Regime Change

The new regime for both writing and changing my waking hours is working so far, but I can’t deny that waking up at 7am and not immediately going back to sleep is demanding every little bit of self-discipline I have. What helps is the knowledge that if I go back to my old habits then I won’t be going to bed at the same time as my wife any more, and that would lead to us sinking into a cycle of never seeing each other, particularly as without the early-morning writing bit, I’d have to substitute more evening time to write. That wouldn’t be good, as now that we no longer work together, evenings together are even more important.

The actual writing is going okay, though I don’t feel like I’m totally in the zone with my new novel yet. I made a fairly big story change today, which required me to scrap a bit of what I’d already written, but that’s the kind of thing that happens when you’re in the early days, trying things out. Certainty turned out nothing like how I originally planned it (thank heavens), so I’m quite happy to wing certain aspects of the narrative for now. And speaking of the last novel, I’ve read another large chunk of Sarah’s edit and there’s a lot to tighten up in some chapters.

It was funny, actually – stuff that I thought was great had her red pen of doom all over it, while a couple of the chapters that I originally thought were a bit meh, survived with barely a scratch. It’s interesting how perspectives change. As she put it to me earlier, when you’re that close to the material it’s impossible to see some things, and she reassured me by saying that when her own stuff is looked over by an editor, it’s amazing how many howlers are pointed out that she just doesn’t notice. When it comes to her suggestions, it seems to be all about pushing the drama and getting rid of inconsistencies.

I’m in yet another learning curve here, going from that final 5% of polish to a 1% of ultra-polish, while trying to make sure that I give myself the best chance possible when it comes to Certainty’s opening few pages. Quite how implementing these changes factors into my 1,000 words a day writing target, I have no idea. During this period, when I’ll be working on editing just as much as on new stuff, I think I’ll have to make it a moral target as much as a literal target, if you’ll forgive the pun. But I’ll know when I’ve fulfilled my quota for the day.

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