Good morning, my lovelies! Welcome to Tuesday. How are you all feeling? Good weekend? Good week for writing? Before I start journeling my first week of InCreWriJul, a few bits of other bizniz.
News about The Night Itself! BLISS Magazine (which I remember fondly from many years ago when I was a mere kiddliwink) chose TNI to be number one on their Summer Reading Chart in their August edition:
Dubray Books, a marvellous independent bookshop in Ireland, chose TNI as their Teen Choice Book of the Month:
Amanda Craig of The Times gave TNI a mention in the Times Summer Reading Guide (13+ section). This is what she said:
"Next month the fantasy writer Zoe Marriott explodes back on to the scene in THE NIGHT ITSELF, a manga-inspired romance about a half-Japanese girl in London whose grandfather's antique sword turns out to have supernatural powers."Yay! (although Mio is actually British-born-Japanese, not half Japanese). And today the lovely Megan from the U.S. emailed me with a pic of her copy of TNI nestling on her shelf after it arrived yesterday:
Thank you, Megan! All wonderful stuff. And if anyone wants to make my day even better, I'd absolutely love to see a few more Amazon reviews for The Night Itself go online; there are five lovely ones up there now, which is brilliant, but reviews like company and I think they may be just a leeeetle lonely :)
So! Let's talk about Week One of InCreWriJul!
Well, I started out on Monday last month with about 12k in on The Name of the Blade: Book #3, as you know, and my goal was to do at least one 1.5 hour long-hand writing sprint per day, write up those notes and revise them as I went, and end up with about 10k of new words at the end of the week. Did it work?
It did and it didn't. Tuesday and Wednesday went absolutely to plan - about twelve pages of handwritten notes each day, which translated into two thousand words when typed up, making a total of 4k for both days. But on Thursday I woke up with a thundering headache which threatened to turn into a migraine despite all my best efforts. I wrote about half a page and then just had to give up - I could barely focus on the page - which was very frustrating because that was The Night Itself's official publication date and I really wanted to be working on the last book in the trilogy!
The next day the headache was still with me, but slightly better, so I decided to get stuck back in and hopefully make up for the wasted day. At which point I screeched to a halt, completely nonplussed. I realised I had no idea what to write next.
It was time to start work on a particular part of book #3 - a part I've been looking forward to for ages. I've had this amazing idea in my head since almost the beginning of planning these books out, where I wanted to send my characters on a sort of mini-quest and have them explore a wondrous and dangerous new environment like nothing we've seen in the books before. I've been collecting inspiring Pinterest images for it for three years, and frankly I couldn't wait to get started.
But because of how long I've been looking forward to it, and because of all the images I've collected, and because I wanted to absolutely stuff this section with cool stuff, I realised it wasn't good enough just to plough in and hope for the best. I needed to pull back, go through all the research I'd done and all the photographs I had and make a plan for how to fit everything that I wanted into this part of the book WITHOUT it becoming a rambling, pointless travelogue. My characters and plot still needed to be moving forward, after all.
Curses! That meant another day in which I couldn't do my writing sprint. Instead I spent the whole day covering Post-Its with scribbles and making bullet-pointed lists and clicking through my Pinterest boards. By the end of the day my headache was raging again and I felt very sick, but I did have something like a workable plan.
The next day was Saturday, my official day off (and the headache was finally mostly gone). But now I had two wasted writing days to make up for, so I chucked the idea of a day off in the bin and did my long-hand writing sprint; I just didn't type the notes up immediately afterwards. Then on Sunday I needed to do a bunch of things that I hadn't had time to do in Saturday, so I did my writing sprint, but again didn't type up the notes.
Monday rolled around. I did my writing sprint (in a rapidly filling notebook) and then it was time to type up my notes. I did a quick count and once again screeched to a halt. I had over thirty handwritten pages to revise, re-write and neatly type up. THIRTY. Eeep.
Well, I did my best, but after typing my little heart out for most of Monday I got to dinnertime and realised I still had eighteen pages to go. So I gave up for the day and watched The White Queen.
The wordcount for my manuscript is now 23.5k in total. That's 500 words less than I need to be on target - remember, I wanted to do 10k a week, and I started out with 12k. But I do have those eighteen pages of notes to type up, after which I'm confident I'll probably be a few thousand words OVER target, so I'm not beating myself up about it.
As first InCreWriMa weeks go, this one was pretty good (apart from the headaches - no more of those, please). What about you guys? Did you hit your target, blow past it, miss it completely? Tell us what happened and why in the comments. And remember, those who comment on every single check-in post will be entered in a prize draw at the end of this month, so don't be shy!