NaNoWriMo Prep: Days 2, 3 & 4


I’ve been working through the prep days for NaNoWriMo, trying to do everything in a certain order.

Because I’ve decided on The Beast Within, much of the character work is already done, and the book is semi-outlined all the way through. So I’ve just been reading through all of that to refresh my memory, and adding anything else that’s popped into my head.


Something I really, really wanted to do was set up a series binder in Scrivener for all of the Marcie Craig stories. It’s taken a bit of work, and I’ve watched a fair few tutorial videos, but I think I’ve made it.

I’m using Night Crawler as a test, and calling it Book 1 in the binder. All the chapters for Night Crawler have gone into this Book 1 folder. I’ve had to keep the front matter and the cover in separate folders, because that’s how Scrivener works. But they’re still in the same, single Scrivener file.

The front matter includes title page (for regular submissions to publishers or agents), title page and copyright page (for self-published paperbacks), and title page, copyright page and cover (for self-published ebooks). So now I have a Front Matter folder for Books 1, 2 and 3. (Yes, there’s a Book 3 on the horizon too.)

Then I’ve created just one folder for the Series Bible, and this includes things like character notes (main characters, recurring characters, secondary characters, minor characters, book specific characters) and location notes (same as for characters).

As I go through adding the chapters for Night Crawler (I had to import the final Word document and then copy and paste each chapter into a Scrivener text file), I’m also copying things like character and location details, and pasting them into the relevant documents in the Series Bible folder.

The Series Bible means that everything I need to refer to for future works is all there, in the same binder.

When I’m ready to compile Book 1 from Scrivener to Word, for the regular submission document, I have to go in and make sure that the meta data matches the book I’m submitting (Night Crawler). This meta data will stay the same if I decide to self-publish the paperback and if I decide to self-publish the ebook.

When I’m ready to start compiling Book 2, I’ll change the meta data to The Beast Within. And when I’m ready to start compiling Book 3, I’ll change the meta data to Snowblind.

This changing the meta data each time is the only complication at this stage. The next complication will be if I decide to self-publish the first 3 books as an omnibus or bundle.  I understand that there’s a ‘Collections’ feature that others use for their book bundles, and I’ll find out more about those when the time comes.

It sounds like a right faff, and it is if you don’t have the time to learn it all. But once you know what you want to do with Scrivener, and you’ve found out how to do it all, so long as you keep practising, it’s actually a doddle. So for me, it’s a good investment of time.


My old Visual Timer pomodoro didn’t work in the end. As soon as I opened a new window, it froze, and it didn’t sound the alarm.  I found another one that works on Windows without having to go online, but it’s a bit complicated.

Therefore, for now, I’ll stick with Brain Focus on my phone and Toggl on the desktop.

The Life of Richard Cadbury

Did I say The Life of Richard Cadbury had been signed off? Well, there was a last-minute thing with the jacket but now, I’m happy to say, the presses are apparently rolling.


animal smileys


When the Coronavirus crisis began back in March, some of my clients fell by the wayside, and payment was held up with others. I carried on working, though, and I diversified into ghostwriting, and I managed to pick things up again.

We personally know people who have either died from COVID or related issues or who have tested positive. In our very small village (pop. apx. 1,500), our postie has apparently ‘been exposed’ to it, and 2 local pubs (that sell meals) have had to close down and decontaminate.

We are currently in a high-risk tier 3 local lockdown, and if I get the go-ahead for a minor operation, then the poet and I will have to self-isolate for at least 7 days.

So it is quite close for us.

Fortunately, one of my Asian clients returned this morning, with an email asking if I was ready and able to start again. Of course I have told them yes. My income octopus lost a few legs over the summer, but it may be starting to grow them back again. Slowly.


I have an editing job to finish this morning for another of my Asian clients, and I have given him our holiday schedule to the end of the year.


I have 2 days to get the next instalment of the ghostwriting gig finished. I thought I had just under 8,000 words left to write, but it seems I have just over 8,000 words to write. It’s around 4,250 words a day. I can still do that.

I’d best crack on …

Word meter as at 9am today

Ghostwriting Gig #1

30,470/63,000 words. 48% done!
(Word meters from Language is a Virus.)