Cost-Benefit Analysis   5 comments

This week’s blog hop topic is a “pro-con” list, which is really a cost-benefit analysis. This happens a lot at our house because:

  1. We’re not independently wealthy
  2. We’re debt-adverse

Currently, we have three major pro-con discussions going on, but the literary one I’m working on is probably of more interest to you than the one my son is doing on his college decisions.

Image result for image of a pro con listEvery time I publish a book, I find myself needing to do a pro-con list about what my next project will be. I have two series underway and a healthy back-list of stories that would like me to pay attention to them.

After I published Objects in View, I didn’t do this and the last six months have been … um, scattered, I guess. I revisited a literary fiction I’ve been playing with for years. Even sent it to the beta readers. The feedback I got suggests it needs more work. I wrote a short story submission for an anthology,  I’ll know in April whether that was accepted … or it could go in a book of short stories I’m considering. I have worked on A Threatening Fragility, the third book in Transformation Project, some and I have also worked on Fount of Dreams, the third book in Daermad Cycle, some. And, I’ve also dabbled with a YA and a mystery-romance that sort of want my attention.

Do you see my problem? I lost focus because I didn’t make a plan as to which project should be my primary project in this cycle. Time to correct that problem — starting with a pro-con list.

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So a basic “pro-con” list might help me to decide which book series to work on next. This is sort of a modified pro-con list because I have multiple jobs. Pro-con lists can be simple ticks in a box and the most ticks wins or the ticks can be weighted. Because I got busy and missed the deadline on this post, I’m not sharing all of my thinking with you.

Pros for working on Daermad Cycle next.

If I’m trading off on the series, it’s next in line as I published from Transformation Project last.

I thoroughly enjoy writing fantasy.

I’m at a point in the story where a lot of mystical elements and philosophic questions are coming to light.

The book cover for Fount of Dreams has already been done.

Cons for Daermad Cycle

Writing fantasy takes longer, so it will likely be another six months to a year before the book will be ready for publication, which is a long time between books

Daermad Cycle doesn’t sell so well as Transformation Project. They are different genres and fantasy sells less well than apocalyptic as a rule and I’m at a loss for marketing ideas.

Pros for working on Transformation Project next.

This writes fast. It’s set in a mostly modern world with people who think like ordinary Americans in an extraordinary circumstance.

My rabble-rousing on the blog acts as marketing for the books.

The third book really gets into the nitty-gritty of what is happening in the wake of the bombs.

Although the subjects are dark, I’m focusing on Cai more than Shane this book and Cai is a much less brooding character, so enjoyable to write.

Cons for Daermad Cycle

The cover is still in development.

I don’t want to lose momentum on Daermad Cycle.

It brings me that much closer to the dark turn in the series, which is artistically gratifying, but I suspect it will be depressing to write.


My decision?

The third book of Transformation Project – A Threatening Fragility — is my primary project for the next six months.

Because I always have a secondary and usually a tertiary project that I can go to when I get bored (so as to avoid writer’s block), Daermad Cycle 3 – Fount of Dreams – will be secondary and the rewrite my literary fiction What if Wasn’t will be the tertiary. My goal is to have A Threatening Fragility ready for publication mid-summer.


5 responses to “Cost-Benefit Analysis

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  1. I find it is important to decide on a goal. However, many times when I have decided on a goal my life moves in a very different direction. The main thing I’ve noticed though, my goal might be redirected, while it would not have been redirected if I had not been moving (towards some goal). I would say for me the pseudo-goal creates the momentum, then the real goal appears.

    I could bore you with the details, but this has happened countless time to me both on major goals and on lesser goals. So set goals but allow for serendipitous alternations in the course.


  2. I always try and think up a short story if I’m stuck or bored with a novel I’m writing. It usually works!


  3. If I’m stuck, I go back and start editing. I find it focuses me on the story.


    • Yeah. I haven’t been stuck. I’ve just been scattered. I have lots of ideas for four stories and I was writing on all of them, which meant I wasn’t getting any one of them done. I had to decide which would be my primary project or I was just not going to produce a book in 2017. Now I have and I feel better.


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