Novella Diary, Claw, Day Two

Here is my morning routine on days that I am heading to the day-job: the alarm goes off at 7:00 AM. I check my email and social media on my phone, go through my morning ablutions, shower, and breakfast. Ordinarily I’m front of a writing computer by 8:00 AM, which gives me an hour of writing time before I have to jump in the car and drive to the State Library of Queensland where the QWC offices are housed.

I like this routine. Kicking the day off with writing – particularly if that’s not what I’m going to be doing for the majority of my day – is good for my psyche.

Today is not a day-job day, so that routine goes out the window. Its 7:46 AM when I sat down to start writing this and I am not yet out of bed. The odds of me being at the non-internet computer by 8:00 AM are pretty slim. Partially this is ’cause today isn’t actually a full-fledged non-work day – it’s a TOIL day, picked up as a result of working a lot of weekends in the last few weeks. My body-clock is all confused. I feel like I should be heading for work, and it feels sinfully luxurious to hang out in bed.

There are not many things in my life that qualify as sinfully luxurious, so I indulge them when I can.

Session 2.1 (9:00 AM – 9:23 AM)
Word count: 474

Late start. Had I not been reporting here, it probably would have been even later, as the cleaner has just arrived and my first instinct is *get the hell out of the house*. Instead I’ve locked myself in the study with Shift Silas the Laptop and Odin the Internet Free Desktop and my phone.

The first thing I did when I sat down at Odin to start work? Tried to open a web-browser.

I’m telling you, that shit is Pavlovian for me.

More dialogue. More set-up. Wrote my way into a scene beat and hit pause, ’cause I need to figure out what happens next. This is traditionally the point where I’d go get a coffee and think things through, or check email. And so we see the pattern forming: Twenty minute writing bursts.

Session 2.2 (11:25 AM – 11:53 AM)
Word count: 444

So, the things that take place between writing? Trip to the shops to pick up some dry-cleaning (my jacket came back from Conflux smelling suspiciously like a burrito); breakfast kebab (I forgot to eat); groceries; some quality time on the internet, jawing with people via facebook and twitter; checking in on some wrestling forums, ’cause I’m a big ol’ wrestling nerd; Making note of a few things I really need to get done today and tomorrow, including between-workshop notes for Year of the Author Platform at QWC and some minor edits to the Six Lies, One Truth presentation about getting published that I’m delivering at a library on Saturday.

Found myself looping back this session, messing with the older scene. Adding in a character who needs to be there, ’cause I realised something important about the books plot, and it doesn’t work unless the character is there. A lot of the stuff I’ve written prior to this now becomes part of Chapter Two.

Session 2.3 (2:11 PM – 2:50 PM)
Word Count: 660

Two hours away from the computer, where I did three things: read bits of a Cliff Hardy novel by Peter Corris (after something like thirty-odd Hardy novels, Corris is the fucking king of dropping back-story seamlessly into the narrative and I’m looking at his work to figure out how he does it); watched Kiss of Death staring Victor Mature; paced around the house while I worked out the shape of the first chapter a little more.

I managed a comparatively big burst of wordage/focus this time round, which I attribute to two things. First, I really enjoy writing scenes full of people attempting to flirt in awkward ways, and we’ve hit the point of the chapter where that happens (for certain values of awkward and flirting). Secondly, I know the end-point of the chapter now, and the major beats that will lead to it, so it’s easier to get down the framework.

In theory, I have cleared my 1,000 words/day goal for May by a couple of hundred words. In practice, I’ll be rather surprised if this comes in at 30,000 words exactly, so it’s not like this is advantageous.

Signing off now to go watch a bunch of Ben 10 episodes and do some prep work ahead of running tonight’s Mutants and Masterminds game (first game in weeks; very excited). May or may not return for another writing stint once the game is done.

Total Daily Writing Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Daily Word Count Total: 1,578

Total Manuscript Writing Time: 3 hours, 24 minutes
Total Manuscript Word Count: 2,613

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