I’ve been balancing finishing up what is officially known as Book #1. Over the last few weeks, I finally started to figure out how to balance my time better I could complete it.
Monday: I worked on Book #1. That was in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening.
Tuesday: It was Book #1 in the morning and at lunch. In the evening, I launched on another historical private eye mystery. I wrote most of the first scene. Didn’t actually have an idea in the traditional sense. Character wakes up in an alley next to a body. The cops are coming. That was the idea.
Not a clue where it was going.
Wednesday: More morning and lunch work on Book #1.
Finished the first scene of Story #19, got into the second scene.
Thursday: Rinse and repeat on Book #1.
I had a writing meeting that evening, so no work on Story #19. But that was expected. I planned to plow through the rest of the story on Friday evening and get it done.
Friday: Early morning work on Book #1. I was lazy at lunch time and watched TV instead. I’m teleworking at home. By the afternoon, a problem showed up. The neighbor upstairs had their stereo up too loud. All I got for hours was the base…boom…boom…boom. It kept pulling me out of work.
If you’re wondering why I didn’t ask them to turn it down, well, it’s not something I do. After my time in the Army, I find that people get really offended when you ask them to turn the music down and then don’t do it anyway.
At the end of the work day, I fled to a restaurant, figuring things would quiet down by the time I got back.
Nope. It was boom, boom, boom, until 9:00. I tried writing, even with my noise cancelling headsets. The problem was that I could feel the base coming up from the floor. It just yanked at my attention and yanked at my attention.
Saturday: I dove in and did three hours on the story, got the second scene done, was onto the third scene. I still at that point had no idea what I was doing with the mystery.
Inner critic was starting to panic. Was this story going to get done?
Muse was also a little worried because something was wrong with the story. It finally hit me. The third scene had taken me into a rabbit hole where the protagonist wasn’t protaging. I went back into the story and added a note in all caps that I needed to back up a scene and dump scene 3.
Noon I broke from Dave Farland’s 318R course. One hour on brainstorming. One section had me thinking about how I could make things a little more personal for the character.
Sunday: This is the day I have to turn in the story to make the schedule. Inner critic gets me to the chair early–it likes managing the schedule!
I resaved the file, then removed the problem scene. Then I revisited the first scene, added a few things to bring in the character’s PTSD from World War II. Onward to Scene 2. I expanded that. Then I started in on Scene 3.
I still hadn’t finished by lunch time. I was still scratching around trying to figure out what the reason for the murder was. At least no music. Off to eat.
Settled back in, reminding myself that the story needed to be done. It didn’t have to be good. Finally, as I reached the climax, I had the motive, and wrapped up the story. Whew!
Muse is happy. Inner critic is fussing. It’ll deal with it.
The story is called “Lost Night,” weighing in at 4,000 words.
For next week’s story, I’m doing something different for the idea. It’s the assignment from the brainstorming class. I was supposed to use a picture book, but that’s not happening with the library pretty much closed. So I assembled a handful of photos on Pintrest. Let’s see what I come up with!
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