I feel like I should do this more often, but I’m not sure I’d say too much that was useful. As it is, I don’t know that I’ve had anything to say in a while. All that said, it’s been a couple of weeks since I declared Draft #1 of Wine Bottles & Broomsticks fully drafted. What has been amazing to me in the past few weeks has been the response from beta readers to the book. Not only have all of them actually finished the book, they’ve all done so quickly and provided phenomenal feedback. I spent a half an hour on the phone with my sister this evening discussing character motivation and her general reaction to the book.
Where do I stand right now? First off, I want to say that writing this story was exceptionally fast. The bulk of it was actually written during free time on two trips out of state for training. So, basically 40% of the book was written over the course of less than 2 weeks. With that in mind, I’m aiming (probably optimistically) at having a fully expanded, edited draft ready by the end of the month. This is possible largely because virtually all of the readers thus far have provided feedback that hits the same spots – ‘expand this’ ‘what about that’ and so on. So, now I’ve got a plan to expand the manuscript from just shy of 60K to near 80K. In the mean-time, the channillo.com will continue on with the early draft and probably sometime on Sunday, I’ll turn up the crank to release a chapter a week for a while, then maybe up to a chapter a day. Then, I’ll let it sit out there for a few weeks.
My goal is to have this thing ready for a copy editor roll over it sometime early in February. Then, I guess I’ll see if I can drum up any interest from a publisher. If not, well, I’ve got cover art and the book will have been edited, so self-publishing it is.
Saturday was an early day, no doubt. I got into Anchorage about 7:15, collected a colleague, and headed for downtown. In spite of the time of year, it was pouring rain, and about 45F and blowing 30mph. The weather was much more like that of late spring or mid-fall than late winter. We crossed 4th Avenue on foot, sloshing through the slushy mess of a track the race volunteers had set for the mushers. The conference broke for lunch early as well, so we were able to bop the next block up and watch a few of the mushers go past. One of them was wearing shorts. It feels like I’ve seen that before, but this time it actually felt like it was appropriate attire.
Anyhow, I went to a friends house after and had a grand old time eating too much and playing the dirtiest game in the whole universe. It was good fun. Of course, this morning it was time to pay the piper. Much of the week’s housework was awaiting. No time to do it the day before. I cracked away on that until about 1, before finally getting a chance to sit down at my computer.
Turns out with the sun-room in a cleaner state, it was easier to concentrate. The whole point of this story is that in spite of an action-packed weekend, I managed to knock out the chapter I’ve been struggling with. It’s not great at the moment, but it is a draft, and that’s something. The most interesting thing about it is that it’s shorter than expected and is begging to be followed by another chapter. I had thought this would be it, but when I started getting into the dialogue, it took an unexpected twist. A completely logical and necessary twist, but also completely outside of the plan. Anyhow, I’m sitting at just about 75,000 words, and the anticipated end-length for the draft is now sitting between 85K and 90K words.