Monday, 22 July 2013
InCreWriJul WEEK FOUR: Check In
Hello and happy Tuesday, Dear Readers! I hope you've had an excellent weekend and a productive Monday. Probably many of you are glorying in or cursing the hot weather. I didn't get any. My weekend and Monday have been chilly, drizzly, cloudy and cold. So count your blessings, ducks!
Some good things that cheered me up despite the miserable weather! Lovely Kristina from The Madeleine Project sent me this shot of The Night Itself in the wild in Hong Kong (thank you)!
Wow. And what a lovely sticker too! So tastefully placed! I've actually done a guest blog for Kristina's Like A Virgin Pitch Contest about how I figured out what kind of writer I wanted to be, so you can go and check that out if you like to hear tales of writerly self-discovery.
And then, even more exciting than that:
That's right. This weekend The Night Itself climbed up to No. 55 and then No. 47 on the Waterstones Not Just For Teens bestselling list. I'm not sure what this really means in terms of sales, but Waterstones is the largest physical book retailer in the UK, and I'm fairly sure no book of mine has ever climbed that high in their rankings before. Today The Night Itself has dropped down to No. 58, and I would love it if the book could cling to that place, or perhaps climb a little higher again, so if anyone was wanting to read it, maybe hesitating a little... my completely partial advice is to run out and get it from the shops ASAP :)
Onwards! We're apart to start WEEK FOUR of InCreWriJul, so how did WEEK THREE go here in Zolah Central? Pretty well, actually! I hit my target on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - Wednesday seeing me hit the 50% mark in the manuscript's projected final length, which was awesome. All this work moved the plot forward a tremendous amount. I'm starting to hit really exciting, crucial plot events which I've been planning for years, and that's both intimidating (can it be as good as I've imagined? Can it live up to the build-up? Am I going epic enough?) and motivating (I finally get to write this part! Oooh, I can bring that cool thing in that I saved the picture of all this time! I'm really writing this at last!).
On Thursday I also hit my target, but it was a bit of a cheat. I had a huge chunk of notes that I had written for a certain scene back in 2010. Parts of those notes were inevitably completely wrong now, because of the evolution in the characters, their voices, the exact nuances of what they've been through. Surprisingly, though, some parts were just beautifully, perfectly right, and other parts, although they required tweaking, served as fantastic prompts for me. I decided to copy and paste these notes right in - which immediately put me a healthy chunk over target for the day - and then spent the rest of Thursday re-writing them to fit. This, again, made me feel a little conflicted, because I loved getting to fulfill, in part, the vision I'd had three years ago, but at the same time it meant I didn't *really* write anything new that day.
(This is bulkhockey logic, by the way. Of course the words I put on the page that day count, and because I re-wrote them extensively and added new sections, I actually wrote a lot of new stuff. I just have a weird habit of beating myself up when I don't think I've spent my day working hard enough. Don't do as Zolah does, folks! Develop healthy mental habits about writing and give yourself credit, not guilt, when you do well and meet your goals).
On Friday I was too busy/exhausted to write anything at all, even though I'd hoped to get at least a few pages down. Friday is always trickier than any other day because it's my dad's final home dialysis treatment of the week - the day when he needs the most help and looking after. In addition, we've just been trained in a new method of tube-lining the dialysis machine, which has made our lives temporarily a lot more complex (we ought to get the hang of it soon, but at the moment it's slowing us down and leading to a lot of mistakes that we have to be on the look out for, leading to stress even when nothing goes wrong, and freak-outs when something does). After finishing the treatment, and cooking and serving my dad some lunch, then sorting out his medication and cleaning the treatment area at my parents house, I crawled back home and napped in my chair for a little bit, then pottered around for a couple of hours enjoying (what I didn't know would be) the last little bits of sunny weather.
Saturday I took off as normal to deal with my own chores, grocery shopping, and miscellenious stuff. On Sunday I finished re-writing the last section of the notes I'd copied in, and then continued and finished the scene that the notes belonged to, creating what may be the most awkward confession in the history of my books, and possibly in the history of books ever (and that's all the spoilery goodness you get, kids). And on Monday I wrote a really emotional scene that made me cry a couple of times and left me feeling really wrung out - but in a good way. More of those emotional scenes to come over the next through days.
I finished my week's writing on target, with just over 44,000 words logged on the manuscript in total. This means I've broken the back of the story, and conquered the awkward beginning which is always my least favourite part of any book. It also means that all the most epic, challenging, emotional and heart-wrenching parts are coming up very shortly. Eeeep. Wish me luck, Dear Readers.
And as for all of you - how has your week been? Have your goals changed? Would you like congratulations, commiserations, or advice? Let it all out in the comments!