Friday, 29 December 2017

Looking Back - Writing Goals

At the start of the year I set myself some writing goals for 2017, these focused on four things: writing for Spartan Games, writing for Modiphius Entertainment, writing for my blog, and writing some things for myself.

Well, what a year 2017 has turned out to be. At the start of the year everything seemed to be bursting with action as far as Spartan Games was concerned. Things started going a little wayward, and then suddenly, Spartan went out of business. This was a big shock for all involved, and I was none the wiser when it happened than everyone else. I'm sad to see Spartan go, I got along well with the owner, Neil, and liked the company and the games they made a lot. Shortly afterwards we got the news that Wayland Games, under their Warcradle banner, picked up the various Spartan IPs. I haven't had anything to do with the new rules that are coming down the pipe, but of course, I wish them all the best in their endeavors!

Needless to say this change in landscape for Spartan put paid to any of the goals I had had concerning them, so not much happened on that front. One goal down.

Onto my second goal... Modiphius Entertainment. On this front I have been kept extremely busy. I have spent most of the second half of the year writing for the Infinity Role Playing Game, and have also managed a few things for the Star Trek Role Playing Game as well. A vast majority of the things I have been working on are still in approvals, and I have a few things that will consume my attention throughout January, but it has been busy.

Through my work with Modiphius I learned that if I push myself I can manage upward of 50,000 words in a month, at one point pushing to 20,000 in a week. So far this year, for both Infinity and Star Trek I have penned around 110,000 words, for about 9 different books/products. I say this with a pinch of salt, as much of what I have done is sitting in the approvals lines with either CBS or Corvus Belli, but in terms of what I have produced (not necessarily what will hit print) - those are the numbers.

Overall I am reasonably proud of this achievement. It has taught me a lot about getting words on the page, and the sum total of that experience has taught me one key lesson: sit down and write.

On the blog front I have managed (just, at times) to hit my goal of two blog posts per month. Though I really feel I need to up my game to blog at least once a week. Goal achieved, but room for thought on next year...

On the personal writing front things have been of mixed success. With my freelance work I have been kept busy enough to keep me away from other, more personal stuff. I have managed a few things though:

  • I have started the plans for several novel ideas.
  • I have been listening to range of podcasts on writing which has been an excellent source of inspiration and information (I will blog about these at a later date).
  • I have bought a few books that should help me moving forward (I will blog about these at a later date).
  • I have solidified a plan for how I should proceed with my personal writing projects.
  • And, I have a more clear idea for how to get there.

So while I haven't written as much as I would have liked, not all is lost!

That gives a rough summary of how I have fared against the goals I set at the start of the year. Overall I have to say I have learned a lot about myself as a writer, and this should provide me with a better structure come 2018. At a later date I'll go through and lay out some of my goals for the upcoming year, but suffice to say for now: I am very happy with my writing achievements for 2017. I am hoping 2018 is even more successful. We shall see!


  1. Those are seriously impressive numbers Giles. In my limited deep into the gaming freelance writing pool, I don't think I got above 20,000 words a month at my peak. And I recall that being a real struggle - so seriously, bravo!

    1. One thing I learned Robert - it's not to take on too much. That couple of months was a product of me saying yes to too many things - partly to test myself, but the pressure was intense. I am mindful that I need to wind back in 2018.

      What are you up to now? Still writing?

    2. Yes, overcommitment is pretty rough. I've done that too. Just not as successfully.

      I occasionally write for Dark Age Games. One of these days I'm going to add a product or two to DriveThruRPG as well.

    3. I don't know about successfully - I really spent too much a month or two, and need to learn to avoid doing that again.

      Dark Age has always sounded like a really interesting system. I should look into it more.

      Yeah - I keep thinking I should work on some stuff for DriveThru as well - torn over what. And mixing that with writing fiction.

  2. Oh, do you listen to I should be Writing by Mur Laffety? Back when I was devouring audio books by the handful she was one of my favorite authors.
    On another note I think it might be a good idea to write a sourcebook on hacking for the Infinity roleplay. It would be helpful for someone playing a hacker but doesn't know anything about it. Maybe pepper it with some short stories about hackers as examples.

    1. Yep - I listen to that one! I enjoy it a lot!

      On hacking - more will come in the ALEPH sourcebook, I'll make a note and pass that suggestion on as well - I like the idea of anecdotes as examples - they always helped me learn in games!

    2. Re: Hacking, I've always liked the idea of anecdotes and short fiction illustrating what PCs do in a setting.

      Of course, some of us have been burned by interesting fiction that in no way reflects the mechanics of the game, so I wouldn't blame folks for being skeptical. Maybe I should try my hand at a short story or two, see how it goes. :)

    3. Ha! Too true Jonathan! Every time I think of examples of play my mind goes back to the example of a party exploring a ruined tower and encountering orcs in the MERP rule book - those were the couple of pages that got me hooked on role playing I think!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hi Jeff, did you remove your comment or did I? If it was me it was accidental!