Writing Goals Redux (updated)

A while ago I posted about my writing goals. I updated it a year ago with the publication of How To Ditch Your Fairy. But now I have published Liar which is in a whole new genre and allows me to cross even more off my lists.

My goals are not stuff like Become NYT Bestselling Author or Win Nobel Prize. Winning prizes and making bestseller lists is not something I can control, but I can control what I write. So that’s what my goals are about. Simple, really.

First the genres:

  • Romance
  • Historical
  • Crime (what some call mysteries)
  • Thriller)
  • Fantasy
  • SF
  • Comedy
  • Horror
  • Mainstream or litfic (you know, Literature: professor has affair with much younger student in the midst of mid-life crisis)
  • Western
  • Problem novel
  • YA

The publication of Liar allows me to knock three genres off that list. Though cheatingly I only just added one of them—problem novel. What? It’s my list! I can add to it if I want whenever I want. I could have added unreliable narrator and pretended it was a genre, too, you know. But I didn’t.

All I have left is western, historical and litfic. I’m writing an historical right now. The western is still aways off but will definitely happen. I also have a couple of ghost stories in mind so horror will also get knocked off. I don’t think I’ll ever manage litfic. Unless you think I can claim Liar as litfic? If more than one of you says I can then I’m crossing it off.

More than one of you said I could cross of litfic. Thus it is now crossed off. I love collusion.

I’m also aiming to publish books that use the following povs:

  • First person
  • Second person
  • Third person limited
  • Omniscient

Why, yes, Liar does allow me to cross off another one: second person. Go, me! And the 1930s novel makes much use of omniscient. I will conquer the entire list! W00t!

And the last list:

  • Standalone
  • Trilogy
  • Series

Which sadly remains unaltered because Liar is a standalone. But I suspect the 1930s novel is a series. Though it might just be another trilogy, which would be really annoying.

My happiness at crossing stuff of my list is great. What have youse lot been crossing off your writing goal lists?


  1. Rebekah on #

    I would count Liar as literature. I don’t really have any good reasons, I just think it can be counted as such.

    Well, actually, I kind of do. Because it’s not really entirely a mystery – there’s that element, definitely, but the book isn’t wholly focused on figuring out how and when and why Zach died (spoiler?), but rather taking in the nature of people and relationships and how much, why, and how we all lie. Micah spends just as much time talking/thinking about herself and her own lies and how they affect everyone she knows (including herself) as she does trying to sort out what happened with Zach.

  2. Becky J on #

    This is random but I thought about it while reading this post. Why do people say “an historical ” instead of “a historical” ?

  3. Rene on #

    I love your definition of litfic. 🙂

    @Becky J – I think it depends on whether or not you pronounce the initial h.

  4. Justine on #

    Rebekah: One more vote for Liar as litfic and I’ll cross it off.

    Beck J: As Rene says it depend on whether you pronounce the “h” or not. I don’t. Thus I say “an ‘istorical”. But if you pronounce the “h” then you say “a historical”. Simple!

    Rene: I think my defintion is why I’m reluctant to admit that Liar is litific. But I like crossing things off so if someone else says it is then I’ll do so. Saves me having to write the middle-aged-prof-has-affair-with-student book. *shudder*

  5. Marlee on #

    I think Liar qualifies as litfic. (Please don’t write a middle-aged-prof-has-affair-with-student book. Not that I don’t think you’d do it well, but… ew. :P)

  6. Justine on #

    Marlee: Excellent. Thank you. Litfic is now crossed off.

    I solemnly promise never to write a middle-aged-prof-has-affair-with-student book. You know unless the prof is some kind of demon, and scary bad things happen as a result, and the whole university blows up.

  7. Jude on #

    When you write the western, I’d like it be based in Colorado, not *just* because I live here but because of *where* I live in Colorado. This is one of those counties where sheep were driven over the mountainside because of cattle/sheep wars; where Kid Curry robbed a train and, when wounded by a posse, turned around and, saying “Boys, I’m done for” committed suicide; where Doc Holliday came to soak in hot springs and die in bed; where a young man named Otto was frequently deputized, once to ride stolen horses back 100 miles overland; where Teddy Roosevelt hunted bears and boys walked 120 miles round trip to meet him; where the deputy ended up being gunned down in a saloon just 6 weeks after he was on the posse that wounded the Kid. Heck, Buffalo Bill came here just 5 days before he bit the dust. And yet, no one writes about this particular county in Colorado (I put all those stories and more on my annual cemetery tour for 3rd graders, though). I’d want to go back in time and find out what really happened when they caught up with Kid Curry.

  8. Brendan Podger on #

    Isn’t a trilogy a series of three parts? What is your criteria for series?

  9. Patrick on #

    To me, there are 2 types of series.

    Stand-alone series – recurring characters or place. You can really read them in any order. They can go on for ever.

    Really Large Story series – It’s really just one big story with Book Breaks. Something like Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time.

    Do you plan to write both?

  10. Justine on #

    Jude: I was actually going to set my Western in the Northern Territory of Australia, which is totally cheating. In my defence, Zane Grey once did that and I have to correct the wrongness that was the movie Australia.

    Brendan: What Patrick said.

    Patrick: I suspect that the 1930s book is the Really Large Story series. I very much like the idea of writing a stand-alone series but am not sure I have the patience to stay with the same characters for that long.

  11. Jude on #

    I can see the temptation to fix “the wrongness that was the movie Australia.” I’ve run into people who love that movie and I look at them and think, “Ah, so that’s who you are.”

  12. Rachel on #

    The fact that 1930s may be a trilogy or series makes me much happier about the fact that I’m going to be reading a historical novel in the foreseeable future. It’s weird… I’m always wishing for more standalone fantasy, but I like historical better with a broad sweeping series. Maybe it’s because with fantasy I’m always (if it’s good) very connected to the characters whereas I usually have a lot of trouble identifying with characters in historical fiction? And it being a series solves this problem? Hmmm, something to think about, I guess.

  13. wandering-dreamer on #

    You’re writing a book set in the 30s? Do want! I love stories set in the 20s and 30s, hmm, I wonder if you could write a Western horror novel, that could be interesting….

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