I Finished My Rough Draft! (Kinda)

The title says it all. After 2 months of planning and 3 months of writing, my linked collection, Stories From the Infinite City, is finally complete—half a month later than I had originally planned. It is made up of a novella and 12 short stories, coming to a total of 48,000 words.

This past month has been an absolute marathon. I could feel my momentum waning and I knew that if I did not get the rough draft on paper soon, I would never finish it. On the last day, so eager to get it over with, I wrote most of the day, reaching a total of 4535 words—a new record for me.

Several stories I love and will require a correction here and there, but the rest will involve heavy editing. I knew this would be the case if I pantsed instead of plotted. This does not deter me. One of my favorite parts of the writing process is transforming something mediocre into something good all through the magic of editing.

But knowing my luck, something had to go wrong. I had a phone call with my editor. He provided me some great advice, but also let me know that 48,000 words was not enough. A collection, he said, worked better at 60,000. So, I guess I’m not done.

To fill in the space, I’ve devised the premises for a couple drabbles and a novelette. I’m especially excited about the latter. It involves a part of the setting that I had ignored up until now and it may be the creepiest story of the collection. At the same time, I’m going to start the edits on the other stories.

I am very much a mono-tasker, but I plan to divide my day between writing and editing. My editor says this is far more effective than just spending the day on a single task. And considering the difference between the processes, it should prevent burnout (unlike a 4500-word day). Hopefully, this works out.

But for now, I’m taking the last two weeks of February off to recover. I’m working my way through the sequel of Tim Waggoner’s textbook Writing in the Dark, filling my time with exercises and homework and just taking it easy.


I received a rejection early in the month from an anthology. I’m starting to get used to them. Still, it was a relief to hear that there were over 1200 submissions. I should hear back from a different publication in the next week or so. Again, with the high number of submissions, I doubt it’ll be accepted, but I hope to make the shortlist.

I celebrated my 33rd birthday yesterday and I must admit that I’m liking the direction my 30s are going.


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