A new target

Photo of street map of York

I’ve taken a couple of months away from contracting to work on the sequel to Fallen Warriors and ready another book for publication. I ended up needing almost all of the first month to ready that book and was finally able to send it to the printers at the weekend and am now focusing back on Fallen Warriors.

I like big targets for my writing. Huge, seemingly impossible goals that are quite at odds with how I tackle other projects. I had in mind that I would write 5,000 words a day and produce a 100,000 word draft by the end of May, then perhaps even go on to write the first draft of the final book of the trilogy in June.

I started actually writing today and managed 1,000 words.

Considering that I’m trying to switch my gears from editing mode to creative mode, that might not be too bad. In the last month of “editing” Fallen Warriors, I actually first draft wrote most of the final chapters. They were then edited, they were proof read, but the story just flowed out as ten years of subconscious thought made itself known. That was while I was working full time.

Over four weeks I virtually wrote 2,000 words a day in three hours or less. It should be possible to write 5,000 words a day when I’m working full time at it.

In theory.

5,000 words a day seems like a goal worth pursuing. The first draft of any book doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to get the story out and since with each of my books there has been a process of rewriting and editing, I know I can and will improve on the first draft. Also, I have always needed to delete scenes and chapters. So why waste time carefully writing scenes that may eventually have to be cut?

I already know I’m not going to have all of June available, other commitments have taken priority. It might take me a week or two to get up to speed, but that’s okay. My main goal is to tell a gripping and enjoyable story. If I can do that faster, fantastic.

If it takes a bit longer, that’s also okay. I’ll be posting daily updates from Thursday onwards. Tomorrow is a different kind of day, but more about that later…

Instagram

View from Cliffords Tower in York looking towards the Minster

I signed up to Instagram months ago on the recommendation of fellow writers. Followed a few people, but just didn’t get it. I’ve struggled to know how to use Facebook and Twitter, and Instagram seemed like just another social media platform that I didn’t have time to use. Until a couple of weeks ago…

Turns out I quite enjoy using Instagram and maybe I do “get it”. At least, I get how I can use it.

I drove down to York (taking our electric car which may inspire another post shortly) for the weekend to do some research for the sequel to Fallen Warriors. I wanted to walk through the city, remind myself of how it feels to be there, and scout out locations to use in the next book.

As you’d expect I took a bunch of photos, and thought I might share some of them on Instagram as the weekend progressed. I added some short descriptions, not really understanding the potential the descriptions gave, until I posted this one of Monk Bar: https://www.instagram.com/p/BxkwnuUBiF_/

I hashtagged it #FallenWarriors, wondering if hashtags work the same way as on Twitter. Turns out they do! And of course, descriptions are searchable…

I’ve tried posting photos on Twitter and on Facebook, but neither platform really seems to fit for what I’m trying to convey. Instagram does. I want to be able to post a photo that intrigues me, a scene that has captured my attention, and share a short sentence about that photo. I also want to drop clues about my books, things that only readers will understand. Add cryptic notes as hints towards what I’m planning to write. Maybe even lead people up a blind alley, after all, it’s all about the journey, right?

And there is no pressure. I can post one photo a day, or not, and regardless, everything I’ve posted will be there for people to stumble across. Unlike Twitter which feels every time I use it like I’m trying to drink from a fire hose!

So, if you’d like to see what I’m up to on Instagram, you can find me here: http://www.instagram.com/my100goals/

I intend to post at least one photo each weekday for the next month and then review. Look forward to connecting with you on Instagram!