Given that I’ve been talking about my plans for this year (<a href="http://ajkleinbooks have a peek”>reading and watching horror), it seemed like a good time to also talk about my writing plans — you know, the thing I’m actually supposed to be doing.

While I write in multiple genres, this year’s big push is in writing horror. And this is how I plan to spend my time:

Novel Revisions

My main project is revising my first horror novel. I’d like to have that ready for an editor’s hands by the end of the year.

I’m a painfully slow editor of my own work. With first drafts, I don’t have that problem. I could sneeze and, *poof,* a draft magically appears. But revisions drag on and on… and on.

That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right? The real work is in the revision process. At least that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself.

What I dislike so much about the revision process is that I notoriously second-guess myself, especially during the first round of revisions. For example, I’m still polishing the first in a new mystery series. But the initial revisions were a nightmare.

I decided the murder weapon / method was too dull. Had to change it and all related clues. I decided the original killer wasn’t a killer after all. If I didn’t buy it, no one else would either. Had to change that, and all related clues, too. Oh, and then I decided that the second victim shouldn’t die yet after all. She has too much potential for the series, and I think it would have more of an emotional impact if she dies in a later book. So I had to kill off someone else (though she’s still in my crosshairs).

Second-guess, second-guess, second-guess. That’s pretty much my process for the first couple of revisions. And sometimes I go back to the original plan because I second-guess my second-guessing. That’s all before I get to revising the writing itself. So, yeah. This is the big project for 2016. And I’ll be lucky if I have it to an editor before the next ball drops.

Short Fiction and Nonfiction

My goals here are much simpler:

  • Publish 3 short stories in magazines or online publications
  • Get a story published in at least one anthology
  • Publish several pieces of flash fiction (no set number, but let’s say at least three on third party sites, plus more on this blog)
  • Publish at least a few nonfiction articles covering the genre on third party websites
  • Continue working on my own short story collection. I don’t expect to finish both this and the novel revisions this year, but I’d like to knock a few more stories out at the very least.

I don’t think this is overly ambitious. I have a long history on the freelance writing side of things, so I have plenty of experience placing my writing.

A New Genre Website

My business is three-part: freelance writing, professional blogging and web publishing, and indie publishing. Whenever I move into a new area, I tend to launch a related website as a platform piece — a way to build an audience and hopefully offer some value. This is no different. As I work on getting my first horror novel ready for release, I need to be more proactive about building a readership in the horror community.

A big part of that plan is to launch another niche site this year. I’m still finalizing plans however, and I’m torn between two domains / branding options I have available to me:

  • — If I go this route, the site will focus on things like female horror writers and strong female characters in the horror genre (regardless of the sex of the creator). The preliminary plan would be for this site to focus on essays, interviews, and stories rather than being a review-heavy site, but that might change. I originally hoped to launch this in time for Women in Horror Month this year (February), but that obviously isn’t going to happen.
  • — If I develop this site this year, it’ll focus on reviews, interviews, and other features related to indie horror books, films, and games. This could be fun as I’m a very indie-minded person, coming from a background doing PR work and running a publication for the indie music community and now being heavily involved with indie publishing. But this would likely require a team of contributors and a more significant investment, and I’m not sure I want to manage a team again right now (something I’ve done with several sites in the past).

At this point I’m leaning towards the former, but I’m open to feedback. So if you’d like to see one over the other, feel free to comment here or email me to tell me why. They’ll likely both launch eventually. It’s just a matter of deciding where to go first.

That about sums up my writing and publishing plan for the genre this year. I have some other multimedia projects planned to supplement these, from original artwork and music to promote some of these things to a possible podcast or audio play series. But I’m not sure how much of that’s going be “live” by the end of the year. I’m a big believer in tying your passions to your work, and this is just a way for me to do that.

Now it’s time to stop talking about writing and get back to writing (working on my second short story of the year). But if you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear about your writing and publishing goals or what you’re currently working on.

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