My writing goals for the next twelve months

Hitting deadlines as a writer isn’t always easy. I was supposed to finish my supernatural thriller The Butcher’s Shadow by June this year, after which I was going to pick up writing the sequel to my fantasy book When Twins War. Neither of those happened, because we writers tend to get easily distracted. I picked up the work on my forthcoming book on sin and holiness, Holy Sin, which I’ve managed to finish but still need to edit. I also got distracted with revising my first proper book, Single (which I wrote in 2004) after someone asked me for a copy and I was a bit embarrassed to give them the original!

But those of you who were enjoying the weekly updates of The Butcher’s Shadow serial are asking (and wondering) “What happened? Are we ever going to see what the heck happens?” The answer is yes. With renewed vigour and inspiration, here are my plans for the next twelve months in writing:

1. Finish The Butcher’s Shadow (due the end of this year)

There’s still a killer on the loose! And things are starting to look weirder and weirder for Shakes. So let’s wrap this case up by year-end, shall we? Read the first nine chapters if you haven’t!

2. Finish my complete revision of my book Single within the next month.

I’m almost there. I’ve thus far managed to edit down the original manuscript from 90,000 words to 58,000 words! My goal is to edit it down to 50,000 or less words. It’s amazing how I’ve learned, since 2004, to say things more clearly! The original work is ultra-verbose.

As its title suggest, Single (I might give it a new title) is about how to enjoy your singleness as a Christian. Marriage isn’t the be-all and end-all of our existence! I’m also going to look for a publisher for this book.

3. Finish my book Holy Sin within the next three months

“Holiness for losers, washouts, and other people who don’t cut it.” That’s the subtitle for this book and it pretty much sums it up. All that’s left for this one is an edit and then a perusal by pastors and those I respect to give me honest feedback and their theological concerns. I’m also going to look for a publisher for this one.

4. Begin writing my next instalment in The Rise of the Kings (and finish next year)

It’s high-time I write the sequel to When Twins War and get busy with my five-book fantasy series. This is a series I’ve been working on since I was a kid – and it needs to come to life!

When Twins War - The First Prelude to The Rise of the Kings

With a rich and layered fantasy world akin to the classics, When Twins War mingles traditional Western fantasy with middle-eastern adventure and African folklore. It’s something of a mix between The Lord of the Rings and Arabian Nights, with an African edge.

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5. Begin planning for a sequel to Treasure Island (still in concept stages)

Yes, that’s right – a sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island. Since I became a fan of Monkey Island when I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to write a piratey tale. I’m thinking of bringing a supernatural twist to it. That might make some fans of the original upset, but it might make some others interested! We’ll see. One thing that Stevenson’s tale always lacked, in my opinion, was a good ole ghost ship!

Will I manage?

Well, it’s good to set goals. These aren’t impossible. When I consider how much writing I’ve actually done this year (ghostwriting for clients; collaborative writing for Cornerstone Church’s resources) this is possible. But motivation is always another story – especially during Winter! Now that it’s Summer, things are rather different!

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