Diary of a pocket novel – the end of Act 1

Thanks to my Monday afternoon writers’ group I’m being forced to work on the pocket novel. We’re supposed to bring something new to every session, either something we’re working on or something set to a theme. As I’m working on so many different projects, I decided to use this as an excuse to crack on with The Fool.

It’s taking a while because I have to do other stuff in between, like edit client work or write my contracted biography. But another thing I’ve done recently to force myself to work on this pocket novel is join a 14-day course on building a regular writing habit.

Following today’s exercise on the 14-day course, I decided to work on the pocket novel in 25-minute bursts. The first session of today included reformatting Scrivener following the things I learnt yesterday when it had a glitch.  I wrote most of Scene 10 and then finished it in another Pomodoro sprint this afternoon.

I have two Scene 10s. One is from a male character point of view, the other is from a female character point of view. Does that mean I sneaked an extra scene in? Cheeky!

I was going to work on something else this afternoon, but I was on a roll and thought I might manage Scene 11 as well, which is the first scene of the second Act.

However … looking at my murder board, I could see that I hadn’t really done any work on the scenes in Acts 2 or 3, and there were some big gaps. So I opened my Scrivener prompts (based on Save the Cat Writes a Novel) to help guide me.  As a result, the whole of Act 2 (Parts 1 and 2) are now outlined on the murder board.

I transferred these new scenes (there’s another one from two character viewpoints) to the index cards on my Scrivener, and then sat back and admired my murder board.

Not wanting to waste too much time gloating, I did some character work as I realised that the character section of the Scrivener file was noticeably scant. I had character titles like “HERO” and “LOVE INTEREST” and “NOT DECIDED YET”, when in fact I know at least their names.

Under the character section I at least have a document with my A to Z of character names on, to ensure I don’t duplicate the same initial too many times and confuse the reader. Then I have a folder with my main characters in and another with my secondary characters in – although these secondary character titles were left over from a previous project that included things like “AUNTIE” and “DAD”.

Now, under “Main Characters” I have: Stevie Ash; Maddy the mad vicar (originally created when I was a member of Solihull Writers’ Workshop); Fal Bashir; and Terry Editor and Tina Honey Monster whose surnames haven’t been decided yet – and I may change Tina as I already have Terry, and I’m keeping him.

Under “Secondary Characters” I have: Peggy Jordan and Georgina Hewitt.

Once those were in place I decided again to start writing Scene 11. And I managed 214 words.

This means:

  • The first draft (10 scenes) of Act 1 is complete.
  • All of Act 2 is outlined – on the murder board and on Scrivener.
  • Act 2 Part 1 has been started.
  • I have character sketches at least started for seven of the characters, and they all have names now.
  • Current word-count = 7.968 (which will increase during the second draft process).

Apart from a very short power cut that threw me into a brief panic, today has been a good day.