It’s a Draft

I put in the effort today. I needed to pick a project and focus on it, so I limited myself to just one thing. I added about 4500 words to The Enhanced League and finished it.

It's a draft with flaws, and it needs some help here and there, but it exists now. I can address the issues in the editing phase.

So what is it? It's a story about an alternate baseball league where anything goes. This includes performance enhancing drugs, aluminum bats, lasers that call balls and strikes, and more. I borrowed pages from my Experimental Notebooks, and my novel The Playground to try telling an overall story by writing a bunch of short stories, micro-fiction, and something new. There is a pinch of science fiction involved when it comes to my semi-main character too.

That something new is what I am calling anthems. They're almost like a monologue, but written in second person point of view. I think I shared one on this blog a month or so ago.

4500 words is a long day for me. Since these were individual stories, I didn't know what I had until I assembled them all. The book came together at slightly over 37,000 words. That isn't a lot, and I feel like it could use another three to five thousand.

Still, my intention all along was to make it a 99Β’ special. I also have a theory that novellas are where it's at right now, so maybe it does work.

My personal goal was to make all the short pieces tell a larger story, and I did. It keeps me from my normal twist endings, but I'm okay with that. This isn't an Experimental Notebook. I still managed two pretty good ones using my semi-lead character Roger Warren.

I'm trying to celebrate, I swear, but I always wind up critiquing my own work. I poured a big glass of Laphroaig, not my usual drink, and am trying to type between bouts of throwing a squeaky bone for Otto.

I would like to work on The Yak Guy Project tomorrow, but can't. I have a Lisa Burton Radio to assemble and schedule. I also have a new one to work up a shtick on and ship to the guest author. Then there are those Storyreading Ape posts I need to write. To tell you the truth, I'm dragging my feet there, because I may have a new release to post about. Maybe I'll write May's post and deliver it. Then, if I have a new release, I can write about it for June.

Lots to think about, more toys to throw, and a nice smoky scotch to down. I'd like to see a Spring Training game for actual baseball, but there doesn't appear to be anything on right now.

My wife called and already spent all her money on the first day. Let's be honest, I knew this would happen. It sounds like they are having a great time, and I'm going to have to accept the fact that another day of spending is going to happen.

So it appears I did get some writing done. The girls are having a great time, and did spend too much money. Otto is having fun too, and whisky (without the e) is good for what ails you.

Tomorrow is all about blog work, after I call my parents. Then I need to deal with some mundane things like dirty dishes and such. It won't be that hard to resist the editing phase, since it isn't my favorite. I'll probably still dwell on things like cover art, Lisa posters, beta readers, and the whole releasing a book strategy. I promise not to initiate any of it though.

I wish I could share it with my critique group, but I may be on the verge of losing the group. We've been together for years, but three of the members stepped out. We got one new member, but now we're having trouble scheduling the meetings. We skipped February all together. My beta readers for Enhanced League are going to be more important than ever.

The Enhanced League needs time to ferment. A couple of weeks of being ignored will give me a new perspective on the whole thing. It may also give me time to finish The Yak Guy Project.

Yak Guy is next, with no new projects until it is a draft too.

Talk to me tonight. Did you do any writing today? What do you think about novella length works? Would you rather be at the Mall of America with my wife and daughter?


Filed under Writing

43 responses to “It’s a Draft

  1. You had a good day. Kudos!

    I like novellas as a way to get to know a writer’s style without investing too much time or money on them. That’s why I buy them and that’s why I write them. But to each his own… I know they don’t work for everyone.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Congrats and I hope you get a second day of productivity tomorrow. Been benched all week due to winter break and now a messed up lower back. Thumbed through notebooks, but I couldn’t stay sitting up without pain long enough to write. Wish I knew what I did, but I’ll be better by Monday. Really curious about the whisky. More so now that autocorrect let it slide unchallenged.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My writing? 30 minutes to work out that poem. I had edited the flamingos photo and was dying to do something with it. That was all I could manage, unfortunately. I enjoy writing of any length provided it is good, novellas included. I hate shopping nowadays. I’d rather be scrubbing toilets than at a mall.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ali Isaac

    Congratulations on finishing the first draft… love that feeling. Novellas are the way to go, I agree. Although my first attempt ended up at 45k, as betas said it was too complex a story and needed developing, so I am hardly an expert. And I would defo prefer NOT to be at the mall.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m surprised. My female commenters don’t seem to like the malls. This one could grow as I go through the editing process. I’m putting it aside for a bit to address other issues.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ali Isaac

        Shopping sucks up so much of your time… its like going into a black hole. Its morning when you go in, evening when you get out, you have wasted hard earned money on a bunch of stuff you dont really need… you just never get that time back, its gone forever. Shopping is a sickness of our modern day culture. I can think of better things to do. 😊

        Liked by 2 people

      • That makes perfect sense to me. My bunch loves it, so they can have it. Otto and I have better things to do.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ben

    Good job! I love novella-length stuff. You can package it up with shorter fiction too, make it the spine around which other stories fit. I’ve been working on turning a 3,000-word piece of experimental fiction into a novella. I hope it works; it may be that 3,000 words was the perfect length for the story, but I won’t know that until I try. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your activity is making me feel rather inadequate. I think I have contracted some kind of bug, which is making my head feel like a bowl of soup. I couldn’t have a decent thought right now if my life depended upon it!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Lots to mention here, but the one thing I’ll say is… I’m liking the sound of the enhanced league…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad you managed to get a good chunk of writing done. I didn’t get nearly as much writing done as you did this weekend.

    I’d rather be at home playing with the dog and writing… I hate shopping! Well, shopping for books is OK, and I enjoy being in petstores. But after I’ve been to the bookstore and petstore I’m ready to go home, so a weekend of shopping doesn’t appeal to me in the least.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I do enjoy when short stories link up to form a whole. It sounds interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve written shorter novellas than this, however my most successful in terms of feedback about the story was 36,000 so I’d say, this is about right! Good luck with it Craig, oh and I hope your wife had fun at the mall πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s hard for me to resist a mall call, but wow, I’ve got to say you rocked it! That’s an amazing word count and its always huge to wrap a project. It definitely calls for celebration. Congratulations!!

    I put together a second book proposal and am getting read to ship it off. Six pages of notes and some detailed plotting. That’s kind of a record for me, as I tend to wing things. A good day for both of us!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Since I was in Austin yesterday for a board meeting with the Texas Association of Authors, then hit a famous nightclub downtown Austin last night, I didn’t see this post until today. 4500 words in a day is a LOT! Pat yourself on the back. AND, I’d much rather be in Antone’s listening to the Andrew Jr. Boy Jones blues band than to be at Mall of America. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Feeling better?
    I do not want to be at the mall. I think, although it’s a hard choice, and I’m sure your wife and daughter are fine company — I’d rather have another cold than to be at the mall.
    Why whiskey without the e?
    Anthems. Hm. Interesting.
    You’d think they’d already have lasers to mark the strike zone… Great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve never thought about doing a novella, although there is a story I’ve had in the back burner that would probably work well as a short novel. Congrats on the 4500 words. That’s a huge achievement. Good luck with accomplishing all the tasks. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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