Considering how well my writing has been going lately, I should be on top of the world with it and raring to go back at it; still, that isn’t the case. I think that might be one of the problems with us artsy types, it just never seems to be enough. Let me catch you up.
The long layoff between posts here has been due to the other work I’ve been doing. After spending the fall writing short stories and submitting work for potential publication, I spent the time before and after the holiday layoff on a short story that ultimately turned into a short novella. That piece is titled “Milton Albrecht Takes the Field.”
On February 2, I began another story, with the hopes that it would not balloon like the last one had. There aren’t many potential markets for novellas written by unknown writers, you see. Much to my chagrin, however, despite my attempts to reign the story in and keep it below 12,000–the high-end word count for short stories–the piece showed early on that probably wasn’t going to happen.
Since novellas from unknown writers aren’t very marketable, I decided that if I couldn’t keep the piece–then tentatively titled “The Situation with Phillip”–at short story length, then the best thing to do was to let it leg out and just become a novel. So, that’s what I did.
“The Situation with Phillip” became The Situation with Phillip, and on May 24th, after three months and three weeks of work, I finished a 90,000 word first draft, which now has the working title of Dancin’ with the Girl who Brung Ya.
It was a big hit for me, in my hopes to get a profitable writing career started, being the first time I have ever had the patience and focus to sit down on a great number of days in a not so long period of time and write a draft of a novel from beginning to end.
Still, after some downtime to rest and focus on family things, it’s getting to be time to get a few things off my desk in order to start on the drafting process. This post is one of those things, posts on here in general actually. Also, I need to re-package all of the poems and short stories that nobody wanted to publish last fall and send those back out to different markets to see if they fare any better. I’ll also send a follow-up query to the agent whom I have pitched this book. Then, I’ll begin to edit the manuscript.
I’m hoping this process goes no longer than six drafts. I have only completed one long form writing from the beginning to the end of the drafting process–a 119-page play titled The Way Men Love–and that one took me nine drafts. Hopefully I’ll be able to call this one finished somewhere south of that.
Still, there’s a lot to do, and Lord knows I ain’t getting any younger. I’d appreciate you thinking of us when you pray…if you pray…I hope you do.
2 Replies to “The Downtime”
I found you, Paul! Super pumped for you and a tad jealous, as I’m a writer at heart and would love nothing more than to publish something, anything, really. I would be honored to read some of your poems and musings sometime.
Keep on keepin’ on.
Jenn, thanks for the encouragement. I hope you find something of value here.