Progress Tracker on Thread (1)
For the very first time, I’m trialling the method of setting an actual date for a solo piece that I’m going to publish as a standalone novella, my story A Thread of Chance of which the first three Chapters have already been published in the first 2 issues of the anthology series Excursions from the Citadel (Chapter 2 and 3 have been published jointly as part 2) Following advice from the Creative Penn, I’m setting the deadline to be a date memorable to me which is my birthday on 23 October. To be honest, I don’t really celebrate it anymore and mostly forget about it but at least it’s a date that will stick in my mind.
In conjunction with this date setting, I’ve printed out calendars with one month to one A4 page so that I can assign daily writing goals, mark down absolute deadlines for specific aspects of the story as well as other important commitments and colour code things. Up to the 18th of this month, I will be doing planning and what I call pre-writing (which is half way between an outline and actual writing, where I work out what I want and need to write in each scene, often constructed from some kind of scene skeleton that I always make). From the 19th, it would be a minimum word count of 300 on each weekday and 500 on weekends. This means that I will be writing 10,500 words for Chapter 3 of Thread if I finish exactly on the deadline which is clearly overkill. But I figure it’s good for morale if I start with a deadline that I can easily meet.
In addition to my personal efforts, I’m recruiting my friend as motivation partner to help me to stay on track with this deadline in the following way: we have a deal whereby I will make a small donation to her social business as penalty if I miss the deadline whereas I will make a bigger donation if I meet my deadline. This basically gives her an incentive to bug me so that I will meet the deadline. Finally, I’m putting up this particular serial post that will keep running over consecutive weeks starting from this week so that I have “invisible eyes” monitoring my progress. *wink* Feel free to whip me if I ever report departing from stated goals.
For this week, the broad goal is to get rough planning done and I finished it ahead of time yesterday. The breakdown of actual work done by day is as follows:
Monday 5th Sept – no work done, this is usually the day where my time after work is spent watching this game show I had been following on a weekly basis
Tuesday 6th Sept – started on the scene skeleton (basically sequence of events in each scene) but I dug a hole for myself that got me excited instead of depressed LOL
Wednesday 7th Sept – finished up on the scene skeleton and also finished up what I call a scene purpose outline for Chapter 4 that sketches out for every purpose the main events and the purpose for the specific scene
Thursday 8th Sept – Re-read Chapter 1 and 2 but before too close to completion of Chapters 2 and 3, gave up on re-reading
Friday 9th Sept- wrote the scene purpose document for Chapter 1 so that I can have it on hand for revision of draft 1 for Thread as a standalone novella, something I found immensely helpful while I was working on Thread as a serial short story with standalone parts
Saturday 10th Sept- refined scene skeleton for Chapter 4 done (hole still unfilled), ready to move into pre-writing next week