Diary of a freelance writer, 28 October 2015

screenshotDid you miss the diary last week? Have you been keeping busy? Did you try out some writing software? I had a long weekend, which shortened my working weeks, so I had a break from the diary as there wasn’t much to report. Catching up now, though.

Wednesday 14 October
Two weeks ago today was a very busy day. I did quite a lot of NaNo prep work. I created my binder in Scrivener and originally set it out in 3 acts. I broke it down into chapters, and then into scenes. I also worked on the plot summary and I wrote 877 words on another project. I didn’t do any editing work.

Thursday 15 October
As I was finding my way around Scrivener, and the new novel binder, I continued to have fun with it the following day. I started to fill in some gaps and rearranged some scenes. I also wrote 407 words on another project. I didn’t do any editing work.

Friday 16 October – Monday 19 October
This was a lovely long weekend for us with just the one gig, but we did work in the house rather than go out on any sightseeing or research trips. We visited my parents in Birmingham, and we ended up having to make several trips to the garage after the poet’s car caught fire.

Tuesday 20 November
Back to the desk, and more catch-up work. I wrote 2,274 words on just one project but didn’t do any NaNo prep or editing work.

Last Wednesday was a bit busy as we had to take the cat to the vet, she had an emergency operation, and we had to collect her again at the end of the day. I didn’t do any writing or editing work, but we did go to our pro-bono work meeting in Doncaster, although we were a bit late due to having to collect the cat from the vet.

To help pay for some of the things that went wrong this week, I started to pitch for a few extra editing jobs.

Thursday was mostly pro-bono work, setting up the Facebook page and a blog. I asked for photographs to populate the FB page at least, and they started to come in almost immediately. This is for a series of fundraising events that are happening next year in memory of one of Monkey Dust’s friends and followers who sadly died earlier this year. I didn’t do any writing or editing work.

The cat was back at the vet Friday morning, so that cut my day up a little. I still managed to write 544 words on one project, though, and 354 words on the NaNo project. I also did more tidy-up work for the pro-bono gig. And I won one of the extra jobs I pitched for.

Just a regular weekend this time, but with another gig on Saturday night. We didn’t manage any sightseeing or research trips.

On Monday I did a little writing work. I didn’t do any editing, but I did save the new job that came in so that I have the file in a safe place and can start on it as soon as I finish the one I should be working on right now.

They came to collect the poet’s hire car today, so he’s in my car this week. I had to rearrange some appointments to suit.

Yesterday I was back on Scrivener and more NaNo prep, and I rearranged the whole book in what I hope will be the working structure throughout NaNoWriMo next month. The picture you can see above is how it looks today.

The title is at the top. (“Mardi Gras”.) The “binder” is to the left. This can be switched out if necessary, but at the moment you can see how I’ve changed the 3 acts into 3 parts and how the plan is to write at least one chapter a day at 1,667 words, each chapter a separate scene. The 3 piles of “index cards” have writing on all of Part One chapters, 4 of Part Two chapters, and 2 of Part Three chapters. This is my working outline, which I’ll use as a guide. As more ideas occur to me, or as I iron out a problem, the empty index cards will be filled in and the information transferred to the writing screen for each chapter, to remind me. The inspection panel to the right is empty in this view, but filled in each of the chapters. This can also be switched on or off.

I’ve set up a project tracker, also in Scrivener, to record how many words I write per session, what the overall word-count target is (50,000), and what the target daily word-count is (1,667). There’s also a progress screen, like a gantt chart. I’ll share a screenshot of that once it’s been populated with something.

I wrote 694 words on the NaNo project yesterday.

I finally got going on some editing work, and last night the cat was discharged from the vet. (Hurrah!) Now all we need is the poet’s car to be discharged from the garage …

With NaNoWriMo only a few days away (i.e. on Sunday), that’s the only homework I’m recommending at the moment. Prep work this week, actual work for the next following 4 weeks.

Let us know how you’re getting along. And good luck! 🙂


3 thoughts on “Diary of a freelance writer, 28 October 2015

  1. Scrutinising the scrivener with interest! I’m having to not only re-write the ms but now completely re-order the chapters, deleting some, merging others. It’s a bit disheartening even though I know its for the best in the long wrong. The thought of doing it is making me procrastinate about sitting at the laptop! However as a complete change I entered a flash fiction comp this morning. Sat down wrote 325 words (max 350) pleased with the result and sent it off. I don’t expect to hear anything but it was an enjoyable and relaxing writing exercise to do. 🙂 Hope the rest of the week goes well for you.


    1. If you write it a chapter at a time (or copy and paste what you already have a chapter at a time), you can rearrange them and move them where you like. And if you write in scenes within a chapter, or sections, then you can move those around too. The Windows version doesn’t do as much as the Mac version yet, but it’s certainly helpful. I re-sized the index cards to suit too, and you can put colour-coded labels on them, or change the watermark to things like “1st draft” or “complete”. It’s really very good.

      Good luck with the flash fiction. 🙂


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