The Writing Journal #43

This time last year I was living it up in Florida at both Disney World and Universal – my dream of a holiday in places that I absolutely adore. This summer, I’m riding a slightly different rollercoaster in producing a podcast; a relentless cycle of edits and promotion that has been a whole heap of work to stay on top of. Whilst the podcast has certainly been a challenge (perhaps more of a challenge than I initially thought it would be), it has also been a great thrill to see it come to life and begin to find an audience. They might be at completely different ends of the work/play spectrum, but both experiences have led to me pulling this face on a number of occasions…

Target Number 1: Spend a minimum of 20 hours editing my novel.

More hours were found for the novel this week, bringing the overall tally up to 7hrs 28mins for August. For all this extra time though, I still only find myself in Chapter 3, which the impatient part of me absolutely detests, but the rational side quietly believes could be for good reason.

The intention is, and always has been, for this novel to be the first of many within this world. For that to happen, however, there has to be a rich environment/history from which to craft the subsequent stories, with enough opportunities built in for conflict, drama, and mystery to be exploited in the future. This therefore requires a careful, measured set up that, quite frankly, was lacking in my first attempt. The first draft got me from A to B within this particular story, with a plot that is exciting and compelling for this individual novel, but when it came to situating it within a wider world, it was very flat and two dimensional. Of course, that was partly intentional for the first draft – I wanted to get the foundation blocks of the plot in place so I knew where the story was heading – but it now means the second draft is about detail, and the layering in of that detail, which inherently takes time. I may still only be in Chapter 3 now, but my own knowledge and understanding of the world I am creating is much more developed than it was when writing the first draft, which might mean progress has felt sluggish at times now, but will hopefully lead to a swifter writing flow in the weeks and months to come.

Target Number 2: Launch and grow the social media presence for Poor Uncle Dave.

Launching a social media presence and growing one are two very different beasts, as I’m beginning to discover as August motors on. Friends and family have done an amazing job so far in supporting everything to do with Poor Uncle Dave, and I couldn’t be more delighted with this awesome response. In order for it to really take flight, however, I need it to go beyond my own social circles, which is where the challenge comes in. I’m currently boning up with all the articles and titbits I can find, and hopefully this will be able to get the numbers up soon to start expanding to a whole new audience for Uncle Dave’s antics.

In the meantime, the latest episode – Poor Uncle Dave Goes to the Seaside – is now live and available on all good podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and TuneIn. With just under an hour of child-friendly story-telling now available thanks to Poor Uncle Dave, it’s the ideal way to keep the kids entertained as boredom creeps into the difficult fifth week of the summer holidays (as well as being a totally awesome listen for grownups, too…).

Two more episodes of the podcast to come, thirteen hours of novel edits to be made, and a few day trips tentatively scheduled as “research opportunities” for Uncle Dave. Fasten your seatbelts, folks, and please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times – the end of August could be set to be quite the wild ride…

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