What I’m Currently Working On: Something New!

Someone asked in my writer’s group why people are suddenly saying they are so much more productive now that we’re all confined to our houses during coronavirus lockdown. Is it because we’re no longer commuting, or gossiping at watercoolers, or going out for drinks in the evening…?

The answer in my case is energy. I’m an introvert (in fact, my Myers Briggs test revealed that I am 98% introverted), which means that any time I spend in the company of others drains my battery.

Now that I’m at home, locked away in the study with only limited interaction with my immediate family, it’s like I’m the Energizer bunny. I have energy for everything at the end of the workday!

So, what am I doing with all my newfound joie de vivre?

  • I’m busy editing the final version of Spriggan’s Quest – the last installment of Series 1 of the Mythical Menagerie series. I’m still waiting for feedback from some betas, but I expect to be done with these changes within a week or so.
  • I’ve applied for and received ISBN numbers (for e-book, paperback and audio) and will soon contact my designer to make covers for paperback and audio too (have you seen my gorgeous cover yet?).
  • I’ve completed a Udemy course on how to make little videos and am learning the basics of DaVinci Resolve (professional video editing software) so I can make a book trailer.
  • I’ve got two webinar replays lined up that deal with book formatting and book release strategies – I’ll probably watch them in the next week – and then start formatting the book.
  • I’ve been reading more non-fiction, which has sparked all sorts of ideas for flash fiction for my monthly newsletter.
  • I have NOT been blogging consistently (or pretty much at all) this year, because I was focused on getting Ambrose done, but I did add two new posts about Rome and Ireland and plan to do more blogging now that the pressure is off. That includes writing about last year’s trip to Slovenia and Croatia on my travel blog.

But most exciting of all – I’ve plotted out a new story!

I wanted to take a little break from writing Ambrose’s adventures while I focus on getting the novel published, so I thought it would be the ideal time to write a short story that’s been at the back of my head for a while now. The idea for this story started out as a scene I wanted to write as a flash fiction, but I put one sentence down on paper and knew it would have to be something longer. It’s been idling ever since then.

I dusted off Scrivener (which I love, but rarely use, due to the fact that it’s not great for syncing between laptops, but since I’m now permanently at home I’m only working on one laptop anyway) and have plotted the entire story out on the cork board. I wanted to see if I had enough ideas and content to turn this story into a novella (roughly 40k words) as opposed to a short story (under 10k words). Turns out I do!

As a bonus side effect of this technique, I was also able to see all the problems in pacing and conflict with my first plot outline. I used the labelling options to mark some scenes red and others green to indicate if they help my protagonist move towards or away from her goals, and realized that there were lots of green and barely any red. Not enough stumbling blocks! Then I reworked and reshuffled scenes, and added a few new ones, and I’m as happy as I can be with the plot for now.

Now I just have to scrape up the courage to actually start writing… 

How are you keeping busy during this lockdown period? Are you going slowly insane, or are you enjoying the time off from the hustle and bustle?

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