Week #5 Overview

Out of the five so far, I’ve yet to have a bad week, fortunately.

I’ve had good. And I’ve had OK. No bad. Yet.

Week 5 was an OK week. In terms of word count.

In terms of what I’ve written? The best so far, I think (and hope).

I was on the tail end of my cold, which reared its mucusy head once more in its final death throes (I hope—I like to hope a lot; who doesn’t?): whilst my mornings were always productive, I was sapped by around 4 o’clock, a good two hours of writing time lost each day on Monday-Wednesday.

What stopped this week from being my first bad week was the reassurance I felt from realising that despite not feeling at my best I still managed to produce a decent amount of words per day.

Week 5 Word Total Daily Words
3 Oct 2016 37,233 1,006
4 Oct 2016 39,179 1,946
5 Oct 2016 40,867 1,688
6 Oct 2016 42,939 2,072
7 Oct 2016 42,971 32
Overall Total Week’s Total
42,971 6,744

My target for the week was 7,500 to 8,750 words (as it is for every October week). Unfortunately I didn’t reach this, but I’m confident(ish) I can make it up next week.

Monday, I spent the morning planning two characters for Chapter 4 (using my questionnaires aforementioned here; hence the lower-than-average daily word total) which continues Narrative 2, previously introduced in Chapter 2. Until I wrote Chapter 4, this was my favourite chapter. However, I happen to think that what I’ve written in 4 is possibly my best writing so far. Mainly as I am really happy with the two new voices.

Chapter 4 is split between two important conversations and two character’s perspectives of them. Having the questionnaires completed freshly beforehand was a great way to get into writing their voices. This is why I’ve decided to complete other character questionnaires before I write them. I’ll already have thought about them but it’ll be good to have an in-depth understanding of them just before they appear on the page (well, screen). Not only that, it breaks the monotony of questionnaire after questionnaire after questionnaire after questionnaire.

I mentioned the importance of a flexible plan only the other a week. Last week, I decided to introduce a new short chapter to aid a time jump and make it less jarring. (I wrote the entire chapter on Thursday, which felt great to manage within a day, especially as Chapter 4 took me three days.) This week, I decided to swap two chapters around, Chapters 6 and 8.

Both are the first chapters of new narratives. My decision to swap them was purely based on logic: a character in chapter 4 appears in chapter 6, but quite some distance away. If this happened so close together, it too might be a little jarring. I may end up swapping them back or moving them about later on. For now, they’ll stay in their new order. (Changes like these is why I decide to write the narrative as it would be read, opposed to each narrative at a time, or the chronological order (the narrative doesn’t appear in order; especially as one character suffers from amnesia and re-remembers through flashbacks), or any other approach.)

This change meant I had to sacrifice Friday as a writing day (the monumental 32 words came about from editing Thursday’s work) and focus instead on planning and research.

For this chapter I intend to play with the structure by having two simultaneous narratives (one set in the present; the other in the past) appearing side-by-side to signify the importance of the two in the character’s mind. This also means the reader can decide what order they read this chapter (the narrative on the left of the page, the narrative on the right, or flitting between the two).

As this chapter is set in a dystopian future, I had to re-read some previously made research and watch the now dated but still excellent Life After People, a documentary that explores what would happen to the Earth if humans disappeared over night. (Well worth a watch, it’s fascinating; it can be found on good ol’ YouTube.)

After spending Friday planning and having time to think about Chapter 6 over the weekend, I feel a lot more confident about starting it tomorrow, once I’ve collected my parents from the airport.

I also decided this weekend—only this morning, in fact, when walking Cass—to make further changes to Chapter 1 by deciding to reverse a main event regarding the arrival of a mysterious visitor to a secluded community. This reverse seemed logical in terms of plot, and I also think it will add tension and intrigue, whilst making things more difficult for my characters earlier on. Not only that, it ought to solve my pacing problem for that chapter as well.

It was a satisfying eureka! moment.

I’m not yet sure when I’ll rewrite Chapter 1. It could be the last chapter I write. Or, perhaps, I’ll just feel it’s ready and write it when I do. Either way, it won’t be tomorrow. That’s for Chapter 6! But I look forward to it.

I look forward to it, very, very much.

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