Friday Update: Short Story First Draft!

My new schedule is awesome. I have a new schedule at work, by the way. For well over a year I had been trudging through an early shift, 6am to 3pm. I loved having a full afternoon of daylight ahead of me when I got home, and I even enjoyed being in the office a solid three hours before most everyone else — 3 hours of peace and quiet before the fluorescent lights blazed and the coffee machines were overrun with empty mugs waiting to be filled.

The rest of it was pretty awful. Waking up at 5-5:30am does not agree with my system. My biological clock did adjust to an extent. When I first started this job coming out of the restaurant industry, my body woke up at 10am, 9 if I was lucky. Now my body wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30, which is perfect for my new 8-5 shift. Yes, I have to deal with heavy traffic with the thousands of other commuters on I-95, but it fits my life better. Morning and afternoon radio get me to where I need to go.

Wolf’s Moon Night Lives

That 180-word intro is an entirely roundabout way to say that I had a jolt of inspiration last night around 9pm, which is the peak of my writing clock (I swear, this exists), and which I often had to suppress in order to “get to bed on time”.

I was able to actually finish the first draft of my short story, Wolf’s Moon Night. I’ve pretty much settled on that as the title. I’m also happy with what I have so far. 3,500 words came and went rather quickly, given my propensity for exposition, but I also managed to tie in a lot of the little details at the end.

Joe and I swapped short story drafts, since we both plan on submitting to Five on the Fifth’s contest, so I’m waiting for his feedback on yet another story. It’s good to have writer friends.

I wish I could provide some kind of preview of Wolf’s Moon Night here, but I’ll have to wait until it’s accepted (or rejected) by Five on the Fifth. I’m sort of set on having it published somewhere other than this site, so I may keep reworking it and resubmitting it to Five on the Fifth until they cave to my persistence. I’m sure they will grow to love/loathe me in time.

Anyway, the 30-day period of silence I gave my alpha readers has passed, but no, I have not been haranguing them incessantly. One of my readers actually texted me to update me on his progress: “I’m enjoying it very much, and I think you have a lot of great and very interesting characters and themes going on here. I also have some things that I think need work, and I’m really excited to talk with you about them.”

That’s about what I was hoping for, and I cannot wait to have that conversation with him. I’m also starting to long for The Warden of Everfeld: Memento a bit. I haven’t touched my own manuscript copy since I first had it printed. Once my short story is submitted though, I feel mentally refreshed enough to dive back in.

Now then. Have some rockabilly. Happy Friday!

Steve D

2 thoughts on “Friday Update: Short Story First Draft!

  1. Quintessential Editor

    Really exciting to read about your progress! With your schedule it’s impressive how you are able to maintain. Keep it up. It also sounds like your alpha reader is an awesome one! You know they are good when they use the sandwiching technique for feedback (good thoughts/problems/good thoughts). Best of luck to you as you move forward!

    1. Thanks! If I can scrape together 5 hours of writing per week, I call it a win. But I typically write in blocks of a few hours at a time when I can stay focused.

      My 4 alpha readers are close friends who aren’t afraid to be honest with me, so I’m eagerly anticipating a lot of constructive criticism 🙂 The only validation I was looking for on the alpha manuscript was that I had the foundation of a good story, so it was certainly relieving to see that the reader quoted above likes what is there so far.

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