The Travel Hopefully Slog

Year-beginning update

Posted in The TH Slog by mand Season on Wednesday 6 January 2010

I have started Big Pink Book E for the new year.  🙂  So far, very nearly 68,000 words typed up (well into Chapter Ten) and another couple of pages legible only to myself.

Works for me:

I’m deliberately not keeping quite up to date with the typing-up. That way, when (not if) i have to have an unexpected break of a day or two or seventeen, i have a few hundred words to type and that gets me back in the swing. A page or so usually does it.

The mind focuses better when typing than just reading – a bit like revising for exams by copying out your notes. (Kinaesthetic learning.) The only way i can immerse myself equally well by only reading is if i read aloud, and in this house that’s not always an option.

Something about Big Pink Book E feels better than Big Pink Book D.

  • It’s the fifth, and i prefer odd numbers;
  • It’s potentially the last, though i do think i’ll spill into F (and i prefer consonants);
  • At the moment it’s all (er, almost all) blank and pristine and not yet dog-eared.

I know dog-eared is positive, like a cuddly toy that’s visibly well-loved, but still there is the excitement of a new exercise book.

Childish. I’ve learnt: whatever works. I wish grown-up incentives worked for me but i can’t think of one that motivates me as strongly. (If it did, not doubt i’d write political thrillers or something.) So let’s go with childish.  🙂


Quick year-end update

Posted in The TH Slog by mand Season on Tuesday 29 December 2009

One thing to say:


and another thing:


Back in harness – and out of harness cos of interruptions – and in harness again – and i can’t see the point of dragging up the details. But i will have a completed first draft by the end of February.

(And you know how good i am at telling the future.)

Vanity blogging?

Posted in The TH Slog by mand Season on Tuesday 22 September 2009

The point of documenting my Slog is not, honest, it really is not, just the public diary-keeping aspect. I’ve learnt how many such blogs are out there and they’re not the most inspiring read unless you’re already mad about the writer. The point of this is mainly to help motivate myself – which function it is fulfilling – and also for posterity, for the future time when i’m as big as Tolkein (or Doris Lessing would do) and the world will be tearing my work apart for A Level and degree essays: the (cliché alert) warts-n-all, blow-by-blow account of how even the great mmSeason once struggled and suffered for her creativity.

So in the spirit of that, i’m announcing that today i wrote 838 words, which is three pages in the Big Pink Book and a little less than most recent days, and brings the Total So Far to 57,650. The big sixty is in sight. Be happy for me.

Eight hundred and fourteen words written and typed up today

Posted in The TH Slog by mand Season on Wednesday 16 September 2009

Yesterday i caught up with myself: typed up two days’ scribbles plus a bit left over that hadn’t been typed before the summer. I’ve set myself a new target of nine hundred words a morning – nine hundred, cos that is three pages of my Big Pink Book. This week – ok, i know Monday to now isn’t statistically significant, but i’m sure of myself at the moment – i’ve stuck to it. Lower than the plan i used to have in mind but it seems to be what i can realistically do.

This brings Chapter Eight to 4,300 words and the whole thing to 56,000 if i’ve added it up right.  :0)  Chapter Three is for now a sentence reminding me what’s going to happen in that bit; and about 9,300 words are doomed to be scrapped cos i changed history for T. I like to think that cancels out – though of course it is still ten (or eleven) -ish mornings’ extra.

Told you i’d get back into the swing. It feels VERY good to know what’s happening next, and something of why that’s happening – ie what it leads to – and to have a shapeless-but-substantial idea of what happens in the end.* Can’t say i’ve been in that situation ever before, with this story. (In the past i’ve set out to Write A Novel a few times, some of them with a very clearly laid-out plan, but i’m not counting those as they have faded out. One or two are not dead and may one day be resuscitated, but they can’t be included in the evidence for How I Work because on them, i didn’t work.)

* I’m also quite looking forward to where i’m about to take T and what we’re about to encounter there.

I still feel this is ‘nearly halfway’. It’s been feeling like ‘nearly halfway’ for a hell of a lot of weeks. Bit like that middle part of a long walk when you keep thinking your destination will come into view from the top of the next hill, and at the top of that hill you revise that to probably from the top of the next hill, and ‘next’ keeps adapting its meaning. Eventually of course you do reach the pub and sit down for a well-earned and very welcome ploughman’s.

If i had a definite total word count in mind, i’d have a better idea of how far along i am. At this very moment i’m thinking that to produce a finished piece of about 100,000 words, i’ll need a first draft of about 150,000. Don’t know if the proportion i cut from a work this length will be the one-third that it usually is from short fiction. This is why the Hopeful bit’s up there with the Travel title!

Anyway. Having got this lot into OpenOffice, i got distracted researching skinks and tabards. All relevant!

Half a hundred thousand

Posted in The TH Slog by mand Season on Friday 26 June 2009

It’s stop-start, but it’s not all stop.

Three hundred and twenty-five words this morning. Paltry, it’s true.

But i know what happens next.


Words so far: 49½ thousand. So close, ouch.

And tomorrow, or perhaps the next writing session but one, i’ll be onto Chapter Eight.