Speaking of goals, this is a good time to talk about my December goal progress.
1) Write and submit a new short story for each weekend in December. On-pace and I think I'll be in good shape for the next two weeks as long as I don't let the holiday weekend trip me up!
2) Keep my regular blogging schedule with the exception of a possible Christmas weekend hiatus. On-pace. As mentioned last week (and below) I will indeed be taking a Christmas weekend hiatus.
3) Make decisions on how to proceed with four stories written earlier this year which are not yet on submission and act on those decisions. Some progress. First of all, it's three stories -- not four. I don't know where I got the count of four from... Of the three, I've taken a last pass through one and gotten it out the door. Another, I've decided what I want to do next with it. But it involves trying to trim about 1000 words or 20%. Eek. The third one, I think has a decent core but needs a lot of work. I'm still struggling to decide what to do with it.
4) Read at least fifty short stories which are new to me. Slightly behind pace. At 50% complete but we're about 60% of the way through the month. No excuse for not finishing this one up, though.
5) Draft January goals to align with my second pass through "Adrift." Already done.
And now, on to the links...
"Gamification" (D. L. Thurston) - An interesting post about how the concept of gamification applies to writing and writers. Timely, as well, with all of us setting our goals for 2012...
"When Critique Goes Wrong: Critique Group Calamities" (Janice Hardy posting at Ladies Who Critique) - Janice talks about several ways that the critique process can go awry. The article presents good reminders to those of us who both give and receive critiques about things we should try to avoid doing.
"5 Dialogue Mistakes You Can Fix Right Now" (Ashley March guest-posting on Fiction Groupie) - Dialogue is something that can really make or break a story. Do it well, and it can create a real sense of immediacy and reality. Do it badly and it can be terribly jarring to the reader. Ashley has some great suggestions here on things to do which can make your dialogue shine.
"30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself" (Marc and Angel Hack Life) - This has been linked a lot this week. I first picked it up from a friend on Facebook. And it really has nothing to do with writing, per se. But -- it's great advice. And since I believe that a large part of writing is having the correct mindset, there is relevance to our lives as writers.
Additionally, here's a recap of the posts from this week on my blog:
"2012 Goals and How I Plan To Meet Them" - As part of a blog chain for the Write 1/Sub 1 forum on Absolute Write's Water Cooler, I wrote about my goals for 2012. I also listed my January goals in a comment (and then revised them in a couple of other comments!) as part of the aforementioned #writemotivation.
"Just How Big is a Billion?" - Wednesday I went pretty much entirely off-topic and talked about big numbers and how they relate to our lives.
"A Juggling Act" - Friday I whined. No, really. Thursday I felt just completely overloaded and like I was trying to keep too many things going at the same time. In the end, it was productive whining, as the process led me to come up with some decisions about how to try to decrease my stress and embarrassment levels.
As a reminder, I'm planning to take a brief hiatus from posting over the Christmas weekend. So that will mean no Dissecting the Short Story post on 12/23, no Sunday Links on 12/25, and no Monday post on 12/26. I'll have Wednesday posts on both 12/21 (though it won't be a DtSS preview, naturally) and 12/28. And, of course, if I have a burning desire to share something between the 21st and 28th, I may pop on long enough to put up a quick post.
Thanks for stopping by to check out these links. Have a great week!