Tuesday 9th March 2021

So I had a call with my agent today.  We did it over Skype and I don’t know whether it was some lag in the software or the fact that I haven’t really been able to chat with people about writing since the pandemic and just word-vomited, but I felt like I kept talking over her.  I did apologise if I had, but I still feel I might have come across a bit rude.

We talked a bit about the market and where it is.  I think I have a good understanding of the market although it seems weird that after my book failed to sell (and at such a late stage), I’m suddenly seeing all these interviews and tweets from authors who are in the same boat.  Was I blind to it before, or was the universe trying to show me something?

We discussed a lot of stuff, most of which doesn’t belong in this blog, but the one thing that probably does is a change to my outline process.

So currently my outline process is just that.  I use Scrivener’s cork board to map out the story.  I may start with cards for the story beats and then use additional cards where needed to fill in the gaps.  Typically these consist of just basic plot points “John goes to store, meets Jill.  They decide to buy a bucket”   These will typically become my chapters although they sometimes split or merge during the first draft.  Those plot points on the cards will serve as the basis of my chapter outlines.  I may flesh them out as I get to them but the basics are there,

I will also use those points to write the synopsis.

At the end of my outlining process, I’ll have a chapter plan ready in Scrivener together with a synopsis.

We discussed Secret7 and how I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s taught me I need to have voice more as part of my early process.  As a result, it was suggested to me that as part of my outline, I’ll also write the early chapters.  That will give me a sense of voice.

Now, I can then scrap those if need be.  They are not intended to be part of a first draft.  They are more discovery writing with a focus on voice.

The good news is that I had early chapters of 4S ready to go along with a synopsis.  That’s been sent off.  If needed, the entire manuscript can be ready in the next few weeks.

But I also want to work on a bit of a production line.  I need to write a few more outlines, together with those sample chapters.  I see the next few weeks consisting of getting the second draft of 4S done, together with trying to get 1 new outline done a week.

I’ll need to do a bunch of reorganisation work to support this.  But to be honest, I don’t really feel like doing that this week.  If I can get a few more chapters of 4S edited, that would be great but I’m considering this week a write-off already.

The real work will begin next week, and there’s a ton of it to do.

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