I thought a good way to make myself stick to my writing deadlines would be to put them down, for everyone to see. Also, I thought it might be fun to show how long a book takes (well, how long it takes me) from conception to completion. So here are the details of a children’s book I’m writing now.
First got the idea:
Around 2009, I kept thinking about life for boys around the 11th, 12th, 13th or 14th century. It was a completely different world then, and they would have different kinds of problems, but they were stills boys, and we all know the mischief they get up to! 🙂 I knew this lad would need a mentor, someone he could trust. I chose a scribe at a monastery. I wanted to bring in something about the beautiful books they made then. I wasn’t sure if this idea would work, but I kept mulling it over. Then I went to my friend’s wedding (a beautiful affair, in a castle), and there, on the ground as I walked across the green, lay a beautiful peacock feather. Just like a quill.
I remember smiling and thinking Yes! The scribe it is.
Well, it took a few years… I finished writing and editing Treasure This. I started my medieval story about a boy who gets caught up in all sorts of political and personal intrigue. I’m about 8,000 words in at the moment, so here is my diary of how it progresses.
2014: Wrote about 8,000 words. I also started another book, about witchy stuff, and forgot all about this one, but I’ve come back to it.
July 2015: word count is: 9127.
August 2015: word count is 9992. Okay, okay. It’s been a long month… and we’re not even half way through it. Busy at work (editing), busy at play (off to Scotland for family wedding); busy, busy, busy. But a few hundred words is better than a big fat 0, right?
I’ve now decided that rather than set it completely in a monastery, I’m going to use a manor house fora lot of it. It gives my character a bit more freedom, without so many rules and regulations. Not to mention all those bells ringing for Prime, and Matins, etc…
End September 2015: Yippee. Broke the 10,000-word barrier. Word count now standing at 13,247. I have set myself a very strict deadline (won’t share that on here just yet, in case I fall flat on my face 🙂 ) so am trying to squeeze in regular writing with all my other work. Just my luck, other people want their novels edited! Ha. Feel like having a T-shirt made up: Go Away; I Want To Write My Own! Not good for business, though.
Oh dear, it’s September again, 2016… a whole year later. Well, you know, life gets in the way – and death. We had two deaths this year, both elderly but still sad: my aunt and uncle. In fact, it was my lovely Aunt Betty, who inspired the idea for Treasure This. She died in February, aged 96. And then her brother, my lovely Uncle Peter, died in August. In among all that, I have been writing. I’m now at 29, 054 words. And I thought I’d get that extra wee bit done to tip me over into 30,000, but no, life had other ideas. Too busy working to pay the bills. But I have a whole fortnight off coming up. So watch this space! I’ll SPRINT over that 30,000 mark! 🙂
May 2017. Well, I didn’t quite sprint so much as limp, but I passed the 30,000 mark and then strolled over the 40,000 mark. I’m now on the home run… hope to finish soon. Did you see that word there? Hope… This is what happens when you’re running a business (or two) and barely have time to bless yourself. One day…
September 2017. Almost there. I’ve written the ending but in note form. Around the 44,000-word mark now. Reading Into the Woods by John Yorke – a great book about the craft of writing. It’s helping me with the planned edit, which will start any day now. Honest…
September 2018: well, it’s pretty much finished, though I think it needs another edit. But life is moving on. Momentous decisions have been taken, the house has been packed up, the business has been closed, friends have been hugged and bidden hasta luego, and I am moving on. Guess where? Where I have always wanted to be. Thank you, God.
Now that I have time, watch this space…