Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Smashing The Deadlines

When I got up (it’s my day for a lie in) the house was empty as Gail had taken Laura food shopping. So I fired up the coffee machine with some Blue Mountain and made a bacon sarny. As I sat reading the news, little did I know the drama that was soon to unfold.

I tidied up before G and L got home and packed away all the messages they brough back with them. I got changed into my pentin’ breeks (painting clothes) so I could paint the kitchen ceiling. The kitchen is nearly finished now; all the units are up, everything plumbed and electrified that should be, the tiling is done and all that is left now is to put the handles on the doors and paint the walls and roof. Only problem was there was no paint brushes, so we decided on a short trip to B&Q.

I first saw the woman looking at me from the driving seat of her car as I jumped into the passenger seat of ours. Gail and I had a short discussion about the keys to the house before we buckled up and then reversed out into the street. A horn was the first I heard, then Gail scream, and then a crumple - our car coming to a shuddering stop. We had reversed into the side of another car which had stopped in the middle of the cul-de-sac.

It felt worse than it was, a small scratch or two to both cars the only damage sustained. Gail was a bit shaken and the occupants of the other car were okay. Laura was the worst off – she was taking a drink from her bottle of juice when the bump happened and it cut her gum. She got a bit of a fright by what happened and when I looked in she was doing her best to hold back the tears. I jumped into the back seat with her while Gail got the insurance papers and she burst out crying. All was well in the end though; we shall just have to wait until the bill comes in.

With the brushes bought I got home and painted the first coat of paint onto the roof. I’m no Van Gogh but I did my best.

With my chores all done I spent the rest of the afternoon revising Issues 18 through to 20 of HJ. It’s going well and I had a brainwave for Issue 21 which I had partially written so I changed it entirely. It now brings in a major twist and unexpected moment of drama to the story, which is something else I will have to keep track of – but that’s fine - the more the merrier. If it starts to get clogged up I will take heed, but as it stands, it really does add to the story.

I am now way ahead of my schedule with Hunting Jack. The deadline for Issue 18 is October 26th and I wanted to be at Issue 25 by then so it looks like this is going to be achievable. With Issue 21 taking the twist it has, the next several issues will probably be written as one huge block. In terms of days, the story has been running since the Sunday evening and Jackie is now at Friday morning. The next three days of his life are mapped out and I have some exciting writing ahead.

I was also looking at the overall word count. I have written 22,000 words of HJ over 20 issues, which is an average of 1100 words per issue. Having signed a 9 month contract, and with 9 issues a month I need to write a minimum of 81 issues so I am a quarter of the way there. Also, I am 10 weeks ahead of my first subscribers so have built up plenty of leeway should anything go wrong.

One thing I am wary of is not writing on any other projects. I was kind of expecting to have gotten bored with HJ having written it continually now since August. I thoght I may have had to vary my writing to keep it fresh. But the truth is I am so excited by this story, that every day I am thinking about it, writing about it, taking notes and dreaming of the future with it. It has consumed me more than any other piece I have ever worked on, and the beauty is, I have learned so much already room this serialisation process. I knew it was something I wanted to do and while it was extremely daunting at first (can I do it? do I have it in me? etc.) it has proved to be invaluable. I am lucky as well to have so many fantastic authors in my writing forum that I can bounce off and ask for advice, and who encourage and support me. As a writer at my stage of development, I don’t think I could have expected any better than this.

In the evening Gail and I settled down with an Indian meal and watched a movie. We are working our way through the Alien films and we watched the second one: Aliens. She has never seen these films and she loves a good scar movie, so it was a joy to see her Pakora fly into the air when the scary monster jumped out and frightened the beejeezus out her.
Colin 11:04 pm


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