Down to the Wire, and Raising the Stakes

I’m trying to finish and publish Camp Expendable by the end of the month, and it’s going to be tight. I’ve picked and poked my way through 16 chapters, sometimes with major revisions. Half of them have been through ProWritingAid, and will go through one more time before I’m finished. I’m down to the last chapter, which I’d never finished writing. If all goes well, meaning fatigue and headaches don’t pull a sneak attack, I’ll complete it today. Once that’s out of the way, the whole thing goes through another round of editing before a final proofreading. I’m not going to kill myself getting it all done, including compiling the epub (if I can figure how to do that without tearing out my hair), and putting a cover together. I will try not to let it drag on past the first week of April. My fingers are crossed.

Raising the stakes means taking on a blogging series that should nudge me in the direction of continuing to write A Well-Educated Boy. I plan to devote April and possibly May to Set Me Free, so Boy would serve more or less as breaks from that intensely difficult book. Nonfiction is much harder to write than fiction, and requires an entirely different frame of mind that’s difficult to sustain for long. Breaks are an absolute necessity.

The plan is to use the development of Boy as a way of showing what goes into creating one of my “grand” works. Just comparing before and after sections can get pretty boring for readers, especially those who aren’t writers themselves. I have a tentative list of what will go into the posts, including: the graphic for the cover, and possibly the cover in development, figuring out where the story will go and how it will end, how it’s set up in Scrivener, general notes, real-life sources of inspiration, excerpts. And possibly the short, initial first draft.

Since Boy won’t be top priority for quite a while, the posts won’t appear on a regular basis. To make the whole thing easier to follow, each post will have links to the previous ones. This is basically an experiment. I hope it will be interesting for other writers, and different from the normal practice of serializing an entire book on a blog. I also hope it will encourage me to keep working on the story and get it finished.

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