Novel-Writing in Real Time – Part 1 of 10: ‘Orange Liqueur’

I concluded my last post by saying that I needed to average 730 words per day for the next ten days in order to hit my end-of-chapter target for the end of the month. So tonight, I kept a small record of how my efforts today turned out. And here it is:

21:42 – Start work. Introduce the frigates: I’ve chosen Roxburghe, Wellington, York and Chandos. I’ve found a nice simile for how they operate – am very pleased with the imagery.

21:46 – Ironically, after all the hassle of figuring out the identities of those ships, I’m now done with the scene. Back to Proleo, to the Queen, for a scene I set up 1,486 words ago – not much, by my standards, but this chapter (literally) has a lot of ground to cover and I can’t afford to put things aside for too long. Besides, this also gets me back to doing the thing I like best: writing dialogue.

21:52 – A quick Google to find the name of an orange liqueur.

21:54 – Back to Google for a swift gander at FM 3-21.8 The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad handbook of the US Army, to double-check that my recollections of the accepted tactics for crossing open ground haven’t been superseded.

22:01 – Nope, we’re good. Nothing new to report. And, even better, I can put that information into the mouth of a character who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and present it as a terse, two-word put-down. I’m at 289 words of my 730, but I’ve spent a fair whack of the last 20 minutes not writing. I need to sort that. (And let’s not reflect too long on the fact that I’ve just spent nearly ten minutes working out how to say two words…)

22:24 – 800 words. Time to call it a night. And tomorrow, I can do it all again.

Here is your moment of Zen:

B17 Sandringham Waved Off

After spending a fair amount of time faffing around, Gresley B17 ‘Sandringham’ receives the signal to get underway…


About Gavin

I am a 32-year-old PhD student in Aberdeen, Scotland. I work in QC at an e-learning company. I'm originally Northern Irish, though I've lived here in Aberdeen for several years. I am, essentially, somebody who is very normal, yet to whom very strange things keep happening...
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