Cariad Eccleston

Just a gin-filled dork.

My Challenges as a Queer Female Time Traveller: 42,210 words

01 October 2017

The good news is, I’ve breached 40,000 words!

42,210 words!

42,210 words written

The bad news is, I’m way under the goal of 47,000 words I set myself last week.

Motivation is tough

This week was my first full week back at my day job since I got sick.

I had every intention to come home and get 1,000 words out every night. I wanted to, too.

But – good lord – being back at my day job was so exhausting, I pretty much went to bed as soon as I got home. Every night.

The problem of motivation isn’t “Urgh, do I really want to write this novel?” or “Urgh, do I even want to be a writer at all?” The problem isn’t “Urgh, I’m just gonna watch TV all night instead” or “Urgh, I’m just gonna fire up the Switch for a few hours.”

The problem, plain and simple, is exhaustion. It’s tough to not arrive at my day job as early as I can in the day. because there’s too much to do. It’s impossible to not leave late, because I have meetings on US-time.

Being at home, and having the energy to keep my eyes open, is an awesome little luxury when I can find it. These day, though, it means I’m only getting out hundreds of words a day, not thousands.

But… progress!

I’m about 75% through the first draft of the  second act, which ain’t bad going.

In terms of the characters, I’m getting a bit worried that there aren’t any distinct, individual personalities coming through yet. This first draft is very matter-of-fact. The characters have demonstrated their flaws, but they’re still a bit flat right now. When it comes to the second draft, I’ll need to hella focus on characterisation.

Some good news – for me, at least – is that I’ve dropped an entire sub-plot. Believe me, this is good news.

In the previous draft, I had a problem. At the end of the second act, the villain apparently has everything he needs to enact his plan, but I need to hold him up so the heroes have a chance to pull themselves together. I introduced a little sub-plot which gave the villain something else to take care of.

It felt tacked on and horrible – mostly because it was. I wasn’t sure how I was going to fix it. But, as I worked through the second act this second time, I realised that our heroes’ and the villain’s goals were intersecting pretty well, which means the second act can wrap up with everyone on the same page (pun not intended) without any last-minute bullshit.


10,000 words this week would be lovely, but it entirely relies on my day job not wiping me out.

I’m only a few thousand words away from the end of the second act, so how about that for a goal? This time next week, I want to be into the third and final act.