Thursday 18 January 2018

Writing The Wedding that Changed Everything: Week Six

I kept a little diary while writing my eighth book, The Wedding That Changed Everything, which I'll be sharing on the blog during the run up to publication.

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Somehow, the first week of the school summer holidays has whizzed past. I knew squeezing writing time in wouldn't be easy, but I've also been hit with The Slump.

The Slump always happens to me at some point during the first draft. It's usually around 20-30,000 words, but has occurred as soon as 10,000 words, so I'm lucky to get this far before it hit me! When I'm in The Slump, getting the words out is tough. I know what needs to happen (I even have each scene planned out this time round) but transferring that onto the screen seems impossible, no matter how long I sit at my desk. And when time is limited due to school holidays, it seems the book is never going to get written.

I didn't even recognise it as The Slump to begin with. I thought I was still caught up in Paperback Excitement, but then it hit me. Of course! The Slump! In a way, I felt better about the lack of productivity. There was a reason for it. It has a label (even if I gave it that label myself). It has happened with every book I've written - and I somehow pushed past it.

Pushing past The Slump isn't easy, but it has to be done. I decided that, instead of wasting time at my desk (and I really don't have time to waste over the next few weeks) I would limit myself to 15 minutes each time.

Yep, 15 measly minutes. It doesn't sound a lot, does it? And that's the point. If I'm going to sit miserably at my desk, 15 minutes doesn't seem so daunting. After 15 minutes, I can get up and do something else. Something non-writerly. Something that doesn't involve The Fairytale Effect [the working title of The Wedding that Changed Everything]. The pressure was off.

So, I set myself a 15 minute timer and off I went. And do you know what? I wrote during all of those 15 minutes. I didn't have time to faff about on Twitter or Facebook or check that the paperback option was still on The Little Bed & Breakfast by the Sea's Amazon page (yep, I do this. I don't think I'll believe it's true until I hold a copy in my hands). I didn't have time to look things up on Google. I had fifteen minutes.

During the first 15 minute burst, I wrote 394 words. Not a lot, right? But add on five more 15 minute bursts over the course of the afternoon and guess what? I wrote a total of 2,241 words. Result!

I've kept up these 15 minute bursts throughout the week and although I haven't always managed to write 2,000+ words, I did accumulate 11,271 words for the week, which is above my 10,000 words/week target. I'm still 8,000 words below my target for Week 6, but I'm getting there!

Week of the Summer Hols

Books I'm Reading This Week

Word Count

Love happens when you least expect it…

Emily Atkinson stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago! She’s fed up of dating frogs in order to track down her very own Prince Charming, despite the best efforts of her matchmaking best friend…

But now she’s been invited to the wedding of the year at the enchanting Durban Castle, and perhaps bumping into a knight in shining armour isn’t as far away as she thought!

Will Emily survive the wedding and walk away an unscathed singleton – or finally find her own happily-ever-after?

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