This was a fairly memorable writing year for me. In April I finished the first draft of a novel. I had written one 50K novel draft on Nano one year, but it was pretty nano’y and I never really worked on it much after that year. This one is a “real” novel. It’s 78,000 words and 16 chapters. I wrote it in about a year over 65 different writing “sessions” where I recorded my word count progress. I really love it. I took some time off after April but not too long and the rest of the year has been about studying revision approaches for a work this big. The biggest helper has been Sandra Scofield’s “The Last Draft- A Novelist’s Guide to Revision.” That book is a gold mine of thoughts and approaches and I’ve been digging deep into the approach and into my draft. The focus at this part has been inspecting what I have. What it’s about, what it’s trying to do, etc.. And then coming soon the next focus is going to be identifying things to change. I think then I will just dig in and try revising chapter by chapter. I think the first draft has landed on the essential structure, plot, and characters so I’m kind of lucky that the revision might not be a total redo, but I expect to work on it for all of 2023. Then I will decide what to do with it: Agent Query or Independent Press.

In publishing, I had one of my favorite personal flash pieces run at Janus.I wrote Untied during the 2021 Bending Genres Retreat. If I had to give people one piece of writing to show off what Al Kratz writing is about, this is the one I would give.

I had a non-fiction essay run at Ruby about eating struggles I’ve had my whole life. Long Patience was a good thing for me to write and taught me some things about myself I had never put in words. To make this one even more special, it has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, for Best American Essays, and for Best American Food Writing. Very generous treatment by the Ruby team including its founder April Bradley.

My good friends at Bending Genres published this one which is my longest title ever. I pretty much wrote this while I was sleeping. I woke and wrote it all out on my phone.

It’s been another great year of reading and writing and on to 2023!

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