Hello Lovelies, and welcome back to the blog.
It’s a new year, which means it’s time to set some new goals! I’ve already decided on my focus word for the year, which is ACTION. I have a lot on my plate, so let’s jump straight in to my recap of what I’m working on, and then I’ll do some goal setting to plan for this year.
I think my count right now is 23 novels. Let’s look at each of them.
Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding Umbrella
Oblivion Duet – New Adult Urban Fantasy – Angels and Demons / Gods and Goddesses
#1: Utopian Melody
I have a draft of this novel that has went through multiple rewrites and was in the querying phase as of last year. I stopped querying it in June of last year after attending a writing conference where I realized it was under of the worldbuilding umbrella of novels. It needs at least one more rewrite before I can query it again.
#2: Nether Harmony
The second book in the Oblivion Duet has a working zero draft. I never finished the draft of this novel because I wanted to get a solid draft of Utopian Melody because in my mind there was no point in working on this when things were going to inevitably change whenever I changed the first book. Good news is, I have a really solid idea on how this book goes and how it eventually ends.
Written in Blood – Adult Urban Fantasy – Vampires with Werewolves and Faeries
I started a zero draft of this novel at the beginning of last year and honestly didn’t get very far with it. It was told from two separate perspectives, and I was writing in first person for the first time, so I struggled with the voice. This too is under the worldbuilding umbrella, so even though I have a fair idea on how the vampires specifically fit into the worldbuilding universe, I for sure needed to do some more thinking about the main character and how she fit into the series, but also into the world as a whole. Some, if not most, of this thought work I have figured out now.
The original Written in Blood idea was a standalone, and that book has a full draft which has become the solid middle novel of what is now the Written in Blood trilogy. Though the original idea is going to stay in tact in many ways, it will not be able to do so totally unaltered. I technically have a draft of this, but until the first book is written, I don’t want to mess with the rewrite of this novel.
Before I even started writing book 1 last year, I actually outlined all three of these novels. Since I didn’t get a draft of book 1, and I didn’t get to rewrite book 2, I also didn’t get to start book 3. This has just the brief outline and hasn’t been started at all yet.
FATE of the WORLD – Young Adult Urban Fantasy – Gods and Goddesses
Fate of the World is a fringe novel that I wasn’t sure was part of the worldbuilding umbrella projects. In writing it, I’ve discovered it is. I am almost at the end of Act 1, and it has 14,000 words or so written in the draft. I am pantsing the writing of it as a deliberate experiment and really trying to take the time to identify what it needs, so this novel’s progress is very slow going in terms of how fast I’m writing it. I am trying to build in more and more subplot material because I tend to just follow a single plotline and that isn’t usually enough to build an entire story around.
Young Adult High Fantasy Books
#1: Book of Fire
I don’t talk about this series much because I haven’t actively worked on these books in a long time. I do, however, work from time to time, on a partial draft of a young adult high fantasy series called the Dragon Pact about a girl named Nitara who gets thrown out of the Fire Guild after the death of her mentor under the pretense that she has stolen the dragon egg that they were set to transport to the king of the fire nation. In order to prove her innocence, Nitara enlists the help of a thief named Rook, to find out who really took the egg, and return it to the new King in time to renew the dragon pact for his coronation.
Obviously, people don’t want her to take the egg back to the king, they’ve stolen it for reasons and purposes unbeknownst to a twelve year old fire mage like Nitara. In order to succeed, she has to overcome both her own adversity to fire magic and her fears. But the conspiracy runs deeper than she knows and success could put herself and Rook in even greater danger.
#2-#5: Book of ….
Books 2 through 5 are titled according to the nations that they represent. I have a vague understanding of where the plot has to go beyond the first book, but have not extensively plotted out the other books. Except to say that I do have some major character elements that I know need to happen, and approximately where they need to go.
Multiverse and Me – Children’s (4th-6th Grade) Science Fiction
#1: Eternal Inflation
I read through my previous draft in 2022 and started (and finished) outlining the rewrite for the first book in the Multiverse and Me series, Eternal Inflation. That book got rewritten.
#2: String Scales
I started outlining the rewrite for the second book in that series in 2022, String Scales, and also started drafting the rewrite during NaNoWriMo.
#3: Schrodinger’s Cat and Other Things
Which book has space pirates hacking their way through multiple instances of the multiverse creating ever-increasing entropy in an anything-that-can-happen-will kind of way? Oh, it’s this one. And I only have a few chapters written of this book, because even though I kind of know what happens to the main plot, I didn’t have quite enough whacky mayhem subplot scenarios for the book finale to finish these novels off. But I do know how the end of the book and the conclusion of the series ties together, so it isn’t about that. This multiverse is the weirdest and hardest of them all to explain, and, if I’m being honest, to even wrap my brain around.
So I have a zero draft of this that is unfinished.
Work It Out
I started an outline for a completely new, adult romance book. This is pretty much done, except I’m missing three scenes I thought I’d already figured out.
This book is about a hole-in-the-wall family restaurant being bought out by a new owner who only owns chintsy expensive restaurants, and the workers having to navigate through that stressful time of change. To cope, the two main characters, one who is new to the restaurant, and one who is a seasoned worker, both end up going to the same gym and working out together. They enter a King and Queen lifting competition as a joke, and they also help one another to further their environment within the restaurant itself.
And you’re hearing this and saying–okay, but what makes this a romance? Uh, they hate each other, and it’s just never going to work between them, especially when he has trust issues and she’s got goals that are bigger than her pocketbook. And anyway, when you see the tropes, you’ll get it. It’s just an outline for a story I have no intention of writing any time soon so.
Unequal Social Status, Boss/Employee, Coworkers to Lovers, Slow Burn, Open Door, Spicy, Time Bomb, Friendship of Convenience, Men and Women in Uniform, Fictional Fast Food Restaurant, Workout Fanservice, Training Montage
Secret Identity/Billionaire, Antihero/All Girls Want Bad Boys/Alpha Hero, Afraid to Commit, Supreme Chef, Hot Men at Work, Through Her Stomach
Bi Jock, Pursue the Dream Job, Waitress.
Adult Historical Fiction
Hawaiian Monarchy Series
#1-#8: (Some of them are already titled)
I feel it’s necessary to start talking also about my Hawaiian Monarchy series. I was born and raised in Hawaii on the island of Oahu, and though I no longer live in Hawaii, I learned a lot about the islands, their history, their people, and their culture, in the first 23 years of my life.
In the United States, they teach children the history of their state, and they often teach a foreign language. I learned Hawaiian History and Hawaiian Language, learned to dance the Hula, and took many a trip to the cultural museum or monarch’s palace where a child from another state might have gone to a national park or a bowling alley on field trips instead.
People in Hawaii watch the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival with more fervor than the Olympic Games. We have cultural fairs similar to the ones in Japan, where each class or grade level will work together to produce a cultural exhibit. In 4th grade I carved and polished my first ipu, a Hawaiian drum made from a gourd, and learned to make leis and baskets. I learned about the Monarchy of old Hawaii and about the majesty and the downfall of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
When I say that I have a project that is dear to my heart, it is true that there is no other than the story of the monarchs of Hawaii. I have had this project rolling around in my mind for a long time, and I of course want to do it justice, while also telling a compelling and accurate tale. Books are, as you’d imagine, not easy to find. But I have been thinking about this series very hard lately and it has been weighing ever more heavily on my mind and in my heart that I have got to tell these stories.
Eight monarchs. Eight Hawaiian islands. All the triumphs, majesty, disease and heartbreak in-between.
I haven’t started writing any of the books, but it’s been weighing very heavy on me lately that I need to give voice to these people and to bring eyes back to the little slice of land that I love still so much and still would call my forever home.
Goals for 2023
Now that we are both caught up, let’s talk goals for 2023.
Right now, I am still in children’s science fiction brain space. That’s where I currently want to stay. While I cannot believe that it took me as long as it did to work on a revised draft of just one book last year, I am absolutely certain that I am going to finish the drafts of both the partially-revised second book, and the third book this year. The plan, as it stands is to continue working on all three Multiverse and Me books to get them closer to completion:
January – Revise and edit the second draft of the first book, Eternal Inflation.
February – Review and revise the half-written draft of the second book, String Scales.
March – Begin writing the second half of the second book, String Scales, where the draft left off last year.
April – Finish writing the second book, String Scales.
May – Revisit revising and editing the first book, Eternal Inflation.
June – Search for and book an Editor for all three books.
July – Start plotting out the third book, Schrodinger’s Cat and Other Things.
August – Start revising and editing the second book, String Scales.
September – Continue revising and editing the second book, String Scales.
October – Polish books 1 and 2 together and finish the outline for the third book, Schrodinger’s Cat and Other Things.
November – Write the third book, Schrodinger’s Cat and Other Things.
December – Finish writing the third book, Schrodinger’s Cat and Other Things.
There’s not much wiggle room in there, I’ll grant, and this many days into the year, I already feel behind on this month’s goals. But my focus word this year is ACTION, and I seriously want to keep it top of mind in order to meet or exceed my goals this year.
I want to continue my goal of adding one new product to my shop a month. It doesn’t seem like a big ask, except that t does take some time to create products, and to list them. If you’re wondering, no, I haven’t made much in terms of sales. I think Amazon paid me less than $3 in book sales last year. My ‘business’ is, as it has always ever been, in the negatives.
I’m obviously fine with that and I keep trying anyway and funding the website, the printer ink, my addiction to really smooth-writing pens, and all of it out of pocket, because book writing is my actual passion and the thing that I want to make my career.
But I am looking into creating courses and I am thinking of seriously offering one for social media marketing this year if there is any interest at all, so stay tuned for that.
As usual, I am planning on putting out one blog post a week. I am going to try my hardest to pre-write them so that they will all automatically post for you on Friday.
In addition to the blog, the Hello Lovelies podcast is nearing 100 episodes. I’d appreciate you checking it out and giving it a rating or review. It features the same content that is on the blog in a different form that you can listen to instead of having to read every week. As with the blog, I intend to pre-record episodes and also have them ready for you by Friday.
Did you know I have a Patreon account where I post exclusive content for subscribers? In another goal for the year, I also need to continue to upload one piece of exclusive content for my Patrons. This month’s content was an exclusive look at my unedited first draft of Eternal Inflation. If you enjoy my blog content and would like to help me keep creating more of it on a more regular basis, please consider becoming a patron Unlock this month’s exclusive content, as well as the backlog of other content by heading over to my Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/authorrachelcooper
Travel, Training, Meetings Goals:
I have a writing partner and she and I do our best to attempt to hang out and specifically talk about our writing once a month.
I also heard a rumor that the yearly writing conference for my state writing group is happening in my town this year, meaning no travel or hotel rooms, just the conference cost. I have enjoyed the conference the last two years I attended, and I would love to be able to attend it again this year.
So there you have it. Those are my year goals for 2023.
- Would you be interested in taking a course that’s focused on current Social Media Marketing platforms and techniques for book writers?
- How often do you set goals and how often do you check in with them?
- How was your year in general last year?
- How many yearly goals do you set, and how far out do you plan them in advance?
- How many goals did you set last year, and how many of them were you able to accomplish?
One Reply to “2023 Yearly Goal Setting”
As a short story writer, I can relate to the feeling of having multiple projects on the go. It’s exciting to see all of the different worlds and characters being developed in this post. I especially appreciate the focus on worldbuilding and the attention paid to making sure each novel fits into the overall universe. I also admire the dedication to rewriting and revising in order to make the stories the best they can be. I’m looking forward to following the progress of these novels in the coming year!