Thursday, 28 February 2013

February 28th – 184,420 words.

After a broken day, Wednesday, today was once more back in the flow. The best analogy would be a salmon swimming upstream – today I was in calm waters in a flat section of the river, and as a result, I was able to write smoothly and quickly. Yesterday, my progress had been broken up by stray thoughts about other projects, and other life events external to writing – the rocks in the rapids.

Wednesday, I hit the target just after teatime, today, exactly 6 hours earlier. Early enough to be dragged out for some family retail therapy. That’s the problem when March looms on the horizon for this family – too many birthdays, special days, commemorative days and of course, this year, Easter. Early March becomes a very expensive time as a result. Still it means there’s a lot to celebrate and parties and celebrations are always fun – aren’t they?

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

28th February 2012 – 181,277

Today is almost the latest I’ve ever finished working against the challenge I set myself. It’s literally just turned six o’clock, and I’ve put the keyboard down (figuratively). I managed 2,573 words on my work in progress but started off today with a 409 word treatment for a kick ass new book idea that came to me overnight.

I’ve told my partner I need to stop drinking cheap beer at night, I have the strangest waking dreams when I do, and this one was very strange – but also, importantly, an absolute belter for a plot for a new book, which could easily be extended into a series.

That means, since I’ve started this challenge, I’ve completed the first draft of three work in progress pieces I’d already started, and the current one is building to a nice climax, about 20,000 words down the line. However, far from depleting my stock of work to do, I’ve added two completely new concepts, and worked out how sequels to two existing concepts will work. Even in the time it’s taken me to write these last two paragraphs, I’ve realised exactly how to extend today’s brainwave/brainstorm/aberrant idea into a series of possibly three or even four books.

I guess writing every day has another side benefit – you can’t stop yourself buzzing with new ideas.
By the way, I skipped past the 180,000 word mark on the way!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

February 26th – 178,295 words written.

It’s been a broken day again, firstly due to external (non-writing) issues, and then due to a deadline for my Tuesday critique group.

Marion had her regular breast scan today, which isn’t the easiest thing to attend, given the history of all forms of cancer in the family, but nothing specific to worry about. Routine, but the doubts can harbour themselves at the back of the mind – especially after the surprise call back from the Retinoscopy screening (eyes) at the end of last year. As it happens that was something and nothing, but still…

I had to get my steam-punk story worked over today, working on it, and the comments (thanks Sunita and Deborah) which was a thorough going and quite brutal critique. As I needed to get the story reworked from their comments, ready to go to the Tuesday group (which meant it has to be submitted tonight, one week in advance, I couldn’t leave it. So after absorbing the, earned, punishment I’ve rewritten most of it, and expanded on it greatly. It made sense to me, but now, hopefully, makes sense to others. That’s 1200 words longer, although I probably wrote more than that in replacing the bits I deleted.

To make my word count I then picked up my w.i.p. and did 1,768 words on it. That means I’m counting 2,968 words toward my target although I’m pretty certain I wrote a lot more than that.

Ah well, then there’s tomorrow.

Monday, 25 February 2013

February 25th – Three thousand, four hundred and fifty nine words today.

Today has been a bit of a revelation to me, not exactly an epiphany moment, but certainly revealing. Over the last few days, and especially yesterday, writing had seemed to be more of a chore than before. As if I was losing my writing mojo. But that changed today. I picked up the w.i.p. in the middle of chapter ten, the one I’d been struggling with yesterday, and started writing.

My wife almost had to drag me away from my screen on order to get lunch ready – anyway she had to call me three times. That means I’m in bad books there, but hey, that’s a writer’s life, isn’t it? Anyway as soon as I could escape after lunch, with that roll of her eyes that said, go on then, I came back into my home office and started again.

I’m now at 175,327 words against the target, almost exactly 8 days ahead of schedule, and I’ve only stopped now because I’ve forced myself to.

Roll on tomorrow.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

February 24th – 171,868 words.

As anticipated I’ve passed the 170,000 word mark, hitting 3,048 words today and stopping now to do other things. Not bad for the day, given we also baked both bread and scones this morning for delivery to relatives – and delivered most of them too! Although not all the cheese scones made it they were truly scrumptious.

Now, it’s time to get on with other things, I’ve got some studying to do and at the same time quite a lot of cover design work to get cracking with.

No rest for the wicked.


Saturday, 23 February 2013

February 23rd – 168,820.

Not a lot to say today, not a lot going on. I’ve managed to complete a scene and write the first three paragraphs of the next, so I made my target count, just, but only just. It does feel like the right place to stop.

The cheese scones we made yesterday have gone down a storm, universally approved and none left, which is always the best sign there is. Critique group last night wasn’t brilliant – there were only two of us there, which made it cosy, but didn’t really provide a satisfying critique. You need more than one person commenting on your work, you can’t rely on a single opinion other than your own – not at this stage when I’m trying to establish my voice in a genre that’s new to me.

Sunita’s comments were good, but I need more. Luckily I have another group to go to in just over a week or so, and I’ll take it there.


Friday, 22 February 2013

February 22nd – 166,063 words written.

I guess it would be fair to say I’ve just about limped over the line today. Well, it would have been a limp if it’d been my hip I was going to the physio with rather than my shoulder.

I saw her this morning and she put me through the wringer, manipulating and mobilising my neck and shoulder until I was sore and aching. Still she’s actually pleased with me, able to confirm I have a better range of movement in my neck that I had before. The incidence of pins and needles is also decreasing both in frequency and intensity, so I guess it’s getting better, slowly.

As a result I found writing this morning difficult, so have only just finished. In fact I didn’t think I’d hit the target till I checked the word count, to find myself just a few words over the line, having managed 2,824 today.

Still, tomorrow is shaping up to be a clear day, so we’ll see how it’s going.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

February 21st. – 163,239.

A spit day today, with a piece of retail therapy, and lunch out interrupting the writing flow. Not that ham egg and chips at a supermarket café should be construed as a real lunch, but hey, it was good, it was cheap and at least in this country at the moment, it looked like the meat it was supposed to be!

Still I’ve hit 2,885 words, and looking back at earlier posts I can see where a critical piece of my thinking has changed. I used to take the approach that I couldn’t leave something mid-scene and then pick it up twenty or so hours later and be able to continue. In fact, last month I was even critical of people like Stephen King and Peter Hamilton for doing that. Now, I’m doing the exact same thing, writing till I’ve hit my target, then putting it to one side to pick up other work, or life issues, and coming back to it the next day irrespective of where I am in the scene, chapter or book.

I suppose it goes to show, you can teach an old dog, new tricks.

By the way, I’ve worked out I’m averaging between 200 and 300 words per post to this blog, nearer the 300 on average so if we assumed that to be 270 (because I’m not so anal that I’m going to go back and count every word) then for 47 posts, that would add another 12,690 words to my progress, putting me another 4 and ½ days ahead of target.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

February 20th – 160,354.

Well today was a split writing day, I’ve had to work on two separate projects, managing just 2,109 words on my current work in progress while also writing an 837 word article about Amazon for the benefit of our authors.

I hate splitting things like this, it’s not the same as finishing one piece and starting another, having to leave something and then pick it up again is more difficult. Working on a non-fiction piece where the tone is all important, and completely different, from the fiction piece I’m writing isn’t easy. Especially so, as I’m currently working on a slightly comedic scene which needs a very light touch.

Writing comedy is, in my humble opinion, the hardest part of the writing craft. You can pour your heart and soul into an emotional piece, pump adrenalin into an action scene, but a comedy scene? That takes angst more than anything else, accompanied by a huge dollop of worry, worry that nobody will find it even remotely funny when they get to read it down the line.

There is of course another worry too, that the editor won’t “get” it either so will attempt to take all the humour out of the scene, which leaves you with too equally unpalatable options – either accept a ruined book, or a damaging row with the editor! For me the first choice is a non-starter anyway, but the second is often a poor option too.

Ah well, time to stop worrying about the future and concentrate on the present.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

February 19th – 157,408.

Marion had a friend round to today, which gifted me a glorious couple of hours to work without interruption this morning. Since I felt in full flow, it became easier and easier to work on through the morning and a momenta ago, I drew breath and cross-checked the word count.


Three thousand two hundred and twenty four words written and it’s not yet noon. This piece is shaping up nice and I threw a couple of serious heavy moments at my heroine, so all is good in my world, although not so good in hers.

Don’t worry it’ll have a happy ending – eventually.

That’s taken me to 157,408 words so far this year, almost 7 and ½ days ahead of schedule and by tomorrow closing in on the total word count needed by the end of the month.

This now leaves me free to get a couple of other things done. I’ve got some covers to finish the artwork on for a couple of our authors, I received the approvals on the final artwork over the last couple of days. I’ve also managed, at last, to find a contemporary road map of 1930’s upstate New York – which I need for one of my projects. It’s at an immense scale, so much so, in fact, I can’t view it at 100% magnification in Photoshop without Photoshop throwing a wobbly at me. I calculated that at full size I’d need a two hundred inch screen to see the whole thing. Apart from the fact they don’t make one that big, or at least not at a price even remotely close to affordable – I’d have nowhere to put it. I guess I’m going to have to cut it into sections. Now at least, that project can move forward again.

Now at least I can get my couple moving from Quebec down to Albany and then across to Buffalo in their little Model ‘A’ Pickup and have then stop at all the right places. It’s a road story, and in this case there’s a good reason for accuracy. Don’t you just love prohibition! (And, no, they’re not bootleggers – so there!


Monday, 18 February 2013

February 18th – 154,184 words.

Not been having a good day today, to be honest. My eye is playing up. Not sure what’s wrong with it but the skin under my right eye is red and sore, and since I was going to the opticians anyway to collect my new sunglasses (that’s a joke in this country of course, after the last summer!) I got him to confirm it wasn’t a problem with the eye itself.

It isn’t, thankfully, but if it persists it’s another reason to visit the doctor. Honestly, I sometimes think my body is committing premature aging on me! Giving out a little at a time.

Still, I pushed myself to crawl over the line, hitting 2,762 words and getting into chapter five of this w.i.p. which is good going. Now I need to stretch the heroine out, and make her really work hard to get the most out of the next couple of scenes. To be honest she’s turning out to be too wimpy, and she needs a bit of backbone.

That of course means I need to throw something at her, what my American friends would call a curve ball, but I never really did understand baseball – the ball is round anyway, so how can it be curved? – Before you jump, I’m only joking.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

February 17th – One hundred and fifty thousand words and more!

Well, I did it, I broke through the 150k barrier, and completed 2,983 words today, taking me to a grand total of 151,422 for the challenge.

This is going to be a short post – I stopped writing today, not because I wanted to, nor because I had other things I needed to do, but simply because my eyes are very tired. I feel like the sandman has crawled in and emptied a full sack. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep and I guess I’m starting to pay for it.

Either that or I’m getting old and it’s time for my pensioner’s afternoon nap. I think not, thank you very much.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

February 16th – 148,439 words.

At one point today, I really thought I was going to have difficulty keeping up with my schedule, have a down day in writing terms and not get anything done. In fact, all those mounting distractions only consumed the morning, meaning, I’ve managed to spend this afternoon writing.

End result, another win, 3,117 words today, taking up closer to that 150k point, and stretching further ahead of the target.

This is only day two on this particular piece and I’m amazed I’ve managed to slip into the voice of this one so easily, especially as the hero is both younger (nineteen) rather than mid-twenties, and a different nationality to boot. And those are all the hints you are going to get!

Now to take my writing head off and pick up the turnip one, sorry the artist one, I’ve had my hair cut this week so I don’t look a bit like Worzel Gummidge anymore! It’s cover art time again, and I have two covers in progress at the moment, both of which are causing issues with authors wanting something that “represents” what they’re writing stands for, and something we want that stands a chance of “selling the book”. Sometimes the dichotomy between the two opposing influences goes far further than creative dialectic. Ah well, such is life, and I get to play both one side of the argument, and the peacemaker all at the same time. I should have been the Ambassador in the Ferrero Roche advert.

Friday, 15 February 2013

February 15th – 145,322 words.

I’d expected today to be one of those days, it was going to be hard to reach my target. After all yesterday I signed off on one piece of work in progress and didn’t expect to pick up another and just write. I’d need to read through it, edit the start I’d previously made and then think about the development of the characters and the story.

Instead, the edit on the piece I picked up was quite easy, even shallow, and despite the fact I’d last altered this piece some 18 months ago, it didn’t matter – I could pick it up and the words  jsut flowed. I was just in the viewpoint character’s head, feeling her emotions and flowing. As a result by 12 o’clock I’ve written 2,840 words and paused for breath.

Other things to do for the rest of the day, but at least I hit the target count.

Wow! Unexpected.
In fact, last night I was even thinking about taking a rest day today, throwing a sickie, having a research day. Instead, I can spend the afternoon doing something else, in the sure and certain knowledge I’ve been a good boy and can bask in that feeling of well-being.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

February 14th – Almost 4,000 words today.

Wow, I finally finished that work in progress – the third one I’ve reached the end of the first draft on, whilst attempting this challenge. The end scene went quicker than I expected too, gathering momentum and finishing with a fast flourish, while still leaving itself open for a sequel.

Actually, of the three, I think this one is the best, the one with the most promise, the likeliest to be published – but we’ll see.

A couple of people have asked me why I don’t give the details of the pieces on this blog – the answer is simple – I don’t want to. Actually it would be somewhat daft to do so – between this point and the end of the third draft, the piece will change considerably, and will almost certainly change the title. So whatever details I give here will have little resemblance to the final published pieces, if they are ever published that is.

I know, you think I will put all of them through our own publishing house, but that’s not necessarily the case – I do send work elsewhere too, just not under my own name.

Just to keep the record straight, the numbers are 3,985 words today, bringing the challenge to 142,482 words, almost to the word, one week ahead of schedule.

Now to decide on the next piece to tackle, seeing as the steampunk piece needs to go via my fiction groups before I start to move forward on it.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

February 13th – 138,937 words.

I guess tomorrow I’ll pass through the 140,000 word mark and be on course to hit 150,000 by the end of the weekend. Today I scraped past 3000 words, 3,014 to be precise and I’m only part way through the climactic phase of the book. I can’t finish it in another 3,000 words either, so stopping now makes more sense than ploughing on for another hour and leaving it at the real nexus of the story.

Any continuity issues arising from this will be flagged in the margin to be picked up in my first edit pass. It’s now been four weeks since I put aside the first piece I completed as part of this challenge so I need to start thinking about editing that. However, I have another couple of hurdles to clear first, not least among them the steampunk piece I need to have ready for group submission on Friday.

Far from writing this much in the last six weeks, releasing the tension and allowing me to relax into my writing, I find I’m now even more “steamed up” (excuse the crude and feeble link back to the previous paragraph) than before, with four or five pieces competing for my immediate, and they do mean immediate attention. I’m starting to believe in the maxim “write every day” – it’s becoming a habit, one that is fast becoming ingrained, and one which is if anything making it easier.

So, come on, what’s stopping YOU? Get writing, write every day.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

February 12th – 135,483 words.

Half eleven this morning and I’m stopping writing for the day, with 2,923 words done. That includes the time out for me to go back to the opticians and get my new specs adjusted. They were rubbing on the back of my ear, but it only took a couple of minutes to fix. I could have written on, but I’m approaching the climactic scene for this book and I want to try and write that in one go tomorrow, which might take some doing given the schedule for the day on other things.

Getting used to the new specs is taking its’ time. Having a special pair for when I’m sitting here and having to change them before I get up is taking some getting used to – three times now I’ve found myself halfway down the stairs wondering why everything seems a bit fuzzy before I’ve remembered, halted my headlong dash and returned to my desk to swap back to my proper varifocals. Ah, well we’ll see how it goes, but I need to give it more than 24 hours to find out.

This story looks like it’s going to come out at a nice sort of length – but I can’t decide whether there’s enough unused material, enough loose ends to tie up in an extra few thousand words or make it a sequel. Given my track record, it’ll be a sequel, no doubt, but I’m not sure I’m not stretching the plot premise too far that way.

Still, that’s not the urgent thing, after tomorrow I intend to get back to my Steampunk story , I’ve got two writing groups coming up around the end of the month, and I want to take this to both to get comments about the voice before I launch into it in earnest. The first group submission date for that is Friday, so that has to be the next project to get my attention.

Monday, 11 February 2013

February 11th – 132560.

Well today is the day I get new glasses, so in theory I should have waited and only used the computer once I’d picked up my new intermediate prescription, computer only, glasses.

Instead though I woke up to a covering of snow outside, and no prospect of going anywhere before the opticians. Couple that with the overpowering need to write the current scene in this w.i.p. and I was hooked. Three thousand words (3068 to be precise) and I’ve come up for air, and it’s still not 10:30 in the morning.

I have a lot of editing to do today, so that will be the focus for the rest of the day, unless the printers insist I have to change the footnote separator in a book block that doesn’t have footnotes – it’s giving me a real issue in terms of embedded fonts in the manuscript. I spent all yesterday afternoon trying to fix that particular gremlin and couldn’t. I’ve pleaded with them today to take it as is but am waiting for an answer from the US – who of course aren’t up yet. Don’t you just love computer software compatibility issues?

This one is a new one on me, not something I’ve come across before - we have never as yet published a book containing footnotes, not do we use them when editing, using track changes instead.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

February 10th – 129,492 words

The weather is not quite as bad as the forecast, but almost so. Still nothing like what they’ve got over the pond, although why they’ve taken to calling the storm “Nemo”, I have no idea. For me Nemo is a cartoon fish who gets lost and ends up in a dentist! Always has been and always will be a cutesy cartoon not a howling monstrosity of a storm that piles meter and a half drifts against people’s front doors.

Much slower writing day today, possibly affected by the weather, but also the need to work on the accounts this afternoon. As a result only 2,927 words written, taking me just shy of the 130,000 word mark.

On the studying front, things are going quite well – I’ve mastered iPhone rotation and shaking  in programmatic terms, so beginning to move onto the more interesting stuff. Which is a good thing, I was beginning to get a bit bored with the basic stuff like views, view controllers, and labels. All of which are of course essential but they are building blocks and I’m not a bricklayer!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

February 9th – Today was a red letter day.

I started writing just before nine o’clock this morning and when I lifted my head and noticed the time, it was approaching twelve, and a moment later my wife called out for me to go and prepare lunch for the two of us.

Then I checked the word count in the bottom left of the screen and my jaw dropped. I had to check my fingertips to see if they were bleeding, they weren’t, which was surprising.

I hit 5,501 words today, which is a record for this year! Not only that, but the total has now been pushed to 126,565 words, meaning I am an eighth of the way toward my overall 2013 target.

I am so stoked it’s unbelievable, but I have had to reluctantly put this tale to one side to pick up other work. Not the easiest thing to do, but one that has to be down nevertheless.

It’s been raining off and on this morning, not that I noticed, till as I sliced bread for lunch I saw the grey skies and how everything was wet. Apparently we had sleet too, but again I was too engrossed to notice. Tomorrow we’re in for more snow, but nothing like the amount that has fallen along the eastern seaboard of the US and appears to be heading for Atlantic Canada.

Stay safe, all my friends and colleagues in the US and Canada! Stay safe!

Friday, 8 February 2013

February 8th – One hundred and twenty-one thousand words plus and counting.

In the end, I didn’t have quite the working day I’d intended, although I still managed 3,352 words, taking me to 121,064 words for the year so far.

I’ve spent the afternoon working though, just not on my own writing. With intermittent snow flurries all day it hasn’t been the weather to go outside in, so today has been all about e-book formatting.

It’s nice to see the tools I use have come of age as well, reaching the point where the auto-generated file needs relatively little, and I sue the word, relatively, advisedly, manual scanning and correcting before they match the profiles they are tested against. Still, it wouldn’t do to not check them one last time, anyway – after all we do put our name to them.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

February 7th – 117,712.

Had a great writing afternoon today, having been busy for most of the morning – a reversal of the usual split of the day in this household.

So I hauled myself to a stop a few minutes ago, having hit well past the target count, managing 3,847 words. You may think these numbers are rather precise, but I use a spreadsheet to track them, and having entered the current word count of the w.i.p. it simply churns out the day’s word count, the total words overall and all I have to do is copy type them from one to the other. Simples.

Tomorrow’s weather forecast isn’t the best so I might well get another good writing day in, and if so the word count will stretch even further ahead of target.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

February 6th – One hundred and thirteen thousand, eight hundred and sixty five words done.

Wow! It actually looks even more impressive written down that way. I managed a mere, (laughs at his own perceived arrogance and blushes before running away to hide in the corner) 2,864 words today prior to the trip to the torture chamber. A.k.a. the Physiotherapy centre.

Well, they’ve decided it is not now a trapped nerve in the rotator cuff and have centred attention onto my neck, which is where I started out three months ago. Apparently I have arthritis there, so I guess I’m getting old, well my body is, while my mind wants to write down as many stories as it can – before the body fails it!

Stopping my mind from thinking about other stories as I’m working on one takes a monumental effort.
The critique group went well yesterday, and seeing as I wasn’t presenting this time round I found it relaxing – as I usually do when I’m not the focus of attention. As often happens, there was one piece using an omniscient narrator and opinions were divided. I never like that contrivance, and one of the other members loves it, but doesn’t use it in her own work. It’s a good job we like or at least respect each other’s opinions otherwise sparks would fly.

A couple of people ask me why I’m so focussed on the numbers of what I'm trying to achieve, especially here in the public facing blog. I’m not, not really - for me numbers are a means of keeping track, nothing more, and making sure I’m on target. There will be days, and even weeks later in the year when I have no chance of writing, let alone hitting the target, so a buffer now is a great idea. It isn’t obsessive – it’s target setting and tracking, nothing more than that.

Still written out longhand it does look kind of impressive? What?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

February 5th – 111,001 Words

It’s a good job I’m not counting in binary, isn’t it? Wouldn’t be doing so well with that number would I? Anybody know what it is? A pure fluke, I wrote the last sentence for today, read it back to myself and realised I’m missed a crucial the in the middle of it. Otherwise it would have been a very suspicious looking round number.

So a total of 3,087 words today, and I’ve had to stop in order to prepare for the writing critique group tonight. Three very different pieces - all of which demand some attention from me.

I followed the anonymous advice from when I mentioned my idea for a Steampunk story earlier in this blog, and actually wrote the first 1,000 words of a scene. Well, at 2,000 words on my main w.i.p. I had reached the end of one scene and didn’t really want to start another.

Than 1,000 word start means I now have something to build on – it’s my turn to submit something for my Speculative fiction critique group at the end of the month, and submission deadline is Friday. My main w.i.p. isn’t suitable for that group (they don’t do romance) and I guess Steampunk is right up their alley.

My problem is I’ve so far done very little research into the modern mores of the genre – but I felt a compelling need to see if I could get the idea down on paper (or rather screen) and see if the voice works. For me, that’s what a critique group is. for I hate it when someone takes something polished to within an inch of its life to a critique group merely to preen and bask in adulation. That belies the meaning of a critique, and I find people like that won’t accept criticism, however constructive, even so.

By the way, I have corrected the unfortunate typo in yesterday’s post – honestly my parents do not own an oven whose door can defecate in the kitchen! Well, not for much longer anyway, seeing its replacement has been ordered.

Monday, 4 February 2013

February 4th – 107,914 words to date.

Well, going to be a busy day so I made an early start. Despite an hour out to go grocery shopping I’d hit 3,034 words by ten forty-five and due to family issues have had to stop for the day.

Yesterday was not a good day in my mother’s kitchen, I’m afraid. First, the oven door which has been a bit temperamental for a few months now decided it didn’t want to shut. So my father decided to slam it, with the almost inevitable consequence that the glass hob lid dropped. Although the glass didn’t break, thankfully, it did break its hinges, meaning the automatic cut-off switch at the back (only depressed when the lid is in the up position) is permanently in the off position and the hob won’t work.

Given the age of the cooker and the state of the oven door hinge, which isn’t good, there’s no real point in doing anything than accepting the appliance is at the end of its useful life. So the rest of today will be spent shopping for a new one. That is, of course, after the eye tests we already have scheduled for my wife and myself. No doubt that will result in new specs for both of us and that’s yet another expense.

Ah well, one of THOSE days, I guess.

Well the trip to the opticians proved expensive! Both of us DO need new specs, and I need a pair of specialist ones just for computer use and I must remember to change them before I leave my desk. That’ll be fun, avoiding the broken neck!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

February 3rd – 104,880 words

I guess I stopped writing about ten minutes early this morning. If I’d just written another four or five sentences or another quick exchange of dialogue, I’d have pushed through 105k. Never mind, I’m still on target, still going strong with another 3,269 words under my belt. That means I’m about 4 and a quarter days ahead of schedule, so despite expecting to lose time against the schedule at this juncture, I’ve actually increased my lead on the relentless bus.

My big problem now is the idea that’s formed in my head for a novel, the whole story dropping into place during the night. God I wish I could tape the visions that run through my head when I’m asleep – no not THAT type of vision, get your mind out of the gutter. I went to bed thinking, wouldn’t it be neat if… and work up this morning with the whole thing novel formed, just needing to be fleshed out. Unfortunately it’s in a genre I’m not familiar with, so rather than being a writing project it’s really a research one, so I don’t want to tackle it at the moment as research doesn’t count toward this target, which is a serious bummer.

It hit my productivity today, I spent time thinking about this great new idea of for a very original protest novel, when I was supposed to be thinking about the character development happening at a crucial point in my current w.i.p. Still I managed, eventually, to put it to one side, and pick up the w.i.p. and get cracking. Once I got a start, it flowed, but as I said, if only I’d kept going that little bit longer… oh well… spilt milk under the bridge and any other mixed metaphor with knobs on that you can think of for yourself.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

February 2nd – Passed the 100k barrier

Today is going to be a busy, non-writing day, so I snatched the early part of the morning to get things done instead.

I managed just short of 2,500 words on my current WIP today, and a further 650 odd on the author newsletter. That takes me through the 100,000 word mark up to 101,611 words.

Today my son-in-law is coming round to help me fix the porch light fitting, I can’t stretch my arms above my head due to the shoulder problem so can’t even manage to unscrew the damn thing to fix it. It’ll probably only take us two minutes to get it done, and it makes me feel really down on myself that I can’t do something so simple on my own – something I’d have done without thinking about just a few months ago.

I’m also somewhat annoyed by news this week. The government have finally announced the route of the new HS2 rail link between London and Manchester and Leeds. This is something that is long overdue, for the country that invented the railway we are a long way behind the rest of the world. However, and it’s a big but, the route of the line comes within two hundred yards of where I’m sitting typing this. This house has been a quiet haven in a quiet neighbourhood for the 24 years we’ve lived here. The idea of 200+mph trains whistling past at frequent intervals doesn’t sit that well. The only advantage is, the first section of the line (London to Birmingham) won’t be finished till 2026 and they won’t start this section of the work till after that. A lot can change in 13 years, and who knows, we might well have moved out before then. If we move out, I want that to be at our behest, not forced out by noise pollution. I’ve never been charitable toward the NIMBY movements in the past, now I have to ponder if I’m going to become one.

Friday, 1 February 2013

February 1st – 98,515 words.

Well, February started off much better than January did, in writing terms anyway. Mind you, I hadn’t even decided to attempt the challenge a month ago, so that’s probably an unfair comparison.

3,245 words today, and I’ve finished a scene and it’s lunchtime, so it’s time to stop, only some 1,500 words short of that 100k mark. I guess I’ll hit that 10% of target point sometime tomorrow, which will be good.

On other news, I had a busy start to the day, having to go to the bank to keep the wolves at bay – i.e. pay the bills, and then take my father to pick up his car now he’s had that little front wing faux pas fixed. Then it was writing, writing, writing all the way. I’ve just received another print cover approval form back, so that’s one more off next month’s release list, but that adds another job to this afternoon. Oh well, no rest for the wicked!