I’m writing this post early because I’m trying out one of those Pomodoro apps, but I’m stuck on my manuscript and need a little time for the next scene to percolate. Sometimes different words help with that. It’s kind of like a cup that needs to be refilled. When I’m falling asleep or relaxing or whatever, I play through scenes in my head and fill up that cup. That makes it easier to get words down the following day, but when the words come easy, the cup empties quickly, and I need a bit of time to refill it again. I don’t know if it’s like that for other people, but that’s pretty much how it works for me. I’ve learned the hard way that if I give a scene time to develop while I do something else, the cup will refill quickly and my time will be spent more productively. This is an awful analogy, but you probably know what I mean.
I tried the official Pomodoro thingy back when I was working on Purity (before I forget, the Cursed boxset will be going on sale next week). It kind of helped, but I kept forgetting to start the timer, and the buzzer thingy scared the shit out of me so many times that I kept checking the app’s timer to brace myself for the sound rather than write. 🙂 I’m using an unofficial one called Pomodoro Time now, and it’s been much more useful. I can set a goal of how many sprints I want to do in a day which helps me set proper targets and figure out how much time I’m spending actually writing. I get distracted more often than anybody I’ve ever met, so every little trick helps. I could write a long blog post about all of the little tricks I use to get me back into the flow of things, but I suppose the end goal is to get to the point where I don’t need the tricks.
This week, I started a brand new story in a brand new world as a refresher because I got really bogged down with all of the novellas in Ava’s world. It doesn’t feel like work because nobody’s waiting for it, if that makes sense. It’s not just the newest shiny making life easier though. Some good news came our way, and the relief that followed made me realise how stressed out I’ve been. The fun is back in the words – until I remember I still have to actually release something at some stage, and my cover artist forgot about me again, and I don’t even have anything fully edited anyway. Aaaaand, the anxiety circle is back in action. 😛
Anyway! Actual updates. In the last week of Feb, I went on a mad one and managed to finish the first drafts of Magic Thief and Secret Self. I haven’t gone back into the old books to take notes yet (and, yes, I am absolutely procrastinating on that). In March, I
spent a lot of time in Stardew Valley got Phoenix’s story done – I’m thinking of calling it Crossroads (and ZOMG even I was surprised by the ending. 😛 ) I wrote most of yet another novella called Faery Dust (Ember says hi. Brownie points if you even remember who I’m talking about!), and started a silly story about angels and demons and death and the afterlife (and I heart it so much) that I’m going to finish writing by the end of the month.
All of these manuscripts might sound impressive until you remember that I tend to write very lean first drafts that are more like detailed outlines, and it’s not unusual for me to write a 250 word synopsis instead of an actual chapter. I probably write more words while I’m editing than I do in my first drafts these days. I’ve always been a hardcore pantser (excuse me, discovery writer), but I think outlines are pretty damn efficient and snazzy, so I’m constantly trying to figure out a way to use them. But it’s kind of merged my first drafts into these ugly outliney hybrids that I need to stop doing. I think the Ava and Chaos novels are the only ones in which the first draft ended up close to the finished story, and I didn’t bother outlining most of those, so that should probably tell me something!
The plans for April are to take part in Camp NaNo and either write some sequel action to that angel/demon/hot mess I mentioned, OR get cracking on with the new Cursed books I’m planning for release at the end of this year. The first new Evans Pack book is already written, but I’m thinking each consecutive book might be in a different POV – just to concentrate on a wider circle of characters to keep it fresh. I will have to knuckle down with some editing, too, of course.
I think that’s more than enough waffle for one day. One of my kids stayed over at a friend’s house last night for the first time, and I’m counting the hours for her to come home. It’s just unsettling having only four kids in the house. And quiet. Eerily quiet. I feel like I can’t relax properly until everybody is under the one roof. So, yeah, I need to get back to fretting. 😀