Chapter 7: Week commencing Friday 11 February
The plan on Friday was to spend the morning completing the final few chapters for GW1 Book 8 before going to a funeral. However, when I found out that we had to leave the house for the funeral a lot earlier than I thought we would, I spent Thursday night finishing the main story and submitted it at 4:30am.
Plan now changed, I slept in until about 11am on Friday morning and when I got up it was a mad rush to go and collect the poet’s mother before coming most of the way back again to attend the funeral. By the time we’d paid our respects at the wake, dropped the MiL off again and got home, it was getting on for 4pm.
I still had the bonus short story to write for subscribers but I was so tired when we got back that I could have quite happily gone back to bed. I was in no state to write anything for a couple of hours, so I faffed and chilled.
This was 3,000 extra words I had to write on top of the original 20,000 words for Part 4. I’d already drafted a blurb and sent that off before writing the next 10 chapters. Now it was just that final short story. I didn’t start it until after we’d had our tea, and I worked until 10:30pm. But I did it.
I submitted the last part and almost by return the client sent the outline over for the next book, Book 9.
We had our Covid boosters booked for 11:15am on Saturday. I deliberately booked them for then so that we’d at least have a bit of a lie-in without ending up getting up far too late to do anything else.
I’d also deliberately asked for a vaccination centre with parking, but when we got there (late, due to road works and a level crossing gate coming down) we had to park on the street. As we got out of the car, it started to rain.
We weren’t too long in the centre. We did try to haggle for the Pfizer jab instead of the Moderna jab because we know a lot of people have been really ill after the Moderna jab. They told us the two vaccinations were exactly the same and gave us the Moderna jab anyway.
They didn’t make us wait for 15 minutes to ensure one of us could drive home, so we were back at the house about an hour after we’d left, which wasn’t bad. I did the meal plan for the week and wrote a shopping list, and then we went out again to do the shopping. By now the rain was banging down.
An article I submitted to Vocal on Thursday was accepted. You can find my stories, which as far as I can tell are free to read, at https://vocal.media/authors/diane-wordsworth.
Anyway, I had NO WORK to do on Saturday, so that was a bonus. But we were both extremely tired, and we didn’t know if it was two late nights on the trot or the Moderna jab starting to kick in.
I’d moved a load of work to the weekend so I could crack on with the GW1 work, but when we got up on Sunday I was still so tired that I didn’t even think about it. We popped out (in the rain) to get the dog a new bed but for the rest of the day we just chilled.
On Sunday evening, I went into my Asana on the phone and moved everything to Monday.
On Monday, a new Wordsworth Short was published.
Alexandra’s Ragtag Band is a fun story I really enjoyed writing. I started with the title and took it from there. The first magazine I submitted it to liked it, but asked if I could (a) add about 200 words, and (b) play down the drugs aspect of the story a little. Of course I did it, and the fiction editor accepted it.
This isn’t the original cover image. The story behind changing the cover image is in the Publication Challenge chapter for this week.
You can find all of my books on the BUY MY BOOKS tab on the blog, or you can go to www.books2read.com/DianeWordsworth.
I had another very late start on Monday, I think still to do with the booster jab. When I finally got up, though, I did at least feel as though I was rested. I’d not really felt that since the previous Friday (after my 4:30am finish).
I logged into my Vocal account to see if anyone had read my story, and it was a ‘top story’, netting me an instant $5. If I start to hit 2,000 views a month on Vocal, it might be worth me paying for the extra membership. At the moment, though, I’ll just keep an eye on it.
Next up, I took advantage of a discount offer and finally downloaded Plottr. I’ve been umming and ahhing over this for so long that I finally opted for the cheapest option. With the discount, it cost me £15 for a year. I’ll see how often I use it and how useful it is before my subs come up for renewal.
I really like Story Plotter, but I can’t use it on my laptop. Well, I can use it, if I download Bluestacks, but I can’t save anything. I’m still getting used to the portability of a laptop. If that’s with me most of the time, then I don’t need to do stuff on the phone.
Judging by the reviews for the phone app for Plottr, though, I won’t be paying for more than one device.
This blog post was the next job. I came in and started to write it from Friday and I added the blah-blah-blahs for the rest of the week. Then I moved over to the Publishing Challenge blog, which was published on Monday.
I pasted the Publishing Challenge words into the Publishing Challenge Word file and was disappointed to see that the additional word-count was only around the 850 mark. This post, however, was more than 1,300 words already by the end of Monday. (Target is 2,000 words per post.)
I don’t copy the blog posts into Scrivener as they’re already written. I copy them straight into Word and then edit the book as a whole when it’s all been collated, in as few sittings as possible for consistency.
One big job I should have done last week was to print off a mahoosive editing job from fave editing client. First of all I went in and changed the font, then I changed it all to single-line spacing and removed a load of superfluous double spaces.
People still put two spaces after a full stop. It’s habit, I know, but not necessary in these days of proportional spacing, and only looks horrible on documents that are both left- and right-justified.
Anyway, that was 437 pages. It would have been at least another 100 had I not gone in and changed the font size and line spacing. I also printed it using the toner saver setting.
The next thing I did was print off the new outline that GW1 client sent me so I could read it properly and give him some proper feedback, which I did. Then I went into my Asana and started to jiggle my projects around for the coming week.
It was still raining on Monday morning, but had finally stopped by Monday tea time.
On Tuesday I was supposed to be writing a short story, but I thought that it might work better as something longer. Much longer. So I decided to shelve it for now and plug the publication schedule with something else. Something quick. Something already ready…
…oh, how mistaken was I?
I brought forward Twee Tales More, which is a collection of all three Twee Tales anthologies, plus four extra stories. I thought it would be easy but… no.
All of the details are in next week’s Publication Challenge post on Monday. I didn’t want to duplicate them. Long story short, though, by the time I’d finished that, the day was over. Or the regular working day at least. So everything else got moved along a day, once again.
I did squeeze in some revisions, on the GW2 book. The last three chapters I sent had been reviewed by the author and returned to me with her comments, suggestions, additions and deletions. So I went through and accepted all of the changes in the Word files and made any corrections to the spelling and grammar.
I started the day on Wednesday with more revisions. First of all I had to take the Word files for the GW2 job and upload them to Scrivener, replacing the original chapters in Scrivener with the corrected ones.
In order to get the formatting to work, I add the existing file as a Word doc, or whatever, and it’s converted to .rtf. Then I take my already formatted Scrivener chapter and copy & paste the text from the imported file to the Scrivener text file.
Before I worked out how to do this, anything I imported, from Word or OpenOffice, looked nice enough on the screen, but when I exported it again, to print, to publish or to Word/OpenOffice file, or whatever, the text ran off the page to the right.
So I asked Google how to do it, and this fix was one of the suggestions. I don’t know if it’s still a flaw in the latest version of Scrivener 3 because I do this now on auto-pilot. If it hasn’t been fixed, then perhaps it needs to be. I think it has something to do with the coding.
Once I had the new chapters uploaded, I amended the word-count multi-project spreadsheet with a loss of 667 words. (Booo!) That’s what happens in the revision process: you can lose words as well as add them.
At this point, during my ‘break’ between jobs, I should not have gone onto the internet because (a) I ended up down *another* rabbit hole, and (b) I found myself ranting and having more hissy fits. For the sake of both my blood pressure and my time management, this really needs to stop.
Dragging myself back to work – I mean, time was moving on and there are only so many hours in a day – I went back to another lot of revisions. This time for GW1 Book 8 Part 2, as we’d decided it needed at least another scene. I added the scene, checked the proofreader’s corrections, accepted the ones I agreed with, rejected the ones I didn’t, and tied up the end of that section in line with the extra scene.
Next up were the revisions for GW1 Book 8 Part 3. I was going to have a go at adding another scene here too, but on reflection decided there was no way it would work. So I had one of the characters write a letter instead. Again, I went through the proofreader’s suggestions, finalised the instalment, and sent both revised Parts back to the client.
The storyline came in for Book 9 for this client and I’d already read it over the weekend and given my initial feedback. The client had given me the go ahead, and raised the contract, and so I sat down and split the outline into 40 chapters plus the bonus short story at the end.
My final job of the day was to transfer the outline to a Scrivener binder. However, as I’ve changed computers recently, I’d lost my templates. I do actually know where they are but I’ve wanted to give them a shake up for a while, so I took the opportunity to make a new template.
I took the Scrivener file for the book I’ve just completed and removed all of the material pertinent to just that book. I formatted the chapters with all of the font size, the line-spacing, the margins and the example text. Here’s what the example text is on each chapter, in Comic Sans because I compose really well with it:
I changed the colour coding on the chapter tabs from pink (for female VP), blue (for male VP) and yellow (neutral/multi VP) to yellow only for all of them. I wiped the character information sheets, removing any images I’d also selected, as well as pictures of specific locations or buildings, and the complete websites in the research section.
For information, this is what the same file looks like in composition mode:
All of the colours, fonts and backdrops can be customised and saved, and so can the progress widget shown in my composition mode screenshot.
I currently have the progress widget set to 2,000 words per session, but I change the top one to however many words I want to write in the current month on this particular project. (This one should be 18,000 words for the current month and 2,000 words per session/day.)
I’ve blanked out the title of the book on the progress widget as it’s confidential and I hadn’t changed it to TITLE yet for the template.
Once I’d got my blank file, I saved it as a template so I can use it again and again. I also saved it as an empty file in case I can’t access templates for any reason.
My last job of the day was to create a new Scrivener file with this template and import the outline into it (at the top, under BASIC IDEA). Then I split the screen in two, with the outline in one screen and the index cards for the entire book in the other, and I pasted over the pertinent bits to the corresponding chapter cards.
Note: I do have to take care with the formatting in Scrivener. Using the mouse pointer and clicking ‘outside’ where I’ve formatted, or hitting a cursor key too many times and also ending up ‘outside’ means I do like to keep affirming everything. So I hit Ctrl + A to select all, then ensure the font, font size and line-spacing are correct by clicking them with the mouse pointer. I think I can set it to default so it isn’t an issue, but I haven’t done that yet.
Then I closed everything down and went for my tea.
On Thursday morning, I came in and updated this blog post and I created the Publishing Challenge post for Monday. This post was getting longer and longer, so I cut a chunk out that was more relevant to the Publishing Challenge series and pasted it into that post.
Overnight, I’d come up with a plan to write a novel(la), and I thought about making a Diary of… series for that, an honest, warts and all series. Earlier in the week I’d caved and bought Plottr, so I thought I’d combine the two – work on the novel(la) while also learning how to use Plottr.
However, I already had a lot of work in for the day and I really had to concentrate on that. (Famous last words.)
I made myself a cup of tea and launched myself at that ‘little’ editing job first. As already noted (above), the editing job is quite a biggie. It’s also a bit messy going in for the first time. By the time I’d made sure I had all the relevant bits and I knew which consistencies I was going for, I managed to edit around nine pages.
Ah well. Broke the back of it.
Exhanged some emails with GW1 client and transferred the opening character notes to the character pages in Scrivener, as well as added their names and titles to the alphabetical at-a-glance list.
I had a bit of a wander around Plottr. Then I moved on to GW2 client, Chapter 22.
Today I need to write Chapter 23 and 24 for GW2 client. I also have the revisions to do for Part 4 of Book 8 for GW1 client. I have the next book to prepare and publish. And I have the editing to continue with.
During the week, the poet seems to have succumbed a little to his booster. I, however, was only a bit tired.
Have a great weekend.
Note: I’m not including links because they take forever to edit out when I’m preparing the final version of the book for publication.