2020: The Plan

So, in 2019, the final count was 20 novels and 21.5 short/medium/novella stories (finished Eva #5 on Jan 1, 2020 as the 22nd). 1,394,982 words because I damned well didn’t want to push that hard the last three days, thank you very much. Call is a shade under 1.4 million words.

Good enough. My goal had been 1.2+ or 100,00 words per month. (My goal is always 100,000. Sometimes easy, sometimes a hard stretch, but I’ve done it since May 2018 at this point and that’s kinda awesome.)

The only real target had been 20 novels in 2019. Managed that. Wrote a novella at the end of the year because that was NOT going to turn into a novel. Kept it at 19,000 but it is very obviously a book one in a new series of historic espionage/thriller. (set in 1977 with no more science fiction than Q provides to Bond, per se, and not even that much, except that I know where technology goes, so I can pull things forward a little.)

So now we’re looking at 2020. Second full year of writing for me as a full-time vocation. Making enough money that I generally don’t worry, except that this year I plan to dial back some expenses because of the crazy-ass election season coming up and all the other shit. Previous presidential seasons have seen entertainment sales Aug 1 – Dec 1 tank hard. This might run much wider and longer, depending.

I’d rather be proven wrong as a cynic than an optimist. I’m probably unemployable at this point.

So going forward. 100,000 words per month. That doesn’t change.

However, I’m only “planning” 14 novels. And 40 short stories.


I have a patreon account and promise them a new short story every month long before it ever comes out to the general public. So that’s 12 new stories.

I am publishing Boundary Shock Quarterly 4 times per year and have a story in it.

I expect to do two new volumes of Blaze Ward Presents (#1 and #2 here) annually, plus strange ideas that need me.

Starting soon, I’m going to be offering new short fiction on my website every month, with exclusives that do not go up for sale anywhere else. Like, ever. Only get them here so folks get used to coming to my site for a new fiction fix for cheap. ($1 sort of thing.)

So as you can see, I’m already at 30 stories, and I haven’t even broken a sweat yet. Throw in the odd projects where someone asks if I can write them a short story to theme, weird shit that wakes me from a dead sleep, and whatever other silliness comes around, and I don’t see it being that hard to hit 40. It comes up to three and a quarter stories per month, basically.

I also have 3 business/technical books on the calendar this year. Those don’t count as short fiction, but generally come in around 12-15,000 words.

I’ll be busy. It will be a good busy. Writing books, writing novel series, writing short series serializations.

Not going to push as hard on the novel count also means that I can aim for some longer stories that unfold slowly. I enjoy writing crazy-fast stories that suck you in and hold you underwater, but occasionally I want to just sit back and let the world slowly enfold the reader. Or write a single volume that’s 175,000 words long if I can do it and not get bored.

Health has been good. Sales have been good. Life has been good. I’m still not rich enough to buy an island or build a castle, but those would be the long term goals if I was suddenly wealthy beyond a safe level.

Today, I blasted out my usual morning word count and then realized that I was all set to finish the current novel off (#1 for the year and #10 in the Science Officer series). Finished the morning session typing “Epilog” as a header, so that’s lovely and I’ll finish it Wednesday.

And looking forward to the next project. Need to write several short stories over the next week or two, and then I can go on and commit a next novel. Likely to flip a coin between Lazarus #3 and Taft Station #2 at this point, but that’s fine. Been reading the finals of the Star Tribes books. #1 & #2 are “done.” #3 is at the First Reader. Working my way through a final edit pass on #4 now, then on to #5. April-August release dates.

In case you missed it, the Handsome Rob books are up now for pre-order. Can’t Shoot Straight Gang is actually #1 and originally came out in Boundary Shock Quarterly #3 (Grand Theft Starship). Then Can’t Shoot Straight Gang Returns, which you might have read. Hunting Handsome Rob is #3. Handsome Rob, Assassin will be #4, sometime in the fall, most likely after Star Tribes is done (SWAG: September)

This blog will see less updating than it used to going forward, mostly because I plan to update the patreon news every Monday. Plus I have newsletters with more information than comes here. If you aren’t subscribed, this is your reminder. 🙂

Gonna be a busy year. Hope y’all are along for the ride.