I’m feeling better this week, the cure: Writing. I’m living my humble dream of being a full-time writer…for a week. One week off work and I’m bristling with creativity. Today is day four, I have 2,500 first draft words on the page. My schedule for each day this week has been: Wake up, write, coffee, write, family! In the evenings, I’ve read over the manuscript (if such a small collection of words can be called a manuscript) and edited as necessary.
Surprises of the week so far have included achieving small chapter structure. A practise that seems popular is to have bite size pieces of text that the reader can consume quickly. I find, as a particularly slow reader, that this encourages me to push on to the next break…and the next break. Facing off against forty pages before the next chapter can be intimidating.
I had anticipated that the plot outline I have for chapter one would be a full 10,000 words, yet I seem to have the shell of it in 2,500. Not to worry, I’ve already identified places that need character back story so I would imagine the chapter will bulk up before having Stephen King’s 10% cut from it.
Song of the week whilst writing? A rather lively, ‘Chandelier’ by Sia; a cautionary tale about not drinking too much. I’m not a party girl and I haven’t got hurt this week, so perhaps the song has been therapeutic. My mellow playlist that I planned to listen to whilst writing, was a bit of failure. I work best with one track on repeat for hour after hour. This was a strategy I used at university – it’s still a useful tonic to focus my attentions.
Submissions happened again last week. Once again, lovely agents in England with friendly engagement. I can only hope to meet their standards, vacancies and tastes. After sending in the manuscript/synopses/cover letter, I noticed that the manuscript page header said, ‘A Plague of Ladybirds – 2014.’ I wonder if I should change the year to 2015? It’s improbable that the book is aging like wine and, untouched, will be a masterpiece by 2020. Although, if I leave it, does it say, ‘This manuscript wasn’t just finished as a first draft and sent in’? These are the unnecessary mental tortures of a submitting writer.
As I write/plan this second book I have noted one or two small changes for APOL. Oh, and at the moment this second WIP book is titled, ‘Out of Phase.’ Doesn’t really say spooky-shit-in-the ladybird-universe does it. Plenty of time for an innovative title yet. My deadline calendar predicts May 2016 for completion of the first draft. If I could enjoy spending my time writing, as I have done this week, that deadline would shrink by months.