I’ve done a version of this post idea in video form for the past two years, and I think it’s finally time to put it down in writing so I can refer back to it throughout the year. So, here are my writing goals for 2023 and a reflection on what I achieved last year in 2022!
Goals for 2021: https://youtu.be/dcRwi674GcI
Goals for 2022: https://youtu.be/dxyAU3tQyxk
What were your writing achievements last year?
In 2022, I achieved the one goal I’ve been talking about for the past couple of years, and that was finally publishing my second novel ‘Paper Forests’. It’s been a work in progress for many years, and I’ve come close to finishing it more times than I can count, but the project had become such a significant part of my life and a comfort blanket that I could never summon the courage to actually finish it for good and write ‘The End’. I finished the final draft in the spring, published it in the summer, and then spent autumn and winter unable to get it out of my head. It felt like letting go before I was ready, which we will come back to in another question.
I also committed to the decision of merging two of my very similar ideas into one to create one big cohesive Franken-idea. One of these ideas was ‘no plot, all vibes’, and the other was ‘all plot, no vibes’, and they were very similar thematically, so it made sense to blend them together and I am happy with how the current draft is going so far.
Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year.
There are two projects that I want to split my time between this year. The first is what I affectionately refer to as ‘Best Friend WIP’, a project that I’ve talked about a few times in YouTube videos and blog posts. This is what is now my Franken-idea after I combined a project that was previously entitled ‘Heart’ and one with a ridiculously long title that I am still awfully fond of. I need to spend less time writing random scenes and more time planning to iron out some creases in the plot and fill in the blanks, but it’s a fun and challenging task and something that truly scratches my brain right.
The other project that I want to spend a lot of time on is the sequel to ‘Paper Forests’. I’ve wanted to write it ever since I started writing ‘Paper Forests’ and decided that I wanted the series to become a trilogy, but the sequel ideas that have been floating around in my head have taken up a lot more brain space than usual in the past few months, and the urge to develop it into something more was the final push I needed to finish the first book. At the moment, I have a very rough outline which is basically a sentence or two of what I want to happen in each chapter, and then a separate document of phrases and lines and scenes that I’ve gathered over the years which will fit into this storyline.
List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
I can’t think of five specific things I want to work on right now, but the big thing that I’m going to spend a lot of time trying to improve this year is writing in the third person. I have no tense preference at the moment, but both of my novels and a handful of drafts I’ve been writing are all first-person present tense, and the main book I want to work on this year feels like it should be in the third-person to me.
Are you participating in any writing challenges?
I’m not formally committing to any writing challenges this year after I experienced the horror of trying to do NaNoWriMo at the same time as multiple university projects, but I will tentatively consider doing either of the Camp NaNo’s to make some progress on drafts and outlines.
What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
I haven’t had a critique partner or beta reader since I originally started writing both of my novels on Movellas many years ago, and I finally feel like I’ve grown enough in my confidence and my pride as an author to actively want them again, not just need them. I’ve always been reasonably private with my writing but adored the constructive criticism and other assorted feedback I’d receive in my comments, and I look forward to having that become a part of my writing process again, even if I have no idea where to start.
Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?
I think I say this every year, but there’s a selection of indie books about indie books that I’m interested in taking a look at, especially the ones that focus on the marketing process of the book. My debut novel came out around six years ago now, and I still have no idea how I can market and promote a book effectively and build an audience outside of my friend group, so I’m hoping those indie-on-indie books can offer some valuable insight into that process.
Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
There’s a series of current side characters and characters that I want to introduce into the ‘Paper Forests’ universe and I’m getting to know them better by writing short stories to include as a little bit of ‘extra content’ at the end of my hardback editions.
The characters that I think I’m going to be focusing on the most are the main characters in ‘Best Friend WIP’, mostly because I’ve merged two drafts and two sets of main characters together and I haven’t quite worked out which personality traits and character quirks from each that I want to keep.
Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?
I think I’ve said this for the past two years, but I cannot get enough of mythology and fairytale retellings.
K. Ancrum is an author who I am very excited to read more from either this year or next year because her upcoming books are retellings of the Icarus myth and Frankenstein. C.G. Drews is also someone I’m excited by as I love her currently released books and I believe that she was a few fairytale reimaginings in the works, along with a horror including a Kraken. In summary, I’m looking for retellings, horror, and monsters.
What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2023?
Ideally, I would like to have completed a full first draft of ‘Best Friend WIP’ that I can polish and perfect and publish in 2024. I would also like to have a complete outline and some scenes written for the ‘Paper Forests’ sequel, and I think at some point I want to try and adapt the first book into a feature film script for a university project.
Realistically, I would like to have completed a full detailed outline of ‘Best Friend WIP’ and a series of significant scenes and chapters so I can go and fill in the blanks next year, and I’d like to begin the script adaptation of ‘Paper Forests’, even if it ends up being a script for TV and I work on a few chapters and episodes rather than the full thing.
What were your writing achievements in 2022? Tell me about your top priority writing project for 2023!
-What were your writing achievements last year?
-Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
-List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
-Are you participating in any writing challenges?
-What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
-Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?
-Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
-Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?
-What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2023?