The Fall Story Rotation

I passed the 70,000 word mark on the novel today. My pace has definitely picked up and I am certain that I will be finished with the first draft by the end of September. I plan on setting the novel aside for two months to give me the proper distance before I go back and read it in preparation for the second draft. But I don’t want to give up the writing streak I’ve built and I am still aiming to break my record of 140 consecutive days.

(Where things stand at the moment: I’ve written for 33 consecutive days, and I’ve written 176 out of the last 178 days.)

So I have started to think about my story rotation for the fall. Given the fact that I’ve been able to write every day, how many stories could I write in the months of October and November? Like a manager considering his pitcher rotation, I’m picking stories from my list of ideas that I think make up the best possible rotation. In a perfect world, during those 61 fall days, here is the rotation I plan on using:

  • Alternate history baseball story #1
  • Time travel story
  • Alternate history baseball story #2
  • Fantasy story

If I can manage 4 story drafts in two months, I’d consider it a perfect game. Given that my short stories tend to be in the 5,000 – 6,500 word range, I think this is perfectly reasonable.

It would be nice to have 4 stories to send out to various markets on December 1, since it has been a long time since I’ve submitted a story. (An unexpected, but not surprising side-effect of writing a novel.)

On December 1, I’ll begin reading the draft of the novel, making lots of notes. On December 15 or so, I’ll begin writing the second draft, which I expect will take me into the spring of 2014.

I’ve been avoiding this kind of looking ahead, but I’ve decided it’s worth planning at this point because I have this fear that the day after I finish the novel, I will want to celebrate by giving myself a day off.  Tempting, maybe, but as they say in baseball, never mess1 with a winning streak.

  1. They use a different word here.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

4 thoughts on “The Fall Story Rotation

  1. Oooooh, a novel. I remember the Jamie that said novels weren’t his thing. Glad to see you’ve changed your mind.

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