Saturday 10th June 2017
Today was given over to writing, and yet I worked out I really only had 2 solid hours in which to get any work done.
I woke late. My sleeping patterns have still not recovered since getting back from Canada and so I find myself going to bed later and waking later. As a result, by the time I got up and got through my morning routine it was gone 11am.
Saturday’s my lay-on day so I’m not too worried, and I skip breakfast for a big brunch. It’s basically a cooked breakfast but with homemade hash browns, turkey sausages and the like. It’s incredibly tasty but it takes a while to prepare (especially the hash browns). So by the time I’d got that made and eaten it, it was closer to 1pm.
I needed to find some shopping I was unable to find yesterday so I went to Morrisons. It was good to get out and get a walk but by the time I got home it was close to 2:30pm.
I had to start food prep for my evening meal around 4:30pm as I was leaving the house at 6pm and needed to get ready before and so, I ended up with just 2 hours of writing.
I did manage to make headway on the ball scene. In retrospect, I think my fear was that the way I was heading meant I needed to kill a key piece of humour from the scene. I was ruthless today, taking that part out, but after careful consideration I found a place to put it back in that I think works… because I think that moment of humour is needed.
I did some other major changes but the thing I need to do now is consolidate 3 chapters into 1. I tried to make some notes about the key things that need to happen in each chapter so I can make sure I get all the relevant pieces in, but I need to think about it.
So I started on the line edits. As I reminded myself, I do not have to work linearly at this stage. Plus, doing the line edits should help reaffirm the novel in my mind and may turn up things I have to remember to retain from these three chapters.
Those two hours were incredibly productive, so I didn’t start on evening food prep feeling too bad… although if I’d had all day then I could have done a lot more. Still, as I also remind myself, I think I’m ahead of schedule.
Part of what’s helped me is that I’ve got a long list of ambitious books I want to write and given how much I’ve edited, if each one takes as long, I’ll never get them all done. Of course, part of this is false economy. There’s been a lot of growth these last few years that will help me massively going forward, but given how much even book 2 needs rewriting, there’s a false feeling that I’m being slow. I just wish I could get books done and dusted in a couple of months.
I suspect that some of this comes from working on this book for a long time. Friends are constantly asking me why it isn’t out yet (I tell them perfection takes time). I’m far from fed up with this novel yet (although I suspect that time will come as it does with most authors and traditionally published books) but there is part of me that wishes I was on the publishing conveyer belt. I know I will look back at these times with fondness once I am.
It’s probably just as well then that I took a break this evening and went to see my friend Christophe for a board games night.
We played two games I’ve never played before. The first was called Scythe. I remember this from when it was on Kickstarter. I tend to like dungeon crawlers and so passed on this (there’s only so many games you can back – although if you looked at my collection you’d doubt that statement).
Scythe plays a bit like risk meets the videogame civilisation. You basically occupy squares, gain produce which you can exchange for Mechs or buildings or upgrades, while trying to complete objectives.
I made some mistakes playing this game. I started out trying to build my armies trying to get to the centre square so I could get a bonus. I did that at the expense of expanding my population or getting various upgrades, and so I ended up playing very differently in the second half. I’d wasted a lot of money on my military conquest and so I then needed to build money to grow my population to get the right resources to unlock buildings and upgrades.
I messed up pretty bad as a result, and so I lost quite spectacularly. I really enjoyed the game though and it was a lot of fun, especially for a type of game I don’t normally like. It’s also got a surprising amount of depth as well.
I brought the second game we played tonight: Arcadia Quest: Inferno. This was a Kickstarter I bought some time ago. In it you control a guild of three characters and then move around the map completing objectives whilst trying to hamper the other guilds. I thought Christophe would like this as he’s pretty good at dicking people over in competitive games.
It was the first time playing it for both of us and as a result we were a bit slow to start, but once we got the hang of it, gameplay was quite fast.
The models are fantastic and there are a huge number of heroes to build your guild from. We also got better at screwing each other over as we got more comfortable with the game. Christophe had been slightly uninterested in playing it beforehand, but he came away saying he really loved it. I agreed. I reckon with four guilds the game would be really frenetic.
I’d said that I wanted to finish by 11pm as it’s a long drive home, but we ended up finishing about 1am. No matter how hard we try, we never finish on time.
Luckily, swordfighting is later tomorrow so I shouldn’t be too tired. But that does mean by the time I get home, I’ll probably have a similar amount of time to work on the edits.
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