Today’s word count: 5,640
Total word count so far: 12,863
I had a productive morning (YES, a MORNING… Trying to start getting up even if I’m in pain/ haven’t had enough sleep, by bribing myself with the promise of a cup of tea and a mid-afternoon nap). I tweaked some more of the existing chapters and completely revamped my structure. I’m delighted I invested in the writing tool Scrivener, which I did on a whim because it was half-price. I have long since accepted that my brain is an Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders, which is excellent in that you know there are bound to be some gems in there if you rummage long enough. The downside of this, however, is that the place hasn’t had a proper good tidy in about twenty years, which means that sorting out thoughts and ideas can be a rather long-winded affair. I’ll never forget my first week at sixth form, when I was planning a history essay; my teacher looked down at the paper and screwed up his face. ‘What is that?!’ he exclaimed. I explained it was my essay plan. He looked at the multi-coloured spider diagram, then back at me, then shook his head and exhaled. ‘Wow,’ he sighed. ‘I’d hate to be in your head.’
What he didn’t know I needed, and what I didn’t know I needed, was Scrivener (#notspon)! (To be fair, he also told me to stop writing my essays like stories, but he was trying to get me through my A levels, not encourage my natural talents to blossom and thereby facilitate my existential flourishing; it’s not his fault). One of the best features about this tool is that you can use the ‘Corkboard’ facility which turns all your chapter folders and notes into a series of index cards, which you can label and shuffle around to your heart’s content. Being a very visual planner, this has proved invaluable thus far in helping me get a sense of how to space things out and picture the narrative arc. I’ve not made life easy for myself, as the story, through it has a clear arc, is non-linear in style, i.e. it keeps jumping forwards and backwards in time, so by the end it should hopefully all fit together like a charity shop jigsaw. That’s the aim, anyway. I’ve done some old-fashioned pen-and-paper drawing too, but to have all my thoughts collected on the same programme that I am using to write the first draft is proving extremely helpful, if only from a mindset-clearing point of view.
There’ll be no writing/blogging now for the next day or so as I am heading to London to perform in a comedy gig. Wishing you all the best for your writing and looking forward to catching up with you at the weekend!