Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year, kids

I've been spending the last couple of days trying to come up with something really cool to blog about to kick off the new year. Couldn't think of anything. What am I, an author?

I hope you all had good times over the holidays, and today it's back to the grind for most of us. Actually, I had to work quite a bit over the break to finish Round #2 of my revisions with Krista for THE MAZE RUNNER. I turned it in Saturday. Boo yah! I really think we'll be close after this round - I feel really good about it. And it was much more painless than Round #1. Oh yeah.

Now I have to get down and dirty on Book 3 of THE 13TH REALITY. That will be my only focus these next 2 months, and I wouldn't be surprised if I have a first draft done by the end of February. End of March at the latest. It's gonna be fun! Does anyone know how to do one of those progress lines for word count? That'd be fun to add to the blog sidebar.

2008 was a great year. Who knows what 2009 will bring? Carol Lynch Williams, an awesome author and friend (who just got endorsements from Gregory Macguire and Meg Cabot for her new book), made us set goals last year. Mine were to sell MAZE, sell paperback rights to 13TH REALITY to a NY pub, and to write Books 2 and 3 of 13TH.

Other than finish Book 3, I (we) accomplished all of those - and the reason Book 3 didn't happen is because of MAZE, so I don't feel bad at all.

So, what for 2009? How about this:

1. Write Book 3 of THE 13TH REALITY.
2. Write another book for Random House (hopefully the sequel to THE MAZE RUNNER).
3. Sell at least a 2-book deal to RH.
4. Sell foreign rights (how many? no clue) and film rights to MAZE.
5. Sell film rights to 13TH.

Some other things I'd like to accomplish: learn how to write a screenplay, write a proposal for an early chapter book series, and get invited to some of the bigger national writing conferences.

I kind of just did those on the fly, so we'll see how it goes.

Switching gears, I've had the hardest time getting over the Falcons close loss to the Cardinals in the first round of the NFL playoffs. It's killing me! I just think they were the better team and could've beaten Carolina in the next round (Falcons won last time they played). And I think Philly will beat NY, which means the Falcons would've had a home game for the NFC Championship.

Oh, the misery. The horror. Woe is me. Actually, I should be very happy. The Falcons were 4-12 last year, and far surpassed anyone's expectations. Matt Ryan received the Rookie of the Year award, and we had an RB and a WR on the Pro Bowl team. The future looks bright.

Georgia trounced Michigan State in their bowl game, and the Hawks are 22-11. All is well, I guess. Those stupid Cardinals!!!!!!! Oops, there I go again.

Switching gears again, I saw 3 movies over the break, and I want to review them. I'll do that on Wednesday. The movies are YES MAN, BENJAMIN BUTTON, AND VALKYRIE. Here's a sneak peek: liked one, really liked another one, LOVED another one. Stay tuned.

Oh, and Happy New Year! For my writer followers, please let us know your writing goals in the comments.......


Unknown said...

Excellent, James! I'm glad Maze got picked up. I remember you telling us about it at the Storymakers' Conference back in 06. You deserve it, my man.

I'm getting no less than six manuscripts ready for submission this year. I spent most of last year getting outlines done or brainstorming on paper, and during NaNoWriMo I threw down a hundred thousand words in 28 days. That kind of got a fire under me, so I'm forcing myself to write more this year, and get an agent.

Six manuscripts, and twelve short stories. Overall, I want to get at least one or two books under contract. It's ambitious, but I just read The Greatest Salesman In the World last night, and I'm feeling a little untouchable :-)

Thanks for the inspiration that you are to us all.

J.N. Future Author said...

oh yeah! movie rights! I would buy them....but i'm sure its worth millions, right?

a sequel? I really REALLY hope that the sequel is a prequel! that is what I think would be totally cool. but also following the end would also be pretty neat.
writing goal of the year - 1,000 words a day.

written so far - 0

yikes, i have 4,000 words to catch up on!
this year is going to be great! but honestly, COME ON MAN! WHEN IS MARCH GETTING HERE! I think its probably taking its sweet time walking through a field of flowers. march, you have 56 days to get here

Don said...

Glad to hear things are going well. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

My goals are to sell the project I've been working on (I'll be pitching at Storymakers' in April) and finish the MG SciFi I just started. I'll see how things go, but having this story agented by December would be a sweet way to end 2009.

Deborah Talmadge said...

I know it's supposed to help you on your way to accomplishing your goals to tell someone. Soooo.... I plan to make progress on all of my projects, of which there are seven. One is ready to submit, another is very close. I want to start my middle grade book, get an agent and be picked up by Tor. I'm currently staying away from Del Rey. (Unless they change their minds about me again, of course.)

Magenta said...

That sounds like really good news! Movie rights? Wow, I can only dream that my book will be made into a movie someday.
My writing goal is definitely to knuckle down on my writing and finish my fantasy/sci-fi novel this year. By the word count, you'd think it was half-finished, but I have a lot of revising to do.
I came up with a cool schedule for myself to write: a whole day of writing every buzz day. You remember that buzz game? Say "Buzz" every time you count to a multiple of 7 or a number that has 7 in it?
On Jan. 7th I'll get "back to the grind", as you so put it, then I'll write again on the 14th, then the 17th, then the 21st, and I think you get the idea.
Still can't wait for your books to come out!^.^ Good luck!

Luisa Perkins said...

Happy New Year, Dude! I'm so thrilled for your ongoing success. It is richly deserved; you are talented and hard-working, and the nicest guy around to boot.

I was accepted into David Farland/Wolverton's novel-writing workshop in April, and I am so excited about it!

My writing goals for 2009 are to have five short stories published, to sell one of my novels, and to market my cookbook effectively.

Mark Daymont said...

I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on the movie Valkyrie. As for myself, I really liked it for its authenticity, great character actors, and pace.

Goals: increased writing output via my blog, livejournal and starting ANY of my writing ideas...

LouMac said...
check out my new blog! (I've never done one before!!!)

anyways, Happy New Year James! (and to everyone else!)

Hope it goes great for you James!

Kelly M said...

Oh, I'm excited for your movie reviews. I'm curious about all 3 of those. . .
And I do have a goal to write a book someday, but probably not this year. My mothering job is keeping me busy at the moment. :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, keep your thoughts positive, James. After all, it's still a high water time for Atlanta sports. Though, I must admit that being booted from the playoffs by the Arizona Cardinals... well, Karma is kicking you Atlanta fans for something.

2009 goals are as follows: 1) Sell out my advance, of course; 2) contract another two books by the end of the year; 3) write at least two new books, one of which I'm just embarking on now; and 4) land a fine agent who helps authors build careers over the course of many books.

LouMac said...

I hope you do make your books into a movie. I would love them. I'd camp out all night in front of the theater if I needed to see it first. (I'm sure there would be tons of lines!)

Well, good luck James with your goals.

Oops! That reminds me, I still need to do my goals.

Better hurry.

Wil S. said...

Keep it up, James! Never give up on writing, or I'll hunt you down over in Utah. Never stop this blog either, or there will be the equivalent of the Great Flood in your inbox. Okay, enough threats...(for now) I just got back from a week in California, so I got to see snow for the 2nd time in my life(woo!).

And, cue the end of my rant. now it is time for...... THE LIST!!!(dun dun DUUUNNNN!)

a)Only 55 more days till 13th Reality 2? *eye twitching* I think I'm drooling, oops.

b)Maze Runner! (and a possible #2 O.O)

c) 13th Reality #3!!! My brain is doing back flips!

d) hmmm... I have really got to read the Jimmy Fincher saga...

e) My cat got lost for a day (thank goodness we found her)

f) I am never going on an 11-hour car ride with my 11-year-old step brother again. *shudder*

Until I comment again,
BLAH-HMM-MNAHA! (my new catchphrase)

Q said...

I'm so excited for Maze Runner.

Writing goal: Finish first draft of current (blasted) project by the end of May, then spend the summer editing, then send it out to trusted readers and see what they think.


L.T. Elliot said...

Wow, James. That's an impressive check-off list for last year! We should all be so fortunate. Granted, you've worked hard for it so you deserve it. Take a little time to bask. And then *whip crack!* get back to 13th #3 and Maze #2!!!

Goals? Read, read, and read some more. No matter what my professional goals may be, I will always take time for my first great love.
Oh, and my family too I suppose.

Best of luck!

L.T. Elliot

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed my your 2008, and your goals for 2009 sound admirable as well. I registered for the Storymakers conference. I was wondering if you know what you'll be teaching (if anything).

Goals for 2009:
In 2008 I wrote my first 90,000 word novel. This year, I want to sell it, finish the two projects I'm currently working, and land a killer agent.


Garrett Matthews said...

My goal is finish typing my rough draft of Dragon Rider of Metak this year.

James Dashner said...

Thanks for the comments - I love getting them! And I'm really proud of all these goals. Don't let up and work toward them every day of the year.

I'm honored that a lot of you are so anxious for Book 2 to come out. It's almost here!!!!!!!!!!!

Em said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Em said...

I'm not a writer, just a reader. So clearly my goals are non-author related. Goal #1 have a baby (proving to be very difficult) Goal #2 stay sane while trying to achieve goal # 1 (proving to be very difficult. I think that is enough to tackle for one year.

Heather Justesen said...

Well, I've been avoiding writing down my writing goals, even though I have plenty, so here they are--

1)Sell out the first printing on my first book (That might be a stretch in 6 months, but I'll do my best), and

2)get at least three more contracts before the year is over.

In fact, one should be contracted before the Storymaker's conference (it's ready for final revisions now), the second ready to send to my publisher by then (its nearly through my critique group), and the third ought to be ready by the fall...

Guess we'll see.

Lu Ann Brobst Staheli said...

Here's the address for the one I use:

Ally Condie said...

That is great news! All of it.

Do you mind my asking what your final word count ended up being? It's intriguing to me to see how much things can change drastically in the revision process. That's happened to me many a time.