Novels two and three are definitely coming together, which is very satisfying. I actually came up with a tentative timeline for getting three out to agents, and four to my editor (both mid-March 2022), so now it feels like I have a proper plan to make them a reality. Lots of paid work going on, too, which is going to make it much easier to take the first week of October off.
There was a long list of editing and writing work to do today, but I felt pretty wiped out after a long day with lots of driving the day before, so I decided trying to focus on detail-work might not be the best plan. I checked my schedule and saw that none of my deadlines would be affected by me pushing everything back a day, so I did! Yay for the flexibility of freelancing!
I had some ideas about Machine and Legacy the day before, so I wrote some more notes for each of them.
I also edited a new rhyming picture book for a previous client, and completed a couple of in-depth sample edits for two potential new clients with very large books.
I was going to go to the cafe today, but it was raining very heavily when I got up, so I decided to stay at home instead.
After not really doing any work at all yesterday, I got right back into it today with editing the next three chapters of the giant romance novel. I also completed developmental feedback on a YA paranormal romance outline, and continued editing the reflective journal.
As I’d basically taken the day off on Monday and didn’t get round to any of my own projects yesterday, I set out early for my favourite cafe, with a list of potential own-project tasks and the intention of knuckling down to work on only those in a proper writing session.
It was very liberating to put myself in a ‘work’ setting but not have to worry about client deadlines and projects, and just be able to focus on my own stuff for a change. On arrival, I inevitably faffed around for a while, writing in my journal, checking for new jobs to pitch for, emailing my dad, and sourcing eight different articles about how to create memorable characters (for later research on Machine), as well as drinking coffee.
Then I finally got down to it and started reworking the opening to Legacy. My editor had said the ‘in media res’ scenes that start the story, before it then goes back in time to set the scene, were annoying and unnecessary. So, I moved them wholesale to the correct place in the chronology and edited them to make them fit there properly. Then, I drafted the new opening scene, which the subconscious crew had been working hard on in the last few days.
Transitioning from the ‘making notes in different notebooks with different coloured pens’ stage to the actual drafting of new words in the manuscript is always a real struggle for me, so I felt very proud of myself that I actually managed to do it! Progress!
I moved on to Machine, naming some more characters and reading the articles about character creation I’d bookmarked earlier. I made some general notes on the subject, then brainstormed some ideas to develop the main characters for the novel. It took me down a bit of a rabbit hole, regarding the backstory for the whole novel, so I wrote a ton more notes. Then I went back to the original short story and broke it up into pieces, determining where new scenes needed to go and where it needed to be expanded.
I did, of course, do some paid work as well, since two previous clients came out of the woodwork, with short, urgent projects, so I polished them off in the afternoon.
Later, I started a new course from the Carterhaugh School, about building a robust writing habit, which led me to setting goals for when I want to have Legacy out with agents and Machine with my editor for development (mid-March 2022!).
Back to the normal schedule today.
I started with this month’s GYWO discussion post, which was about building collaborative relationships with other writers. I hadn’t realised I needed to do this today, until my calendar reminder told me!
Then it was on to the pre-prepared list, with the next section of the reflective journal to edit.
Another blog article came through from one of yesterday’s pop-up clients, so I did that next.
Back to the giant romance novel to edit a few more chapters…
Another previous client popped up with a blog article for editing, so I completed that.
Then I went back to the first-time fantasy novel, which the author had added more chapters to, and completed some of that.
I did the next section of the Carterhaugh course, which inspired me to spend some time on both Legacy and Machine, after all, even though I’d given up on getting round to them today. It was just reviewing my notes and adding some bits here and there (including quite a few additions to the character profiles for Machine), but it was good to keep them in my head, ready for real progress tomorrow.
Back to the cafe to help me focus today – with the plan of actually keeping to my technique of alternating paid editing projects with my own writing.
I started, as usual, with the giant romance novel, then went back to Legacy revisions. I went through all my notes, figured out which points were specific changes that needed to be made, then identified where in the current story they needed to be inserted. This made the whole thing suddenly feel much more organised and doable.
My fairy tale client popped up so I edited another story for him. Then I did the next exercise in my Carterhaugh course.
I finished editing the reflective journal and submitted it to the author for review, then did some more outlining for Machine. I applied the three act structure and six significant plot points to my outline and both fit almost perfectly, which felt pretty good!
I edited a couple more chapters of the giant romance novel, to keep on schedule. After that, I completed editing on the latest section of the first-time fantasy novel, and that was my lot for the day!
Very productive on both paid editing and personal project fronts!
I was going to take the whole weekend off, but the subconscious crew interrupted my lie-in with excited murmurings about both novels, so I added some words to Legacy and some notes to Machine.
I also did the next section of my Carterhaugh course.
I finished the Carterhaugh course, which was really fun overall. It didn’t offer me anything particularly new, but lots of lessons about productivity and writing that it’s always useful to have repeated.