself.

After that, I’m going to publish them. I’ve decided already to go the self-publishing route regarding these novels, and I’m going to be discussing them and promoting them at TrentHamm.com and on my personal Twitter, though neither is really up and going quite yet.

The exact plans for publishing are still up in the air at this point, but I will likely publish a Kindle version first and eventually do a print version. I am considering a Kickstarter campaign for it as well.

Such issues are secondary, however, to the primary goal. I intend to write two novels this year. That’s pretty clear cut. I’ll worry about selling them when that bridge comes.

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  1. Steven says:

    How I really hope your next resolution won’t be to read 150 books.

  2. kc says:

    @ Steven: ha!

    Seriously Trent, your goals ought to be challenging but attainable. You may be setting yourself up for disappointment.

  3. Andrew says:

    Ignore them, Trent. It’s fine to have lofty goals.

    To quote Robert Browning: “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for? ”

  4. Kai says:

    There’s nothing wrong with having lofty dreams, but goals should be achievable. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim high in your goals, but if your goals are consistently not met, then you should revise your expectations and start setting goals that are going to be achievable.
    I have dreams and ideals that are sufficiently lofty as to be unachievable, but still worth working towards for the in-between parts. The goals I set, however, in these areas, are measurable and achievable.

  5. lurker carl says:

    Spread out your goals. Packing too much into a short timeframe will set you up for failures.

  6. Michael says:

    I think it’s fine to mix a small daily goal with an intensive goal. Trent can’t spend much time during the day exercising and losing weight beyond his 15-30 minutes and meal prep time. The novels can take up to all of his free time.

    The novel might sound tough, but I have so many friends publishing their NaNaWriMo projects from November this month that I think both could be done by June if Trent writes and uses his editor seriously. He certainly can write quickly.

  7. Steve says:

    Considering zero novels have been completed so far, it seems a stretch to think you could finish two in one year. Perhaps it would be more realistic to resolve to complete one novel and make a start on the second.

    Disclaimer: I haven’t completed any novels either

  8. Valleycat1 says:

    If I were someone who gave up on two of last years goals when life threw one curve ball I think I’d be aiming lower . There’s no rule that you can’t add another goal if you attain the original one early on, and you don’t end up feeling like a failure. One piece of business advice that works for other arenas is to under promise and over deliver. So in this case, planing getting the first novel complete to being publication ready. Then any effort toward the next book is a total win, not possible fail.

  9. Gretchen says:

    I, too, think this is aiming a little high.

    As far as writing quickly goes, we all know it doesn’t matter how fast it’s done if it’s junk. Which is not to say the novels will be junk. Who knows?

  10. Temi says:

    Wow. This is an ambitious goal. Good luck Trent. I hope you make it.

  11. deRuiter says:

    Can’t think of anyone more suited to writing fantasy. Good luck and finish them both off in one year.

  12. Johanna says:

    Are you going to put any of your newly freed up time toward researching and fact-checking your posts here?

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