Slow March

At last, I am free from my cough! No more do random coughing fits destroy my concentration… but, just in time to keep me on my toes, some neighbours are getting some work done and there are occasional rare and mysterious banging sounds.

However, I have kept my concentration up enough to finally nail down (what I hope are) the last moving pieces in the Quicker Than Blood plot. Bobby, his friends, the heists, and the crime-ridden underbelly of San Iadras are one stop closer to actually being something I can start writing, and I’m hugely excited.

But I might have to do some reading up on insurance policies first, because San Iadras is before all else a capitalist hellscape, and yes, how well the heist’s target is insured is a potentially vital part of the plotline.

My month has been a little distracted, but I’m working on that – I think it’s really a question on knuckling down on the basics of time management, which includes keeping an eye on the clock and being more aware of just how much time is passing, and how much time I need to get the things I’m doing done.

For example, I am hoping to finish the narrative/working outline for Quicker Than Blood within a couple of weeks, which is my last major step before actually writing the prose. However, my estimate that it’ll take me a couple of weeks is a pure fantasy built on vague and inaccurate memories of working on stuff in the past. Turning to my post-mortems, let’s see how long it actually takes…

It looks like I went from ‘minimum viable plot’ (which is probably where I’m at now) to a finished outline in about two to three weeks while working on Aconite Braid, and immediately went to the first draft. Mouse Cage didn’t quite have an outline in the usual sense, because I was building it up from the old stories I was reassembling, but the revision outline was something similar, and that seems to have been a job of 2-4 weeks, so…

… Maybe two weeks will work.

But then, I need to make sure that I actually use those two weeks properly. So, I’ll get back to eying the clock distrustfully to make sure I’m working (or trying to work) the number of hours a day I need to. (It’s somewhere in the vicinity of 5-7, depending on how much life admin I need to do in my mornings. I do award myself an hour’s lunch break but… do historically ignore that, alas.)

Dire as all that sounds, and as uncertain as I am about the timeframe, I am really excited about getting my teeth back into a first draft. All this preparation work feels like it takes forever, but it does mean that the actual writing of these books tends to go relatively quickly. And I am looking forward to spending time deep in a book again.

I hope you’re looking forward to reading another one of my books! As ever, thank you so much for your support – from the efforts of Patreon patrons which directly help me get books self-published to the interest of casual readers and passerby which, frankly, is very, very nourishing for an author, it all helps.

I hope your month ahead is useful, productive, and one where you make good use of your time.

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By foozzzball

Malcolm Cross, otherwise known as 'foozzzball', lives in London and enjoys the personal space and privacy that the city is known for. When not misdirecting tourists to nonexistant landmarks and lurking at bus stops, Malcolm enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy with a furry twist.