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Well first up this week I've decided to move my blog diary day from Monday to Tuesday. This is because I am posting episodes of The Golden Arcade on Wattpad and ABCTales on Mondays and Thursdays, and doing that and this, all on a Monday. Well it was too much.

Sometimes, daft things surprise you. By far the most exciting thing that happened to me this week was that I got mentioned on my absolute favourite Podcast. Yes I got name-dropped by the amazing Mr Paul Teague on this week's Paul's Podcast Diaries. And how did I do it you ask? Just a couple of daft tweets. And here they are:

And twenty minutes later ...

Next time I hope it can be because of something a bit less virtual. And here's Paul.  Thanks so much. It made my day.

Anyway, last week I was praising the feedback I was getting on ABC. Well that seems to have dried up. I'm still getting a few comments but it's not as wonderful as it was to start. And Wattpad? Well I'm not featured. I'm wondering if I can ask. But at the same time I'd quite like to get some 'organic' growth going.

KM Weiland's podcast this week talks about the negative energy of social media. And boy I know what she means. Wattpad does not feel like a level playing field. It's democratic but curated, and for me you get the worst of both worlds. My dad checked my book but couldn't find it even with my name and the title! I'm going to persevere. Perhaps I'll change my mind.

I've signed up to Instafreebie as well. You get thirty days for free, but I am planning to stay on board for a couple of months. I've listened to Jon Cronshaw and I've created a separate mailing list for all the lovely free(down)loaders. And we'll see how responsive they end up being. I don't expect great things, but I do want to find ways to build a list before the big release.

The things I haven't got time for:

- Writing blog posts that I could whack on Medium
- Producing study guides
- Making genre specific quotation graphics
- Reading
- Redesigning my blog graphics
- Sleeping
- All the other stuff I can't remember.

Oh, schools in full flow again right now – and God there's nothing like teaching to make you feel that you're not doing enough, aren't good enough...









 

We went to Sizewell this week. Camping. It was a lot of fun and I've got to admit I thought the nuclear power station looked really, well, powerful I suppose. And it's big blockiness reminded me of my own little block. And the massive, faceless building made me thing about writing a novel. It's not just a blank page. It's grey. It's huge. It's intimidating. And when you stand looking at the outside you have no idea what there is beneath its grey-blank skin.

This week I wrote about 2500 words. I discovered the target feature on Scrivener. I tried the pomodora (no idea how to spell that) with my marking. And I'll try it with my writing when I get up tomorrow morning.

And so I set about conquering my writer's block by paying attention to  the stuff under the skin. Plotting. I came to realise what I think I knew anyway. The barrier was that I hadn't planned my plot enough. So I did some of that. Just a couple of sentences about each scene, and now I can see beyond the towering concrete. And I think I know what to do. I feel more positive about getting back to target. I really want to finish the first draft by the end of the month.

So I've done that and I feel more secure. One lesson that I've learned with this draft is that I really need to plot in as much detail as possible next time. I can 'pants' short stories but for the long haul stuff I really need an extensive scaffold.

I did do some plotting. I've used KM Weiland's plot points and character interviews (which I will definitely do again) and mixed that up with a bit of StoryGrid foolscap. But these aren't enough for me on there own. Next time everything needs to be much more something.

I wrote my bad guy's big speech this week. And as an English teacher I quite like seeing different themes and possible interpretations emerging. I aint saying they work yet, or if they ever will, but I can see the potential.

Anyhoo, onwards and upwards. Time to start cranking out the words.