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Not much of one for resolutions. With that in mind there are some clear objectives I’ve laid out for 2017. The two literary related targets are the completion and publishing of Book V: Condition Zero and Standish. I’m aiming for 120,000 words for Condition Zero, and roughly 90k for Standish. We’ll see where those land. Time allocation wise, I’m giving myself more time each day to work on Standish, get that out of the way while chipping away at Book V.

I suppose one measure I’ve taken for 2017 is to work out a stricter use of my time. X amount of time in the morning for Book V, then Y amount in the afternoon for Standish. Writing two novels at one time is not easy, but I find it more challenging to take time off from one and then attempt to reengage than tackling two at the same time. Since both novels operate in the same universe, albeit decades apart on my time-line, there is overlap in possible locations, factions, organisations etc.

One key area I’m trying to keep in focus is maintaining a sense of realism with Book V. While I recognise that we have yet to make contact with aliens, I believe that too many sci-fi novels and films don’t depict what a hostile encounter with them would actually be like, with the exception of Battlefield Earth, which we won’t mention again. Many alien encounter films show humanity emerging victorious, which is just plain silly. If aliens can travel lightyears to reach Earth, they have more than enough technology to defeat humanity without much of a struggle. Everyone says Cortes and the Aztecs. Check out Pizarro and what he did to the Incas. Now there is an example of what would happen if ET showed up and was not friendly.

Another area I’m working on is the introduction of more minority characters into the Earth Saga. I’m running low on characters of colour. Totally my fault. This will be corrected.

2017 is also going to be the year I knuckle down and conduct some kind of coordinated marketing/advertising campaign. This has been sorely lacking since I published Minus Epsilon in late 2013. I trust this will include, but not be limited to, Facebook advertising and better use of social media. Time will tell.

Off to Sadler’s Wells tonight for a dance production. I suppose culture is always good for the creative juices. One of the benefits of living in London.

Time to get back to the creative salt mines. These books won’t write themselves.

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