Friday, December 23, 2005

Half a million words later

Decided to do a countback, see how productive 2005 has been for me. Here's a list of all the paying work I've done as a writer this year, thus far: four novels [two Nikolai Dante, two Fiends of the Eastern Front with a third in progress], five audio dramas [four Sarah Jane Smith and a double-disc Sapphire & Steel] five issues of The Phantom comic for Egmont, three-part interview features with artist Cam Kennedy and writer Robbie Morrison, a seven-part history of the Judge Dredd Megazine, sundry shorter features for the Megazine, and the first two scripts for a Fiends of the Eastern Front serial for the Meg.

My grand total for all of this? A shade under half a million words during 2005. Since I aim to work five days a week, that's about 250 writing days a year, so I'm averaging 2000 words a day. Not too shabby and certainly productive.

Of course, that excludes all the plotlines, synopsis and pitches I had to write to get that work, the research required for many of those projects and the creative thinking time needed to come up with them in the first place. If a project is well researched, well thought and well plotted, the writing is the easiest part. That probably explains why it's been taking me forever to get Fiends 3 rolling - the opening chapters were woefully under-plotted and researched. Shit like that leads to writer's block, but you simply have to keep going and hope you'll emerge from the other side. Happily, I seem to be crawling from the wreckage now and, hopefully, the road ahead will get easier. We'll see.

Looking at my list of paid work, the genres tackled have been science fiction, horror, war, contemporary thriller, contemporary fantasy, historical adventure and action-adventure - plus a lot of non-fiction too. Not too bad a mix, though I'd like to spread my net wider in 2006.

What work have I got lined up for the New Year? Fiends 3 is now due January 16. Egmont wants more scripts for The Phantom from me, with perhaps three of them based on supplied plotlines. There's my exciting new project about which I'm not talkign till I've signed the contracts. Got to finish off the Fiends comic strip. Been asked to pitch something new for Big Finish, so that needs thinking about. Need to find time to pull together my proposal for a Warhammer novel. There's talk of a non-fiction project for Black Flame. Got to revise and update my Morse reference tome for Reynolds & Hearn.

Plus, of course, I'm studying for an MA in Screenwriting during my copious spare time.

Methinks 2006 is filling up fast already. Better hurry up and finish 2005...

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