Boating on Lake Ficly (32 Squared)

There are multiple definitions for the word Draft.

I attended an Able Bodied Seaman’s course. I had to get the license to work on a dock. Years later I spent a few summers sailing.

In class, I was drawn to the word Draft and it’s marine/boating definition. I had heard the word many times before: Army draft, drafting table, writing a draft, drafting while riding a bike and a wind’s draft. But I never heard it used in it’s nautical form.

Basically, Draft in maritime terms, is actually a question: ‘How is my boat settled in the water?’. A boat’s final draft measurement consists of multiple measurements of where the water is touching the boat’s hull, how the boat is riding in the water.


I found this definition could also be a map. How is a person floating in life? What is my role in this relationship? Am I trying to carry to much? Am I floating or sinking? And lately, Can I make my story (idea) float?

Ficly offers a way to save drafts, think ‘mooring your boat’. Most of us never visit Ficly to simply write a draft. What ends up as drafts are our miserable attempts and learning how to sail our story. It rocks back and forth. It Leans to much to the left or right. It goes too fast or too slow. It’s out of control. There’s no wind in the sail’s. Our passengers are puking their guts out.

After all of that motion of emotions, most of us abandon ship by hitting that big red X in the upper right of our screens.

Please consider salvaging your piece. Strip away the flotsam and jetsam, leaving your main idea saved. In boating, a boat’s draft can be safe no matter how far down in the waterline the boat is, up to a certain point, as long as everything is distributed evenly. Lighten your story’s load and tie it up in the drafting section of your account. Return to it later, maybe weeks or months, and you may find your brain wrapping around your original idea in a more comfortable manner.


  • Tad Winslow

    Excellent metaphor delivered expertly. I’m always mindful of doing this, having accumulated 80 drafts. There’s no point in deleting anything. Like a jagged piece of glass submerged in the ocean, drafts have a way of smoothing out over time. Look at them later after they’re buffered by the sands of time and you’ll be able to pick out the smooth spots… lol, I couldn’t resist. Good post, 32squared!

  • zxvasdf

    Is there a like button?

  • memento

    I admit, the draft feature is not one I’ve made much use of. I usually spend a half hour to (occasionally) two hours on each Ficly, so I rarely write anything I don’t publish.
    However, this post is a much needed reminder to not discard ideas simply because one is having difficulty writing them, but rather let time and space allow for extended consideration and maturation.
    We are very fortunate to be writers in this day and age, because practically infinite storage space allows for a greater accumulation of ideas than ever before. Old ideas amassed become a treasure trove of inspiration, and the process of rediscovering an old idea and transforming it anew can be one of the most rewarding aspects of our craft.

  • In Night's Arms

    @memento- only an hour or two? Man I wish I could get my stuff done that fast, I’m down to around a week for each one.
    Those difficult ideas tend to be the best ones once you go back to them too.
    It is a nice reminder, I agree. Certainly something it took me a long time to realize I should do and I still forget sometimes. Patience with an idea is not my strong point.

  • THX 0477

    Great metaphor, and I like the encouragement to use ficly in an additional way. After all the hoped for comments, minor edits, and maybe some amusing sequels, a lot of times the ideas are worth picking up and expanding more fully. I’ve done this twice and been really pleased with the results, one of which wound up long enough to be considered a novella.

    Hooray for writing! Hooray for ficly!

  • 32 ^2

    @memento, I am so glad you left your comment, you touch on something I want to write about next. Maybe now is a good time to ferret it out.

    Please try this; post your story before you change it. Take care of your spelling and all that little stuff. We are here to read your stories in all their FRESH glory. I promise you Memento, you’ll be surprised at the comments and find out that what we like or may not like about your story won’t even be close to what you considered. YOU may think you’ve written a draft, WE may think of it as a sweet unique piece of writing.

    Trust us.

  • In Night's Arms

    I agree with 32 ^2 on that point. We can’t see every way that someone will look at our stories.

  • Abby (LoA)

    Brilliant metaphor. I must admit I’ve NEVER used the draft feature. I tend to just scribble down whatever comes to mind in a couple of minutes and post it. Safe to say, finesse is not my forte.

    To me, writing is like food. We all have different tastes, we all like to read different things. Therefore you should never cast something aside that hasn’t been tested out just because it isn’t to your personal liking. However, it’s important to believe in your words.

  • neil kant

    Lovely! What if the entire thing is flotsam X)