Though I started writing my book Old School Evil in 2014, I feel like I made the most strides with it this year. Besides getting it completed to the point that I feel it's ready to publish, I had more people read it this year, including a critique group that I found my way into. Having found them in February, they've helped me make tremendous strides in finalizing my manuscript (Thanks Nicole, Rene, Jenn, Lucas, and the others we lost along the way!).
It's been a difficult road getting Old School Evil to this point. Though I've edited stuff before, I have never spent so much time polishing a story or gone through so many drafts. Heck, I've never even considered a project 'finished' before! Old School Evil went through a total of ten drafts, from completely reworking the ending to just adding more cartoon references in. It's been a humbling process and one that I'm still having trouble saying I'm done. The manuscript has actually been done twice, the first time I couldn't resist opening it back up and making more changes. There are some things I'd still like to do to it, but I'm holding off as best I can.
In October, I finally sent off five query letters to agents. I immediately heard back from three of them - rejections all around. I'm still waiting on two; maybe I'll try to nudge them before I send off my second round of queries next week.
Besides the progress I made on the book, I've also started this blog, and for a project that I only intended to post on a few times to build a public image, I've really enjoyed posting more often. I've started a series of Villain Retrospectives that right now is almost 20 deep! Having exhausted all the cartoons I watched as a kid, I've now begun researching villains from the shows I missed and found a couple real treats.
Along with those posts, I've shared a lot of the progress I've made with the book and the supplemental material to go along with it. As Old School Evil exists within the world of a number of original cartoon ideas, I've built production bibles for every show and I've even shared one here. I've shown some of the design process of different figures as well. I'm still in the process of creating and refining them and hope to share even more as the year goes on.
In November, I participated in NaNoWriMo, and just like I did when I first wrote Old School Evil, I kicked its ass! This year I worked on a spin-off novel for Old School Evil called Keystone. Still have a few years before I get back to edit that.
After NaNo, I've tried my hands at rewriting Old School Evil 2, but with the holidays, I haven't made much progress on it. I do hope to have it completed by November of this year, even if I'm not planning to do NaNo again.
Though I've been a writer all my life and had varying success with my earlier projects, Old School Evil feels like the most real and satisfying thing I've ever worked on. It's taken me a long time to get to here with it, but I know there's a long way to go with it too, wherever it ends up. I've got some big plans for the next year as well, stuff I'm super excited to share with you all.