Jack Lusted

Science-fiction writer

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Category: general

2017 – The Year of Hope

Well, 2016 was definitely not the year I’d planned it out to be. Not a bad year personally (world events of course registering quite high on the suck-o-meter, never mind all the celebrity deaths), but not what I’d thought it would be.

The biggest thing that didn’t go as I wanted was my writing. With some health stuff going on for the first half of the year I decided to focus on other parts of my life, so plans for the next draft of what I’ve been working on got pushed back, to the point where I’m only just about to start that next draft.

However in a way I think that delay has ended up being a good thing. The momentous political events of this year, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as President (both things I’m strongly against, voted Remain in the EU referendum), have had me thinking a lot about the stories I’m writing and the goals of them.

Elements of the world that I built for the Oranje and what was going to be the September series, and now morphed into the United novels, were constructed to reflect the world today and issues going on. The Commonwealth as the literal embodiment of the glorious past so many politicians are trying to drag us back to and never really existed as people remember. The Contracts, seen in Oranje, the decades long signing over work in return for education and safety, reflecting the insecurity of the job market, zero-hour contracts, and the ever increasing cost of education.

So with the world going topsy-turvy I felt like I needed to push that side of the story more, so the whole setting and background has gone through some changes, changes I definitely feel will make what I write better.

And I want to have more hope in my writing. With so many changes going on, and lots of freaking scary rhetoric being thrown around, I think we could all use some hope. That’s what the first book will be called, Hope, and it is the central theme of it. There are dark times ahead, and there needs to be more light. It can come from activism, getting involved in politics, donating to causes you believe in, and we need more stories that lift people up, maybe inspire them.

A grand goal for me to be aiming for, especially so early on in my writing career, but fuck it. It’s what I want to write, it’s what I feel like I need to write (myself, not speaking for anyone else), so it’s what I’m going to do.

Aim is for the book to be out before the end of 2017, we’ll see how that goes.

Oh, and hopefully more blogging too, I let that slide as well, and that should change. I find writing on here useful, it helps to give shape to what I’m thinking, so more of this too. Until next time, have a great 2017.

I hope it is a year filled with light and hope for you all.

Hello, I’m Still Here

Been a while hasn’t it?

There are a number of reasons for that, some health related, but I’m back to posting on here more regularly.

Short update on things, Hodderscape got back to me about my open submission and they’re not taking it forward so I’m now going to do the next book self-published, same as I did for Oranje. I didn’t make the second round of reading for the submissions so I know I need to improve my writing.

The book i’m working on has changed a lot over the past month. Working on the third and fourth drafts of The Word has made me realise that several story elements that have been in since the first draft, and were carried over from the planned books of the September series, don’t really work.

As a result I’ve been re-outlining and making big changes to the story. Big changes, so much so i’m going to be starting on a whole new fresh draft once I’ve finished some outlining. I’ve been trying out some new techniques for outlining each chapter that I’ll talk about soon. More than just the story has changed, characters and locations have had their names changed so that it’s a much clearer break from Oranje.

I’ve also changed the name. It’s no longer The Word, now it’s called…

Hope.

So that’s where I’m at. Still writing, still learning, always making progress. I’m hoping to have a draft from this new outline done in a few months and then might share some it up here. Been enjoying more of the writing I’ve been doing lately so I think i’m getting better at the whole sentence to sentence part of it which is something.

Until next time, which shouldn’t be too long.

Looking Back at 2013, and Forward to 2014

Another year has passed, and the calendar swapped to chart the progress of the next 365 days. Both retrospective posts looking back at the past year, and ones dealing New Years resolutions are popular right now, and I thought I’d roll them into one.

2013

This year I…

  • Thought up and outlined the rough idea for the September series
  • Rough outlined all the books in the series
  • Almost finished book one, Oranje
  • Wrote on average more than a thousand words a day when drafting, peaking at 15,000 on one day when I finished the second draft
  • Commissioned amazing cover art for the whole series

I’m really pleased with what I’ve achieved. I didn’t manage to get Oranje out this year as originally planned, but that was more down to learning about hiring editors as I went along. The delay between the second draft being complete and it going to an editor, a gap of almost two months, did allow me to think more on the setting and work in some more story elements with the second edit.

2014

My resolutions for this year are simple:

  • Finish and self-publish Oranje
  • Finish and self-publish Choices
  • Write at least 1000 words a day, or spend a minimum of 30 minutes editing
  • Carry on blogging and talking about issues that interest me.

That first goal is very close to completion, I’m looking forward to seeing how all the others go.

Happy New Year everyone.

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