The Journal: Yesterday, a Topic, and Today

In today’s Journal

* Yesterday
* Topic: You’ve Finished Your Novel. Now What?
* Today
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Yesterday, I worked on creating covers and promo docs for four novels. I’m rusty. I started creating covers around 7, then wrote the promo docs, and finally got them all uploaded to D2D and Amazon a little before noon. Then I decided to take the rest of the day off. Finally back to the novel today. Yay!

Topic: You’ve Finished Your Novel. Now What?

I actually saw the second item in “Of Interest” yesterday, but I waited until today to post it. I have too much to say on the topic.

This is another of those “different strokes” things. But let me elaborate.

First, I know this is a small thing, but I never actually type “The End” at the end of the story. It’s a psychological thing. I trust I’ve written the thing well enough that the reader can tell s/he’s reached the end of the story.

Anyway, back to the big stuff.

When I finish the “first draft” of my novels, I do not celebrate. To me, celebrating the “accomplishment” of finishing a novel is like a mechanic celebrating the accomplishment of having tuned a car engine, or a plumber celebrating the accomplishment of having unclogged a drain. It’s my job, right? So what’s to celebrate?

Truth be told, I actually mourn to varying degrees when a novel ends. Just as we humans mourn when a relationship or another human being who is close to us ends. Even if I know my friend or loved one has “gone to a better place,” I don’t celebrate the departure. Nor do I celebrate when my novel ends and goes to D2D.

But like most humans, I DO celebrate exciting beginnings: you know, births, new frienships, the first time you get to drive a Corvette or fly back-seat in an F-16. Or when I start the next novel.

As for that “first draft” stuff, you all know my take on that. Why not just do it to the best of your ability the first time through?

To my mind, finishing and then rewriting a novel makes as much sense as loading up a wheelbarrow full of rocks and dirt, moving it halfway (or less) to the destination, and dumping it so you can come back tomorrow and load it up again.

No thanks. I’m far too lazy for all that. I’d rather load it up once, move it to the destination, dump it and be done with it.

But I DO have to smooth-over the wheelbarrow load after I dump it, right? Of course. But at least the dirt and rock is in the target location so I can rake it smooth.

And with my just-finished novel, I run a spell-check (that’s my second draft), then send it to my first reader. When I get it back from him, I smooth-over whatever glitches he’s found (that’s my third draft), and then I’m done. Cover, promo doc, upload to D2D and Amazon.

Then I can take a day off (or not), then celebrate the beginning of the next one. (grin)

So far this year, I’ve written 12 novels. All 12 will be published and up for sale or presale and earning money before today is out.

That’s while those trapped in tradpub houses have written one novel (if they’re allowed two per year), or half a novel. Or while many other indie publishers have written two or three or maybe up to six novels.

I’m just not sure I can see a downside to what I’m doing. But I invite you to read the second item in “Of Interest,” then make your own comparison. Which approach makes more sense to you? Whichever it is, do that.

Today—Well, there is one downside to what I’m doing. It’s difficult for me to keep up.

This morning when I got to the Hovel I remembered I still had to update StoneThread Publishing. And when I got there, I had to add SIX novels, not five. I had to add the five I uploaded for publication yesterday plus Rider Jones: The Marshal. I’d forgotten about that one.

So I spent the first two hours of the day updating the genre pages and creating six new book pages. Fortunately I got up at a little after 3 this morning, so the Journal will still go out early (about 5:30). Then, finally, I can move over to the writing ‘puter and get back to my version of normal.

I still need to move some of my book pages from my author site over to StoneThread Publishing, but I’ll mess with that later. I’m jonesing to write. It’s only been a day and a half, but it feels like I’ve been gone from the story for a week.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “What Authors Have Found in Substack” at Of interest to me because I’m considering moving my blogs to substack. (Just FYi, not all subscriptions to substack blogs are paid.)

See “You Finished Your First Draft. Now What?” at For anyone who needs it. I recommend this for study and comparison.

See “To Adverb or Not to Adverb?” at For my money, never use an adverb in a dialogue tag. Elsewhere, use as necessary.

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 890 words

Writing of WCGN 4: William J. Pinchot (tentative title, novel)

Day 1…… 1965 words. Total words to date…… 1965

Total fiction words for July……… 48873
Total fiction words for the year………… 577552
Total nonfiction words for July… 13040
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 138830
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 716382

Calendar Year 2021 Novels to Date…………………… 12
Calendar Year 2021 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2021 Short Stories to Date… 3
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 65
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 217
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other topics.

2 thoughts on “The Journal: Yesterday, a Topic, and Today”

  1. Your comments on first drafts bring to mind one of a number of maxims which I, an admitted life-long perfectionist, tend to observe as best I can: “If you can’t find time to do it right the first time, what makes you think you’ll find time to do it over?”

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