Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The literary to-do list

I want to be one of those authors who tackles many genres and styles, different POVs and so on. A while back, Justine Larbalestier posted her literary to-do list: all the sorts of books she wants to write.

Being on submission is time to dream, so please indulge me. These are the books that I want to write and have published. Say, by the time I turn 30 (in five years). There's nothing like slapping an arbitrary deadline on dreams!

  • A YA fantasy trilogy. All going well, this will be the Lharmell trilogy. Progress: drafts of book one complete; book two (The Harmings) almost complete; book three (Queen of Lharmell) outlined.
  • A standalone urban fantasy. Progress: first draft one-third complete; the working title is Azrea. I'll be turning to this novel again as soon as I'm done with The Harmings.
  • A short, satirical YA novel presently called Validity about the modesty movement, which I thoroughly disapprove of for many, many reasons. I had just started it when inspiration for Lharmell struck.
  • A deep-space sci-fi with a teenage girl protagonist. In his book On Writing, Stephen King states that people love to read about other people working, and then joked why not write a novel about plumbers in space. I was immediately struck by the image of a curly-haired girl with a sour look, grease stains and a wrench. I don't think this was King's intention.
  • A Harlequin romance. Not one of these new HarlequinTeens, either. A proper, skinny paperback Mills & Boon. Maybe a historical romance. I think it would be so much fun, and how gorgeous are these covers?

  • A historical YA set in colonial Australia, perhaps during the gold rush on Central Victoria or outback South Australia.
You'll notice I don't have any plans (yet) to write a dystopian novel even though I adore the genre. By the time I get to writing one, I expect everyone's going to be absolutely sick of end-of-the-world scenarios. There are so, so many fantastic authors with dystopian novels out. I just can't imagine I'd do any better at this stage. Also, I believe that dystopian novels should concern themselves with a scenario that the author is genuinely worried about, and not just some illogical, futuristic hell-hole that vilifies a certain demographic that just happens to be the same demographic that the book's aimed at. *cough* Unwind *cough*

I hope to write, and hopefully finish (or have thoroughly outlined at least) most of these books in 2010. It depends on how Lharmell fares on submission, of course. But either way I'll be a busy girl next year!

What about you? What's on your to-be-published wish list?


  1. These are some fantastic goals! And omg, you're only have such a brilliant future ahead of you!!

    On that note, left a little something for you on my blog! Check it out!

  2. Wow, Rhiannon, please tell me your secret of finding the time to write all this! :) Hehe, just kidding--all of those sound great. The one about the modesty movement made me laugh: a pro-modesty speaker came to my school to speak, and the Q&A session at the end was BRUTAL. It was all a little pathetic.

    Good luck, and I'll be keeping an eye out on your progress! :)

  3. Thanks so much Carolina!

    Steph--OMG really? What did they have to say? I would love to hear about it. I can't remember what got my goat about this movement first, but I think it had something to do with Princess Mary of Denmark being touted at the role model to end all role models. (Especially here in Australia as she's an Aussie.) I love the fairy tale that is Princess Mary as much as the next girl, but a role model?? All she did was pass a fertility test and marry VERY well. Blargh.

    (And my secret is I write short novels, hehe)

  4. Wowzers. I'm seriously liking the YA sci-fi one. Anyone who takes the time to sort out all these ideas is DESTINED to get published :)

  5. Wow I love all of these goals and I can totally see you making them!

  6. My friends and family mock me as I ADORE mills and boon historical romances. I suspect writing them in harder that one suspects so I am really impressed that you'd like to have a crack at one.

    Plus they do have the most lovely covers.

    Great list.

  7. Adele, I reckon there would be so much research involved. But I love research! I haven't read any yet (of the historical variety, at least not recently) but I might hop online and buy a few early in 2010 and start thinking about story ideas.

  8. My Lord, good lady. That's a heckuva list! And all to be written/outlined in 2010? Whoa.

    Yeah, for me it's the time investment that's the issue. I've kind of committed to one novel, 20 flash fictions, 6 short stories, and 120 rejections next year. We'll see how close I get...

    Yay for reaching for the stars, though! More power to you, m'dear!

  9. Oh so much fun!!! I love your list! I'd make one two, but it'd pretty much have two things on it. YA urban fantasy trilogies and YA urban fantasy stand alones, haha. I guess I need to branch out a bit :-)

  10. Excellent list! You've inspired me to write mine down - they've been bouncing around my head, bothering me for years, as I'm a one-novel-at-a-time kind of gal. But that's all the more reason to finish my revisions quickly!

  11. I caught that snarky Unwind comment! *smile* Good luck with the writing!

  12. You know what? I always have about five or six stories bouncing around in my head at any one time, and I'm always wishing I could get some of them out of my head and just focus on one. With so many ideas yourself, how do you do that?

  13. Lauren--Scott Westerfeld said on his blog a while back that one of the consequences of starting new projects without finishing previous ones is you get really good at writing beginnings but not endings. So true.

  14. Rhiannon, I love the idea of a literary to-do list! You have me salivating to read quite a few of your titles. :)

    Now you've got me daydreaming about what my list would include...

  15. I would read all of those! Great ideas Rhiannon!

  16. I love everything about this. Everything. I'll read every one. Don't let the pubs and eds talk you into writing cookie-cutter because it's 'what the fans want'. I like getting something new everytime. I like seeing an author play and experiment. And I like the idea of a curly haired, sour-faced plumber in space.