End of Year Review 2017

My 2016 review is here. Now let’s get into 2017!

My list of stories for the year:

  1. Rub-a-Dub-Dub (Two Guys in a Tub) (1,724 words)
  2. Back to School, Ring the Bell (85,439 words)
  3. S. trifasciata (or The Cure for a Black Thumb) (954 words)
  4. The Adventure of Gift-Giving (10,993 words)
  5. Anchors Aweigh (23,294 words)
  6. Share Your Silence and Unpack Your Heart (3,311 words)
  7. Just Between Us Squirrel Friends… (13,810 words)
  8. When You Whistle Upon a Star (3,067 words)
  9. Learning the Ropes (20,054 words)
  10. A Platt Family Thanksgiving (6,141 words)
  11. The Disney Diaries – Part One: Marathon Weekend (19,288 words)
  12. Time to Face the Music (838 words)
  13. Christmas Cookies (1,466 words)
  14. Lame Duck (5,021 words)
  15. #GBBO (411 words)
  16. Chart a New Course (8,947 words)

Total word count: 204,759
Average word count per story: 12,797

This post may contain spoilers for all of the above (except for Chart a New Course, because I’m sure no one’s had a chance to read it yet, lol).

Looking back, did I write more than I thought I would this year, less, or about what I’d predicted?

Well, I said last year that my goal was to beat my 2015 word count of 204,606, which I just barely did (hence why I posted so many stories on the last day of the year 😉), so I’ll have to say it was about what I’d predicted. I’m happy that my average word count per story is also the highest ever.

What’s my own favorite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes me happiest?

Definitely part one of The Disney Diaries. I’ve been waiting to write them at Disney World forever. It’s a lot of fun.

What is my most popular story of the year?

Learning the Ropes, which kinda surprises me. Not sure why that one’s hit count is so much further ahead of most of the others.

Did I take any writing risks this year? What did I learn from them?

Breaking up a long story into multiple posts was something I was very hesitant to do, but I knew it would take so long for Back to School, Ring the Bell to be finished that people would think my blog was dead. It turned out to be really great to have new feedback each week encouraging me on, and I hope you all enjoyed knowing when new material was coming. The success of that experiment is why I decided to break The Disney Diaries (which will also be massive) into multiple, distinct parts. Added bonus: Because I planned it that way, I don’t consider part one to be a WIP, so it can be included in my word count!

Do I have any writing goals for 2017?

Break my record again. Finish The Disney Diaries. Finally write the “extra” I always planned for Back to School and edit it into a PDF like my other long stories.

From my past year of writing, what was the…

Most fun story to write: 

When You Whistle Upon a Star, because it was one of those that came to me fully-formed and was easy to get done in a day, and because Seb trying to freak Zain out (even though he did it with pure intentions) is just funny.

Hardest story to write:

Back to School, Ring the Bell. Long stories can kinda feel like an uphill slog. Plus there were so many plot lines I had to keep track of and interweave.

Biggest surprise:

Eric showing up in Just Between Us Squirrel Friends…. I really never intended to have him appear anywhere other than Theo’s tales about his dad. Now I have Plans for him.

Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters:

Learning the Ropes. I had to discover Myrick and Platt’s discipline dynamic as I wrote it.

Most unintentionally revealing story:

Um…. Chart a New Course. I won’t get into why. If you’ve read it, you can probably guess.

Story with single sexiest moment:

Anchors Aweigh, when Myrick makes Cameron say she’s naughty.

Story with single sweetest moment:

Lame Duck, when Seb tells Quint he made it wonderful.

Best opening line:

A Platt Family Thanksgiving: Rain pattered against the bus window in a slow tempo.

I think it captures the mood I was going for extremely well.

Best closing line:

Lame DuckI heard him stifle laughter when Zain’s next text came in, though. It said, Ugh I just realized I’m gonna have TWO people lecturing me about following the rules for the rest of my life.

Best line from anywhere:

Seb’s marathon sign in The Disney Diaries, which I was extremely proud of myself for coming up with: Run Like Pink Elephants Are After You.

Tied with Back to School (chapter 8): “I’m standing in the corner in solidarity,” Theo said self-righteously, as the storm raged outside between us.

Oh, Theo. 😆

Theme for the year and the story that demonstrates it most:

It’s always so hard to come up with a theme. I guess learning about your partners and your relationship? There are a few that fit that theme, but I’m going to highlight Share Your Silence and Unpack Your Heart.

And now your turn!

I sometimes open my comments section to questions for my characters, but I realize I’ve never specifically invited questions for me as a writer. If you have any, fire away.

Or just tell me what your favorite story was from 2017. I always enjoy learning that.

I’ll end (for now) by saying thank you all for your comments, tweets, retweets, and support throughout the year. It was a rough one for me in places, but my blog was always a bright spot. I appreciate each and every one of you. ❤️

6 thoughts on “End of Year Review 2017”

  1. Sorry I have been so quiet but life was crazy this past year. I adore your stories, characters, writing etc. My favorite has to be the triad of Platt, Myrick, and Cameron. You are writing an amazing triad and I can’t wait to read more in the new year😁

  2. I’ve really enjoyed you exploring new characters. I like your writing style. I do miss the weekly posts but totally understand how hard it must be to do them. Thanks for posting and good luck for 2018!

  3. I just found your site and I am LOVING your work. I have read through everything and I am looking forward to more. I am kinda happy you wanted to boost your word count at the tail end of the year because it was a nice bonus for us. I am glad you are enthusiastic about the Disney stories because so am I. 🙂

  4. I need to take some time to post a more thoughtful comment later, since your writing really deserves it. But, just very briefly, I wanted to say a serious ‘thanks’ to you for all of your amazing work. You are a terrific author and your stories are always a delight. Thanks so much and happy beginning-of-2018!

  5. Just discovered your blog this summer and I am already a big fan! I enjoy your writing and especially the characters – they feel very real and human! Thank you so much for keeping the stories coming and for updating so regularly, it’s wonderful for all your readers. Can’t wait to find out what’s in store this year!

  6. Your writing is fabulous and quite addicting. Sadly, I have caught up to all of your stories and now I have to wait on updates. Thank you for continuing your posting. I look forward to what you have planned this year in your stories.

    Melissa

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