Here We Go Again… My New Year’s Resolutions

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New Year’s resolutions are infamous for being unrealistically optimistic, as life usually steps in to bulldoze our plans. That being said, I am — believe it or not — an optimist (I blame it on an increasingly healthy diet), and therefore have started to make New Year’s resolutions and stick to them as best I can. While I have more personal ones that I’ve made, I want to share with you my writing and reading objectives for the year.

Please feel free to share your goals for 2015 in the comments on this post, as I’d love to read about them and cheer for you.

Writing goals:

-Have (at minimum) one short story, poem, or essay accepted into a literary magazine that I have never been featured in before the start of 2015.

-Finish the first, second, and third round of edits on one of my novel manuscripts.

-Write a new novel.

-Write a thousand words a day (can take brief breaks during holidays).

Reading goals:

-Read at least a book a month.

-Continue to feature well-written and thought provoking short works from around the web for The Monday Post.

What are your reading and writing goals for the year?


  1. I know these are not goals per say, because they are too nebulous…but I want to read (for pleasure, as opposed to work) and write more. 🙂 I’m going to go out on a limb and say I have the goal of completing the second novel in my “Moose Tracks” series. I’ve done some brainstorming, but I haven’t written a word yet. So busy with the day job and all the loose ends of launching the first Moose Tracks that I’m not ready to figure out the opening scene.

    As a writer, how do you decide on an opening scene – or is it something that comes to you before you have a book idea? I’m a character-driven writer, so it all springs from that for me…but I sometimes have a very difficult time pinning down how a book should open.

    Thanks for your post – and your insight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing! I think those are good goals even if they aren’t as concrete as you’d probably like. 🙂

      As for an opening scene, that usually comes long after I’ve thought of an idea for a book/short story/etc. I try to do two things with the scene —> start in the action and give a really interesting first sentence. Someone once told me it is important to use the first sentence that there is a past, present, and future to your story, so I try my best to show it as subtly as possible within that first sentence.

      What do you think helps you use your characters to construct the opening scene?


      • Thanks! Great tip for the first sentence and scene.

        As for how I use character to develop the opening: Once I feel I know my POV character (or one of them if there is more than one) well enough, I try to think about what would be something that would be a huge problem for them…plunk them right in the middle of an issue/crisis for them, whatever that is.

        When I was writing historical romance, that worked well as a regular scene (with perhaps a short Prologue preceding it). Now that I’m writing general fiction/women’s fiction, that’s not always the case. Sometimes there are other things that precede Chapter One. In Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven, there is a Prologue, but there is also an old-time “radio broadcast” and a brief “past time” scene (those are sprinkled throughout the novel, ala the bouncing back and forth that happens in Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, by Fannie Flagg) before Chapter One.

        Also, the elements that drive the character – the “big problem” – is more internal in my contemporaries than external as it was in my historicals. Of course there are elements of both internal and external, but the change of emphasis has made the beginning of the books look and feel different.

        I guess that’s not a bad thing, but we’ll see!


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