October Happenings

I thought it was still September, but apparently it’s November. At least, that’s what my calendar is insisting. Oh well, despite the missing month, a lot has been happening around here.

As I announced in a recent blog post, (I say recent, even though I just checked the post date and it was written in September. The case for October actually existing isn’t going well…) we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have some hard working interns join our forces here at Mark IV. Since that post, we’ve also been joined by another intern, Kate Lulham. It’s been really exciting to see some of the work they’ve all been producing. Watching Colourless coming to life has been surreal.

I’ve been hard at work on a rewrite for Sentinel Code. Thus far, the new version has been receiving favourable critiques from my crit partners, which confirms for me that the rewrite was a smart idea. It’s always good to know I haven’t broken a story… yet.

October was a big month of revelations regarding my writing process. The first discovery came early in the month, when I realised that for the sake of my sanity, I needed a very detailed outline to write from. If I have to spend time nutting out difficult plot points while I’m writing a first draft, then I struggle with motivation because it doesn’t feel like I’m moving forwards. So I had to take some time out at the start of October to flesh out the outline, which grew from a few thousand words to around 10,000 words.

The second big discovery was in relation to how I manage my daily writing targets. Initially, I was trying to write with a focus on writing 2,000 words a day, which—if things were flowing—would take two hours. What I discovered was when I have a difficult spell and the words are slow-coming, it takes exponentially longer to write the 2,000 words, and that’s a bad thing when you also have to run a business.

So in order to remedy that, the last week of October I set a new goal with the focus switched. I decided I would spend two hours a day writing Sentinel Code; once I hit the two hour mark, it’s time to move on to other tasks. Since that change, I’ve actually averaged 2,000 words a day. It’s certainly been liberating to hit the two hour mark and feel guilt-free to move on other things. It means I’ve been able to start planning some exciting new projects that I can’t wait to unveil to you all!

But before serious work begins on those projects, I have another 12,000 - 17,000 words to write for Sentinel Code, which I estimate should take me another two weeks, all going well.

I’d also like to take the time to introduce you to Aoife, the heroine in Colourless. Aoife is a sweet young lady who loves to sing and spend time with her father, tending sheep.


Have a great November!