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!


Essjay said...

Well done on your awesome sales! Also, I hope your dad's new treatment method gets easier soon.

I managed my 7k again but I must admit that I found it hard in this heat - yesterday especially. My wip is now at just over 31k so am hoping to manage the same amount this week. No work on the handwritten - I'm blaming the heat again for this!

April C Rose said...

Ack. I tried posting, but there was a loading error. This post will be much shorter because I have an appointment I need to leave for in 10 minutes.

*I've got 50 pages left of line edits to do.

*I wrote about 2k on a new project that I didn't intend. It convinced me I needed to write it down though.

girlinthelens said...

Look at you, you writing machine! Well done on your writing and also TNI being so high up the Waterstones ranking - that's amazing, Zoe! And so well deserved!

I'm around 32,000 now on the MS which is on track for where I want to be. Writing has been a little slow recently as I got stuck on a Big Plot Issue (hate it when that happens) but then it all suddenly figured itself out and I've had a period of free sailing since then (let's see how long that lasts!) x

Rhia said...

Hmm. Not such a good week, which I blame on (a) the weather and (b) Things Out Of My Control.

The weather meant that I was completely disinclined to do much on The Big Hard Chapter at all, other than read it through and scribble a few marginalia. So last week's target - prune and polish - carries over to the coming week. The target for the end of the month is to have this sitting at about 6K.

'Not My Fault' sits firmly with the request for two, teeny tiny pieces of information I requested on the 8th of July for the article. It's not the sort of thing I can find on the internet: I've tried. I haven't had any response to my email at all. If I don't hear anything by tonight, I'll have to start asking elsewhere. Target two: have this information at my fingertips by next week, or find some way round this. My deadline is July 31st.


Phoenixgirl said...

I had a slow start to the week, partly due to coming down with a mysterious bug for a couple days, but I did get down approximately two-and-a-half notebook pages. These include an argument between some of the main characters, which originally got more or less resolved by the end of the scene; after thinking again, I rewrote the last part of the argument so it goes further downhill instead. (One of the things my first-readers, quite rightly, said about the first draft was that I shouldn't have things work out right away all the time - I'm working on it!)

Zoë Marriott said...

Well done, and thank you to EVERYONE for sharing - you guys are awesome and I'm really proud of you. Despite bugs and the weather, you all kept plugging away. Sorry to be late in replying: it's typical that after writing a post in which I talk about how well last week went, I'd immediately have a complete writing 'mare and produce no words at all. *Sigh*

Q said...

Still writing every day! A couple of days I only wrote a couple of sentences because I have three other jobs, but I can feel it becoming a habit: get writing because you have to write every day, Q!

Rebecca Lindsay said...

Zoe: Wow, you seem to really be nailing your targets!

Again, I had a disappointing week where I didn't write anything again :/
I am going to reduce my aim from 5,000-10,000 words to just 1,000 words. The first week of this event went really well, but I seem to have lost my mojo these past couple of weeks. I am really going to push to get those 1,000 words written this week!

Barker and Jones Staff said...

I'm at just over29k of my hoped for 35. Today's not going to be much good, I've a bad headache starting up, but I have time to catch up.

Zoë Marriott said...

Q, Rebecca and B&JStaff: Hang in there, guys. Give yourself a break for now (we all get headaches and have bad days, as I have personally proved!) but every day you start again and tomorrow can be good or even amazing no matter how cr*ppy today has been. *Hugs for all*

Elyndra said...

Congratulations with your book ranking, that's amazing! :)

My week has been mostly good. Compared to last week, I did manage to reach my goal most days. Only the last few days have been bad, heat makes my head as slow as a snail, so writing is out of the question. Why can't we ever have normal weather?
Still, I think that's not too bad considering.
Since I'm not sure how long the heat is going to persist, I'm going to attempt another goal this week. I might not be able to hit a certain word goal every day, so I'll write for an hour or two (depending on the temperature), by hand. I've always wanted to see if writing on paper works better for me and now seems like as good a time as any to try it out. I'm curious to find out.

Good luck with your goal and I hope your weather gets a little better (and ours a little less extreme).

Rachel Balcombe said...

Oh gosh, I barely wrote 500 words this week. What with some family stuff, and going away over the weekend, I just didn't have enough headspace to write. Fingers crossed for this next week though - it actually rained today, so things are already looking up!

Isabel said...

More progress this week than last, although I had an infection and I've been at the doctor's constantly the past few days which left less time and energy for writing. Hopefully this coming week will be my most productive, since I finally have some time off!

Suzanne Furness said...

Wow excellent news on your book ranking. Great to find some new UK writers to catch up.

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