Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Writer's Journal

A posts looking at what I actually do all day (writing wise). 

Early Morning Writing. 

This morning for some reason, I woke at 5 a.m. Instead of going back to sleep, I got up and started writing. The house was so quiet. I got three hours of writing done before the school run. Marvelous. Also I don't feel that tired, either. While I'm not going to be getting up at that time everyday, I thought I might experiment with squeezing in extra writing time in the morning. 

10% Solution for editing. 

Morning Writing: I worked on short story that needed a final editing before submission. A detail needed adding, thanks to writer KC Ball, who answered my question on Facebook and told me about the left-hand solution when solving a maze. I removed 500 words to bring the story in at 3500 words. A good work for cutting is the Keith Rand's 10% solution. 

Research and the Writer. 

Day Writing: I worked on a new short story for 4.5 hours. This is for an new anthology 'School Kids and Sorcery' 

I have an unusual writing process, I think. For each story i download a lot of research, and that informs my story. I had an initial idea that I'd like to set the story in Romania. I'm English and a school set in England would have been a natural choice, but I'm guessing that the editor will get a lot of stories set in England and also in the USA. I downloaded 80K from Wiki on Romania, Romanian Folk Lore. I read through it. Quickly an idea came to me, using not vampires but another traditional Romanian creature. I wrote 500 words. This led me to another idea about including a reference to the Romanian Holocaust, more downloading occurred. I have the plot of he story and  a remaining 35K of research to read. (but some of it can be skim read). 

Writing Admin in the Evening

In the evening, I like to answer e-mails and do my admin and make short story submissions.  I spent about an hour reading a contract, writing a character bio and answering messages. I try to respond to editors requests within a few days. Then half an hour writing this blog post. 

So total words count for the day are  minus 500 words plus 500 words = 0. That's a lot of writing and research for 0 words. 

Onwards! What's your writing day like?


  1. I wish I had more time to write, but I probably shouldn't complain, as I get a good chunk in the day, and even more if I wake early, which is sometimes as early as 4am. But I never have any evening time to write, and I've always wondered what kind of writing I would do in the evenings, if it would be different than my day writing.
    Sounds like you have a pretty good system. Best of luck with your new stories.

    1. I like this early morning thing. But it's horses for courses. Some writer's write late into the night.But I use that time to catch up.

      Although . . . I have thought about a third pen name: Caleb Alftreton. He would be my snatched evening time.

  2. My writing day is certainly not as productive and efficient as yours. You have shamed me to add a few hours to my writing by rising earlier; no appointments, no commitments, no phone calls, no requests on your time.

  3. Well rising early is fab. There's such a sense of achievement in having done all your work before you have to take your daughter to school. But it's a slippery slope. There's always so much more one could be doing. All of us have different calls one our time.

    But for me, I think I'm going to set that alarm clock just an hour earlier!

  4. Trying not to be jealous here! I write for about an hour most days - and not always that. Ah well...

    By the way, didn't they work out how to defeat the left hand (or right hand) rule for mazes centuries ago? You just build a maze with a central island not connected to the outer edges. Then you can never reach the middle. Or escape if you're in the middle. The LH/RH rule will get always get you back where you started but might not "solve" the maze. Er, I think?

    1. Wow. You're super productive in one hour a day Simon.

      The maze thing, ta. Yes, that's what KC told me. I misspoke, I only needed my character to check out all the tunnels, so it worked okay. And also quite handy next time I do one of those maize mazes.