Saturday, 31 August 2013

August 31st – 737,905

3,187 words today and in the process I’ve solved my conundrum about the plot and the timing. I’ve worked out how to get from a to b, and on to the ending in a way that works within the story, and more importantly meets the suspension of disbelief criteria that make the story work. I now have about a day’s work writing the transition scene and the black moment scene, and then another day to write the ending of the book. So I guess this one is going to top out at around the 47k marker making it slightly long for a novella, but hey-ho, sometimes a story is as long as a story is and there’s no messing with it.

Since today is the end of August, it’s time to do a quick numbers roundup, I’ve now got 262.1k words to go on the challenge, so all things being equal I should finish at around the end of November, although there are a couple of personal commitments coming up that may derail that by a total of 9 to 10 days.

Over July and August I’ve averaged over 3.4k words per day, without missing a day, and in fact without dropping below 3k for any individual day. This has put me something over 72k in front of target, or 26 and a third days ahead of the word count metronome. In fact if I counted this blog within my word count – which I don’t - that would put me another 55k in front.

On the personal front too, things are picking up with both our health’s improving, and yesterday’s scan revealed our daughter will be giving birth to a boy, and everything is fine. Our third grandchild will be the first boy and I’m quite sure his lavish their affection on him. Our eldest granddaughter starts full time school next week, so it’s going to be a fun time in that household.

Friday, 30 August 2013

August 30th – 734,718

I’m trying to decide if I have a love/hate relationship with this manuscript or not. 37k in and I can’t work out where the characters are taking me. I know what the black moment is going to be, and I know what the final HEA point is going to be but I can’t see how to get from here via that to there. (I hope that made sense to you, because it did to me!)

In the story timeline it’s currently Sunday afternoon, and the final moment of the book, in fact I’ve pretty much got the last line written in my head (and no, I don’t mean “The End”), is going to come Tuesday evening, so I’m trying to work where to throw the relationship hand-grenade into the mix, and exactly where.

Timing in this kind of story is everything, and my sense of timing is off on this one – hence the love/hate relationship thing. In the story the explosion has to happen either Monday night or Tuesday afternoon on the phone while he’s at work. Since Tuesday is their anniversary and they’ve got friends over for dinner, him coming home from work to find her mad as all hell would make a nice black moment, but it’s kinda clichéd. If, however, my explosion goes off Monday night, the issue becomes how do the characters get through Tuesday in a manner that enables suspension of disbelief.

Damn, I hate it when it’s a timing issue in a manuscript – the other things are easy fixes by comparison – apart from total switch of point of view, of course, been there, done that one.

Ah well, maybe I’ll sleep tonight and wake up with the answer implanted in my conscious mind by the good old reliable sub-conscious – or maybe not. Still 3,210 words today, and I’m more than 26 days ahead of schedule.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

August 29th – 731,508

I’m finally started to feel better today. No acid reflux which is a good sign the new oral dispersive form of the medication is starting to bed in. In fact, a few minutes before lunchtime, I was feeling hungry, and that is a big deal – it’s almost the first time in eight weeks. It’s now about three thirty, and I’m also starting to feel hungry again – another good sign as far as I’m concerned, although sticking to the very plain diet my doctor asked for is impossible. I am following the main instruction to keep the amount of fat to an absolute minimum for a few days. I’m sorry, but plain boiled rice with nothing else on the plate is like trying to eat wet shredded cardboard, and I just can’t do it. Foods are starting to taste right too (apart form the above mentioned rice), which is another big step forward. All I need to do now is correct my sleep pattern – i.e. start sleeping properly again, and I’ll know I’ve recovered rather than simply being on the road thereto.

I didn’t sleep well last night at all, but there was a bonus – before breakfast this morning I’d written down a 650 words characterised synopsis of a brand new trilogy, that I think has got legs. In fact I had to restrain myself from just hitting it and running with it, bouncing the synopsis off my writing and publishing partner instead, and getting over 2,600 words written on my main work in progress, taking me to 3,314 words overall. Perhaps a little slower than I’ve been accustoming myself too, but still, words written are words written and I’ve slid past the 730k mark with possibly a week to go till I reach the ¾ point on the challenge.

The other big news on the writing front was I finished it. Yes, that’s right, the big edit I had to do after finishing the first draft of my previous manuscript. I’ve been all the way through it with a fine toothcomb changing it from third person to first and correcting a number of other issues along the way – including a character who changed names between scenes! I guess it’s time to let that one sit in a drawer for a while to enable me to go through it again with fresh eyes. I’m a little too close to the heroine’s struggle right now.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

August 28th – 728,194

Well I’m glad to report the change of meds are not having the same extreme side effects today as they were yesterday so I’m actually hopeful the whole mess is over with now. There is of course only one way to find out – time.

My sleep pattern is still not back to normal, although I am sleeping better than a couple of weeks ago, but this still leaves me tired and listless. It has taken me longer today than on most days, but I did crank out 3,252 words today, taking me within striking range of the 730k mark and getting ever closer to that 3/4’s of the way through the challenge.

This manuscript is doing well too, I am going to have to switch back to his point of view in a day or so, and then for the climax to the story switch back to hers, but I’m now thinking this one is novella length rather than novel length, but sometimes that happens – a story idea that seems like it could make a novel is stretched too thin when you start working on it, and sometimes what seems like a solid 80k novel turns out to be a 250k trilogy.

The editing is going well too, I’m now at page 156 on my way through the viewpoint change in that book, and I’m quite happy with progress there.

I am, however, waiting on other things from a couple of our authors, and I might be getting a bit antsy with them if I don’t hear back soon. I’ll try to make sure the frustrations there are related to their tardiness and not to my health, just in case.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

August 27th – 724,942

I have no idea how I’ve managed to get 3,129 words written today, not the way I’m feeling. A bad reaction to new meds has sent my system, and also my mood into a deep downward spiral.

Will hopefully feel better, and post more, tomorrow.

Monday, 26 August 2013

August 26th – 721,823

I’ve managed to rekindle my love for this work in progress, switching the previous, current and next few chapters to her viewpoint instead of his has reinvigorated her character and she is now the one in control of the story rather than him.

There is, however, a shock in store for her later on in the book, the real black moment of the story, and I’m wondering how that is going to pan out, because I could craft quite a happy ending for this story without them staying together. That might be a little different, of course, and just maybe set off a sequel as one of them tries to win the other back. Interesting story dynamics that way, rather than the conventional feel good ending. We’ll see – I guess it depends what my characters want, which at the moment is fairly obvious, if you get my drift.

Anyway, by eleven thirty I’ve finished 3,237 words, broken through the 720k barrier and continuing.

My big self-inflicted edit continues apace as well, I’ve now reach page 106 out of 200, so I’m just past the half-way point. The next couple of days are going to be quite heavy though – this section of the book is quite action dependant so rather narrative driven rather than full of dialogue, so there’ more to check and change. Still, as I said, I’m past the half-way point so it should get easier from here on in.


Sunday, 25 August 2013

August 25th – 718,576

Well I managed to convert my heroine to the feisty young woman I wanted as the lead character by a simple expedient – I’ve changed the point of view from chapter 5 onward to hers rather than his. Consequently we can see she’s not a little mouse after all, rather she’s the mouse that roars, to hark back to a Peter Sellers comedy/farce from many years ago.

I hit 3,274 words before 10 o’clock this morning and if it hadn’t been for the huge edit looming over my head I could have happily have written more – I can only think that switching the point of view to her has given the story idea more vibrancy in my own head and as a result the writing has gotten easier. Yesterday I took a break from that edit – having managed the first 86 pages out of the 200 in the previous three days so that is progressing apace and I'll work on that tomorrow.

On the personal side, the imbalances within my system caused by the incorrect meds (see earlier posts) seem to be subsiding, certainly the effects seem less today than on previous days, and I slept better yesterday. With Marion’s meds improving her pain control as well, things are finally starting to look up on the health front for both of us.

Now, if only I can regain an appetite, and eat some proper food… ah well, baby steps and all that…

Saturday, 24 August 2013

August 24th – 715,302

It’s been a slow day today, but I’m not going to complain about hitting 3,251 words and taking myself past 715k.

This manuscript though is proving to be a toughie. I want to make my female lead less of a wimp and get her to take the lead, take control and drive the story forward. My male lead though, won’t relinquish control, and although you might think that would least to tension, and conflict within the story, which would be good, no, my pretty, sassy, intelligent thirty year old is just going along with it, letting him control the situation, and enjoying the ride.

Now, I have no problem with any of my characters enjoying themselves, after all, that is what life should be all about, but I wish I could get her to take over, and dominate him, instead. And for those of the more prurient mind-set, I don’t mean dominate in the classical BD meaning, I mean take control of the situation and not let him go where he wants.

Seeing as this is a bit of a road movie style story, with the twist that they end up back at home every night, that’s more important than you might think. I guess tomorrow is another day, and in this case, the tomorrow I’m referring to is tomorrow in the story, not my Sunday morning.

Friday, 23 August 2013

August 23rd – 712,051

Just a short post today, as I’m feeling quite poorly given I’m still suffering from the aftereffects of the problems with my meds. It should get better over time, but at the moment I’m not feeling good.

Still, I did manage 3,085 words today, not quite on a par with the last four/five days, but still higher than the target, so I’m not going to complain.

I’ve managed to get my female lead a little feistier too, and that’ll come out even more tomorrow, which will be good.

For now though, I’m going to do the “lay down and rest” thing. Catch y’all tomorrow.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

August 22nd – 708,966

I guess the new story gripped me harder than I thought, because I hit 3,403 words today, taking that manuscript to 12k in just three days work on it, albeit with a gap of 10 days between the first and second days.

The story is developing nicely, although I’m starting to worry about the female lead – she’s the key to the whole book and at the moment she needs to grow a backbone of steel to deal with the leading man. I’m not sure if I can so that as character development, or if I need to rewrite a couple of the earlier scenes so from now on she’s feistier than she currently appears. My leading ladies may be, at times, confused, despondent, depressed, overwhelmed by circumstances, or ill, but they are never, ever, wimps.

I’ve also got a couple of hours of edits done on the previous book, changing it from third to first person. For edits I tend to think in terms of page rather than word counts, and I’ve currently managed to work through 32 pages out of 197, so that is on-going – and faster than I expected It too.

I’ve got to break off now – I’ve got a couple of physical proofs to check before ordering the author’s proofs, so that’ll be another couple of books to release early next month, so as always, the work is never done.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

August 21st – 705,563

3,542 words today on a different story, picking up the unusual concept I had a quick 5,000 word start on about a fortnight ago. I had intended to just get close to the target, not try and go past it, so I could concentrate on my large edit task for the rest of the day, but the words just kept flowing, and I needed to get the scene complete, so I could move onto the next one, tomorrow – that one will set the tone for the rest of the book and as such will need a clear run at it.

That editing task is a major one, switching an 80,000 word book from this person to first person (as I’ve already explained, the first two books in the trilogy are first person, and writing this one in third person was a mistake – one I bitterly regret) is a huge undertaking.

If it’s not something you’ve ever thought about let me explain some, and only some of the steps. Since my viewpoint character is a woman, I have to look for every occurrence of both she and her name used to refer to herself – changing them to I. This results in a preponderance of I which means I’ll have to restructure some sentences to remove the pronoun. Since there are other women in the story, and she is often address by her name in dialogue, I can’t use a find and replace all mechanism.

Then once I’ve done that, I need to find every relevant reference to her, and change that to my or me, depending on context, again making sure I’m only changing references to the viewpoint character. There are several similar, albeit less used ones to change as well. Of course, don’t forget all the times I’ll have to change them to us too.

Finally I have to check the structure of every narrative sentence I change – there are subtle, and some not so subtle word changes required where the pronoun is first person rather than third person – especially with the more irregular verbs, and even some of the nouns used need to change as well.

Obviously I’ll be working on all of these simultaneously as I work through the manuscript, but at least most of the dialogue will be untouched, and this book is heavy on dialogue.

I’m not sure how quickly I’ll manage this – I’ve never had to do an 80k novel this way before, not in its entirety, but I suspect I need to focus on at least a couple of chapters a day, and hopefully as I get into the swing of it, even more than that. Given it’s 23 chapters long, that would take me close to 10 days, and hopefully less than that.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

August 20th – 702,021

That’s it, the 700k barrier has been well and truly breached. At the same time I finished the third book of the trilogy, hitting 3,662 words today, so tomorrow I’ll pick up another idea and run with it – probably one I’ve already started. I just haven’t decided which one yet.

The double elation is tinged with the knowledge that I’ve got to do a lot of re-writing with this one, which is going to be a major pain to switch it into first person, the same as books one and two – I discussed what happened there a few days ago. That’s going to be a major task. Needs must, as they say.

Still, I’m over 70% of the way toward the target, only 300k words to go, and over 4 months to do it in. All in all I think I’ve every right to feel smug about my progress, but I do need to keep a lid on it, and not get carried away. 300k is still a lot of words to go. Oops, best be careful here, don’t want to talk myself out of feeling good about what I’ve achieved so far.

Monday, 19 August 2013

August 19th – 698,359.

I can only describe today, as hectic both on the personal and writing fronts. I managed to get in a couple of good sessions and hit a total of 3,966 words, taking me within striking range of two goals tomorrow.

Unless something drastic happens, I’ll pass the 700k mark on the challenge, putting me almost 25 days ahead of schedule, and at the same time this manuscript is now in its climactic scene, and the epilogue is already written as it’s the prologue to book one – it just needs a little tweak. I know I’ll hit both targets tomorrow, and that’s a great feeling – even if, as already said, I’ll need to rewrite this one during my “edit” time.

On the personal front I’ve been to see the doctor and he has assured me the accidental double dosage of one of my meds over the last seven weeks (due to a pharmacy error) hasn’t caused any lasting harm, which is a relief. I then went and asked to see the pharmacist and watched as the blood drained from his face as I showed him the error his colleagues had made. They are treating it as a major incident (his words, not mine) and it will be reported all the way up to head office. At least I got a fulsome apology from him, and since the doctor has taken me off that particular med completely (it wasn’t doing its job, given the side effects of a double dose) I should recover my appetite and sense of taste over the next few days. A work in progress perhaps, but progress nevertheless.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

August 18th – 694,393

Yesterday I found what I’m pretty sure is the reason for my health issues since the beginning of July. For the last 6/7 weeks, my appetite has been supressed, my sense of taste has been haywire, and my sleep-patterns have been disrupted leaving me permanently tired. Now, I’ve found something that coincides with all that.

Seven weeks ago, I renewed my prescription for my stomach meds as usual. Unfortunately, due to a mistake, my pharmacy issued 30mg capsules instead of 15mg capsules despite the prescription clearly reading 15mg. The label they attached to the box reads 15mg, but the actual contents are 30mg. I’ve been taking a double dose of the meds for seven weeks without knowing it.

Speaking to a different pharmacy today (because they were open while my usual one doesn’t open weekends) has resulted in the guy checking his book, and everything I listed above, is listed as side-effects from this drug.

I’m going to go hot-footing it back to the doctor tomorrow, for a precise diagnosis, and then I just might call in at the on-site pharmacy to file a complaint.

In the meantime I’ve managed to get 3,055 words written today, taking me that little bit closer to the 700k mark, and given how upset I’ve felt over the above, I’m surprised I managed that amount, but it’s words under the belt, and only just over 305k to go!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

August 17th – 691,338

Despite hitting 3,405 words today, I’ve realised I have an immense problem with this current work in progress. I’m about 10-15k from the finish, depending on how the mood takes me, and I’m going to finish it before I start the major rewrite. That’s right, a major re-write.

This is book three of a trilogy, and when it’s finished the whole trilogy will span over 250k words. Last night I realised why I was finding the narrative passages a little clunky, and a little stilted, even though the story and dialogue was flowing extremely well. Books one and two were written in the first person, and for some reason I can’t explain I’ve written this book so far in the third person! Since I write almost everything I do in the third person, this trilogy being the only exception this year – I guess it’s an understandable mistake. But, and it’s a big but, before starting this third book, I deliberately did an edit pass through books one and two – so I knew they were in first person but ignored that fact.

Have you ever tried to rework an entire book from third to first person? Arrgh! It’s insane, but I’ve got no choice, it’s got to be done.

I’ve decided to finish the book as it is, first, that might make for fractionally more work later on, but this way I’m not working on the same story from both ends, changing it to first person as I go through the first chapters, and still writing the final ones. Besides, as I edit I’m sure to find sentences that need rewriting for other reasons, or even sections that will get chopped – and all those edits will drastically change my word count for the piece. That would throw a lot of confusion on the word count for my challenge, so I’d rather keep that pure, and finish the book, then use my edit time to correct it. Damn, is it ever going to be hard work!

Ah well, who ever said the life of a writer was easy? Whoever said it was lying through their teeth with their fingers crossed behind their backs!

Friday, 16 August 2013

August 16th – 687,933.

Oh well, as of today I’m now back on my old meds. The change to different tables hasn’t had an effect on my digestive problem, nor my loss of appetite and a sense of taste, so the doc has put me back onto the meds that suited me, solving the problems they were supposed to, and we’re trying something else, doubling up on one of my other meds, to see if that helps instead.

He’s given Marion a one off repeat for the meds that seem to have helped her a lot, but is making enquiries into whether in a specific case where it helps, he can proscribe it long term. Apparently the reason it’s not normally proscribed long term, is down to a tablet in the same family that had side effects. This one, is however frequently prescribed long term in France and Germany. I guess we’re going to have to start looking for a bungalow in France as a result. Mind you with my gastric issues, living in a country like France is probably not a good idea for me.

In any case, over and around sorting that out, I’ve cranked out 3,304 words today taking me close to the 690k mark, and this manuscript is now approaching the 70k point, and I’m well into the weekend that will form the climax to not just this book but also the entire trilogy, somewhere within the next 20-30k words, anyway.

Then it’ll be back to the age old issue – which story concept to I pick up next.


Thursday, 15 August 2013

August 15th – 684,629

Another 3,123 words today, achieved very early this morning because once again I couldn’t sleep. I’m really not sure that writing at six in the morning is good for me, but I can’t just lay there staring up at the shadows cast by the ceiling fan.

Till, since I’ve got something like six book covers on the go at the moment, at different stages of the process, some close to approval, some just initial drafts, I’ve got a lot of other stuff to do and it’s time to get on with those. On top of that later on today we’ve got the wheelchair engineer coming to sort out the dodgy brake on Marion’s chair. That won’t actually take more than a few minutes, but it’s something that needs doing but of course, they can never give you a time for an appointment, so you have to stay in all afternoon waiting for their arrival.

All in all it’s been a busy week. Firstly the visitation by the council, then my father’s birthday, today the wheelchair guy and then later on tomorrow the doctor’s for a med check for both of us since we’ve both recently been put onto new meds. Ah well, time to relax next week.

In the meantime, life, and perhaps more importantly (lol) writing, goes on.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

August 14th – 681,506

All sorts of things going on today, centring around my father’s birthday. As a result this will just be a two/three sentence post and I’ll have more to say tomorrow. Suffice to say, I hit 3,135 words mostly this morning in and around various events, and that will have to do for today.

Catch y’all tomorrow.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

August 13th – 678,371

3,451 words today, and nobody rose to my comment yesterday about sexual stereotyping in terms of the situations I put my characters in. Tut. Tut. I think I’m going to sulk about that.

The simple fact is, if you’re going to write what can only be described as a linking scene or a segue from one scene to another, it has to be, relatively speaking, commonplace. And in this case, what is more commonplace than two people riding home in a car. Does it matter who’s driving? No, not in the context of the scene, but in this case the female lead is young, only nineteen, and earlier in the book we’ve spent a lot of time dwelling on her motivation for taking the new job is that it will be the first time she can afford driving lessons. Since we haven’t yet shown her celebrating passing her driving test, and as we’ve made such a thing about taking the lessons, we couldn’t not have, it’s impossible for her to drive them home – so let the man drive. Simple? Yes.

Sometimes you can’t actually avoid that stereotypical situation, for the simple reason, it fits the plot and develops the story in the direction you want it to go. The trick is, as always, making it happen naturally.

Monday, 12 August 2013

August 12th – 674,920

Today has been hectic, to say the least. I could definitely get very political about some of the events, but I’m going to hold back on that, and rein the rant in. Suffice to say, I’m not on the very best terms with officialdom and bureaucracy right now.

Still, I did manage to get some writing time in and around my on-going battles with them, and let me just say it’s not the people who without exception have been pleasant, polite and helpful, just bound up by rules and labels, targets and tick sheets. Those writing stints added up to 3,181 words taking me achingly close to the 675k which will now be passed and left behind, eating dust, tomorrow.

At least the ‘glasses crisis’ didn’t happen today, I’m not sure I could have dealt with everything if I hadn’t been able to see properly.

The work in progress is developing well, too, the big scene that forms the core of the middle of the book is behind me, and I’m well advanced into what is effectively a linking scene between that and the next major action point. I hate linking scenes, both as a writer and a reader and I try to avoid them if possible. But, in this case I need to get from a scene where the two lead characters have a major bust up, and the ‘date’ scene where things, although not exactly sweetness and light, are a whole lot calmer. I only know two ways to do that, through a suspension of disbelief fail for the readers by jumping straight from one to the other, or by writing a linking scene where the two of them talk, and effectively ‘kiss and make up’. That scene can be in person, or it can be on the phone, but I feel that showing the reader the dialogue works best in either case. Here, they're thrown together as the guy is giving the girl a lift home from the film set, so the conversation is in the car as he weaves through the traffic. Perfect, especially when she criticises his driving. I just love tension. (I know some of you will think sexist cliché here, but she's quite young and is only just learning to drive, and it's her youth that drives the story, so it's a natural progression of the story, not a sexist statement - okay?)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

August 11th – 671,739

Today didn’t start off well when, during breakfast my glasses fell to pieces. The tiny screw that held the left lens in place fell out, bounced on the carpet and disappeared from view. After twenty minutes of fruitless searching we still didn’t find it. Why they design spectacles with frames that are screwed from underneath rather than on top, God only knows, surely it’s an obvious design point for one of our biggest chains of opticians, but apparently not. At least, though, they were open today and they replaced the screw and I was back out of the shop, with the repair done free of charge, within minutes of my arrival there.

Luckily I had another driver available to take me there, because I certainly can’t drive in my spare pair.

That kinda wrote off a large chunk of the morning, as I had a lot of other things to do once I’d got ability to see straight back, so I’ve only just wrapped up my writing for the day, hitting 3,329 words and completing the film set sequence of the book. I have to say I’m really satisfied with this multi-chapter scene, we’ll have to see how it survives edits though. Earlier in the week I explained how complex it was, well it might have been complex, but boy was it fun to write.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

August 10th – 668,410

It’s become something of a habit in this house to spend Saturday’s baking, so most of this morning disappeared into the process of trying a completely new American recipe for Lime and Coconut Squares.

Unfortunately the middle layer, the set lime custard, or curd, or whatever you want to call it, didn’t. Didn’t set that is, so the whole thing went in the bin. The shortcake style base and the coconut topping were both okay, but the weird runny lime stuff in the middle made it inedible. Ah well, you have to try these things, and sometimes you make mistakes. Having said that, we won’t be trying the recipe again anyway – there was really far too much sugar in it, and given we are both supposed to avoid too high a sugar concentration… need I say more.

My writing time was thus split and I ended up finishing 3,231 words a few minutes ago. I was also very good – going back to my main work in progress and continuing with the scene that effectively makes up the middle quarter of the book. (Yes, I know, these isn’t a middle quarter – but there is if the two bits on either side of it are three-eighths!).

I’m really pleased because this stint had taken me past the 50k mark on the third book in the trilogy, while at the same time taken me past the 2/3 point of the challenge. Sitting at 668k and surveying everything I’ve written today gives a nice satisfied feeling – unlike the aforementioned cake!

Friday, 9 August 2013

August 9th – 665,179

Well, I pre-warned you yesterday that I would be working on the first couple of scenes of a new story, today, and I fulfilled that, with the proverbial knobs on, too. By the time I put the keyboard down I was surprised my fingers weren’t smoking. The first scene was quite complex, and develops along a rather twisted path – but nothing is as it seems. Getting that scene on paper, and the one that followed it, the dialogue scenes that really set up what happens, were longer than my imagination had expected, so by the time I stopped writing I’d hit 5,057 words for the day.

That was all before lunch too, despite having to go out on a couple of errands and having family round for a few minutes, on their way somewhere else.

For a morning stint, that is probably my best performance, now I just need to get back to my action film sequence that is the central scene for my main work in progress. However with two, very different books, competing for my attention, I may end up torn between the two of them, and unsure which one to work on. That’s when discipline kicks in – and I’m going to have to be good about which one I choose to work on. In other words, be good, and put the new one aside, for now. We’ll see in the morning, if I can be that much of a goody two shoes.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

August 8th – 660,122

A split writing day today, as I had to get the newsletter drafted before I could crack on with my main work in progress. Even so, I’ve managed to hit 3,552 words between the two pieces and as a result I’ve stock my nose past the 660k point.

Unfortunately I’ve also done it again, had another great story pop into my head overnight so I suspect tomorrow will be spent getting that one down on paper. It’s not quite ready yet, but by the time my subconscious has worked it over during the evening and night tonight, it’ll almost certainly be ready to find itself ready for me to scribble down the first couple of scenes tomorrow.

I wish I knew why this happens, and no doubt if I could capture and bottle it, I’d make a fortune selling “Inspiration”, but I can’t and in any case, I probably wouldn’t sell the inspirations themselves, just trade on the method.

How many authors would buy into the concept? A sure fire way to kept writing good stories, one after the other, without having to spend time nursing the inevitable hangovers caused by the chemical treatments for writer’s block.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

August 7th – 656,570

Today has been a day of visitors, one set after another, meaning my writing time became constricted. Still, it’s nice to see people, and of course, most especially, the grandchildren. Mind you, the best thing about grandchildren when they’re small remains quite simple – you can give them back after a couple of hours. Our two aren’t a problem, not really, but still the house is nice and quiet now.

I did manage to hit a full quota of words, reaching 3, 293 a few minutes ago, which takes me within striking range of 660k tomorrow. I’m still in the middle of my complex scene, as described yesterday, and I expect this scene is going to span two if not three chapters before I’m finished.

I have a huge pile of “tasks to be completed by today” on my to-do list, so this blog post is going to be terminated very shortly. Still, there’s always tomorrow.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

August 6th – 653,277

A slightly slower day today, resulting in a word count of only 3,076 words. Only, he says – LOL. Actually, only is right, because it’s the lowest daily word count I’ve managed in the 12 days.

In any case, today’s scene was a serious challenge, as my heroine had to cope with three different sets of emotions simultaneously. Firstly, she’s appearing as a bit part, an extra, in a film, and she’s playing a bank teller when the branch is robbed at gunpoint. So she’s got to display fear on behalf of her character. Secondly, it’s the first time she’s been on a film set, so for there’s a natural curiosity about what is going on around her, and she’s trying to watch everything. Thirdly, the guy playing the bank robber is the guy who got her the job and who’s also taking her out for dinner that evening, so she’s thinking about the possibility of a relationship, but knows he’s got a reputation as a player, while at the same time musing about what she’s going to wear, something to impress in, rather than the smart but dowdy bank uniform.

That’s a complex scene to write, and get her interactions with everyone right, which is why it took me longer to get that many words done today, than the previous scenes did yesterday. I’m not sure I’ve pulled it off, and I’m certain it’ll get tweaked in edit, but for now, it kinda works, so I’ll leave it as is and get onto the next scene(s) tomorrow.

Monday, 5 August 2013

August 5th – 650,201

That’s it today's, 3,451 words was enough to push me through the 650k barrier so I am now officially 65% of the way to the completion of my goal. Can I get a yee-hah there?

In fact I managed to finish the section of the manuscript I needed to do right on the crack of lunchtime. However, since I had to go out straight after lunch, I’ve only just sat down to produce the requisite blog entry.

Although the writing isn’t as quick as it was, just a few months ago, it’s still quite quick, and as each day passes when I’m well over 3,000 words in the day, I’m getting further and further ahead of the target – in fact I’m almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule. Bearing in mind I had a fortnight’s break in May, that’s pretty good going, even if I do say so myself.

Anyway, on that note of smugness, I guess I’ll go and watch the cricket. Oh dear, I can’t - it’s been raining. So for the first two tests, when Australia desperately needed bad weather to prevent their getting thumped, all they got was bright sunshine and perfect playing conditions for the England team to exploit. Now, when we need the rain to ensure we don’t lose the match – we get rain. I guess the weather gods are on our side after all.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

August 4th – 646,750

A hectic day today, on non-writing tasks, meaning I had a long gap between writing stints, so although I hit 3,716 words for the day, the finish time is a lot later than I’ve been hitting. Still, I hit the target and more, taking me within striking distance of 650k tomorrow. This w.i.p. is developing well too, I’m about halfway toward the target work count for book three in the trilogy and I’m approaching the “grey” moment which is going to determine the heroine’s path.

The “black” moment will come a lot later in the piece, and will then lead to a resolution that can only be described as HFN (Happy For Now) rather than the HEA (Happy Ever After) ending you’d expect for a true romance. Of all the drafts I’ve completed during this challenge, I’d have to say, this trilogy probably gives me the most pleasure.

Now it’s time to get a couple of covers completed and then sit down and watch the TV adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s series about Elizabeth Woodville. Mind you, I’ll probably watch the mindless Mayhem that’s called Top Gear first, although nothing they do will trump watching James May getting smashed to pieces on a racing catamaran around the North Island of New Zealand – the stunt that started the series.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

3rd August – 643,034

We moan a lot about the weather forecast never being right, but today they were. Our local TV forecast at lunchtime said we’d have brief showers starting around three o’clock this afternoon. At five minutes to three it started raining, for about four minutes – so at a  guess I'd say that was a pretty accurate forecast.

Since we the forecast was for rain later as soon as we finished lunch, I retrieved the lawn mower from its near retirement (as I’ve said before I hate gardening, especially mowing the lawn) and quickly whizzed round to get it done before the rain. Consequently I’ve only just finished my writing for the day – 3,524 words, I was a couple of hundred short of target before lunch, and I’m afraid I can’t sit down at a keyboard and just write that few, so I overshot by a margin.

At least there don’t seem to be any side effects from the new meds – although I haven’t yet seen an increase in appetite. Still, it’s early days, and it’ll take a while before the others leach completely out of my system. We’ll just have to see.

Friday, 2 August 2013

August 2nd – 639,510.

I just realised I made a little arithmetic error a couple of days ago, crediting myself with a 1,000 words more on the total that I should have. Apologies for that – I’ve gone back in and edited the totals correct before posting this entry.

Once more I’ve been back on track in the morning, hitting 3,077 words before lunch, and also having time to get this blog entry written. Since I’ve also got to get a lot of print cover work done today, I’m glad I’ve got today’s stint out of the way in good time.

I’ve started my new meds today, so hopefully some of the effects I’ve been suffering with will dissipate, but you can never be sure. So far at least, and I took them five hours ago, I’ve had no adverse effects from them. I’m not feeling hungry though, so it’s not an instant cure.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

1st August – 636,433

My work patterns remain disrupted, but at least today I have an excuse – I had to spend the morning going to see the doctor and then running here there and everywhere sorting out a number of errands. At least the doctor is taking my issues seriously and is changing my meds, which should in help me in terms of appetite, although not eating properly has meant I lost weight, which is perhaps a beneficial side effect.

Nevertheless I’ve managed to get 3,167 words down and I’m fast approaching the 640k mark. I’m surprised nobody picked up on my mistake yesterday – I’m still 26k short of that magical 2/3 done mark on the challenge – I’d accidentally mistyped the title line as 664k not 634k so based my ramblings on an incorrect number. Doh!

Anyway, today is a sudden hot spell after a day of rain yesterday, so in a moment I’m going to tootle off downstairs and go and sit in the rays and wash a bit of the last week’s rust off. See y’all tomorrow.