Shoot for the Moon Challenge – February roundup


Me and my writing buddy, Mhairi Simpson, have given ourselves an insanely ambitious set of 2014 writing targets, plastered moonacross the front of our computer monitors. The theory is that in striving to meet these aspirational goals, we’ll get a lot more achieved than we would otherwise have done, had we been more realistic… So how am I doing?

• I’ve been editing Netted throughout most of February, which proved a bit of a monster job… My timeline of where my four protagonists were throughout the book had disappeared, so I decided to redo it onto the computer. I searched until I found an Excel template that nonetheless looked rather complicated – so decided to do it in easy stages and start off by using TrackChanges to insert the date and time of day. This was so successful that I didn’t bother transposing it onto the Excel template and this is how I’m going to create all my novel timelines in future.  I discovered that I’d gone adrift in Chapter 27 and needed to add another day and night to line up the timelines of the kidnapped wife and her desperate husband trying to track her down, so needed to add another 4,000 words in a rewrite. And then had another couple of thorough edits, the last one being on Adobe using their Read Aloud facility to go through the manuscript, listening to the text while following each line on the monitor. Amazing how many stray and missing words I pick up that way…
Challenge – complete editing Netted by the end of February. Done.

• I set myself a rather random challenge for my blog this year – and amazingly, I’m still on track – despite having to do without my computer for a week in the middle of the month when the motherboard got a migraine.
Challenge – write and publish 100 reviews this year. I’ve written 10 this month, making 19 so far this year. Though this is REALLY one that is going to slip later when the weather gets better and I’m not reading so much, I’m sure.

• I’ve started work on next year’s Creative Writing course proposals for Northbrook and am also busy writing next term’s course notes, Thinking Like A Writer. These deadlines, of course, are set in stone. Nothing short of plague or famine can get in the way of these…

Challenge – submit all my unsold short fiction and poetry. Um. I’ve made a start. Submitted ‘Crow’s Revenge’… But this is one I’m REALLY failing. In my defence, having no computer for a whole week really put a dent in my work schedule. But next month I MUST have a lot more of my work ‘out there’. No excuses…

Overall this month, I wrote 16,300 words, which mostly was for my blog and my Creative Writing courses, bringing my yearly total to 49,800 words so far.

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