Tuesday, 19 September 2017

99 Red Balloons Blog Tour

Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the 99 Red Balloons blog tour! Today I have a guest post from the author Elisabeth Carpenter sharing her typical writing day.

My Writing Day by Elisabeth Carpenter 

Before I ever started writing, I imagined a writer’s daily routine consisted of walks in the park dreaming-up ideas, then writing furiously in a steamy cafĂ©. I’d picture said writer spending evenings tearing up bits of paper in frustration, drinking whiskey and contemplating the unfairness of having such a tortured soul.

The reality – or rather, my reality – couldn’t be more different.

I’m writing this post in the summer holidays and, as a mother of a very lively six-year-old, there’s currently no fixed writing routine. I write when he’s quiet (this might be for five or forty-five minutes), or if he’s asleep. So I’ll share with you my usual writing day, which will commence when normality has been resumed in September!

After dropping my son off at school, I’ll usually catch up on Twitter and Facebook. At about nine thirty, I’ll fire up the laptop either at my desk or in the living room. I’ve been working from home since my youngest son was born. My partner, Dom, is also based at home, so I have to close the door if I don’t want to be interrupted! I dream of having a summer house in the garden to work in and have already chosen the furniture in my head.

I usually start with a basic idea for a manuscript, which is usually just a few lines. I keep ideas on scraps of paper, on my phone or in notebooks. As I’ve about thirty notebooks, sometimes locating these ideas can be a bit tricky. I’ve given up trying to keep them in my head – after a day it’s gone!

I don’t have a set amount of words to aim for, but I’ll be happy with 1000-2000 a day. If I have a deadline looming, however, it could be double that. Ideally, I’d allocate a month or two to edit my manuscripts after a first draft of a novel. I don’t edit as I go along, else I might never finish it. I like to keep the momentum going, but it does make the editing stage quite intense; sometimes the plot has changed or characters have evolved. This usually means I need to re-write the first few chapters. 

Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate if I’ve ‘lost the plot’. If this happens, I’ll either go for a walk with an audio book, read, or put on Netflix. It takes a lot of self-control to not watch too many episodes! At the moment, though, I’m editing Book Two, which has to be with my editor at the end of August. I finished the first draft before the start of the school holidays, so I still have a couple of weeks to work on it. Before sending it to my beta readers, I’ll print the whole thing and go through it again (for the fiftieth time, probably!).

I’ll write until three o’clock in the afternoon and pick up my son from school. No writing can be done until he goes to bed, as I can’t write with Topsy and Tim chattering away in the background. But it’s a great time right now – I still can’t believe my book is going to be published! It’s a dream come true.

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