Fiction and Writing

14 Day Writing Challenge – Methods.

Method To My Writing Madness



I am not doing this the easy way. I’m going to admit to that straight off the bat. I decided to do this as I feel like it’ll do me the world of good if I can succeed. Chris Fox, the guy who sparked this has a nicely organised outlined for his single sci-fi novel to do this with. I have two novels, one that I have an extensive outline for, the other I’m pantsing. I haven’t pantsed a novel in two years? I’ve written six novels since the last one I pantsed.

I’m a freelance copywriter and developmental editor, I will be continuing with my freelance work as normal throughout this challenge. I know I have some real life stress coming up, so all in all, this is not ideal. lol

Let’s get down to the actual how shall we?

Branded In Ink is being pantsed. I have a rough idea in my head, that’s it. I started doing this because I feel as though my brain needs the purge and refresh that that will provide. Infernal Alliances has an extensive outline. You can see the process that went into that, and what the outline looks like here.

The outline has been transferred into Meister Task, I’ve expanded each point to be two or three sentences. Each point will then be a chapter. I was originally using Trello but I found that Meister Task fits in better with my love of colour and is easier for me to look at and deal with.

I split it into three columns, the points that I’m planning to write that day. The main outline, which contains the entire outline and gives me a look at what’s coming tomorrow. Then the points that I’ve already written – it feels good to see how far I’ve come.

I can’t show you the actual plot points because spoilers, but here are the headers:


I think that covers my plan, or lack thereof as with the case with Branded In Ink. That brings us to the actual writing bit!

I do not do well with wordcount goals. They stress me out. I write when I’m inspired, so if I hit a block at say 4,000 words and I’m supposed to get 5,800 that day, it’ll stress me out. That will then make my muse more likely to flee. So I’ll be keeping an eye on the overall progress in both novels and leaving it there as much as possible.

I write in short bursts, that works well with my very short focus. I write for perhaps ten minutes, maybe fifteen if it’s a really deep intense scene, and then I go and poke at Twitter. When my brain’s reset I do it again, and again, until I’m out of creative energy. As I’m writing two novels what I’ll do here is write Infernal Alliances first, then when I run out of inspiration for that I’ll dive into Branded In Ink. I’ve been doing that for a couple of days and it’s been going well. Branded In Ink is definitely moving more slowly, but it’s a very different tone and style, and it’s being pantsed so it requires more thought.

I’ll likely be doing sprints on Twitter, so if you’re up for those let me know, the more people the merrier! They will be short sprints, 20 minutes absolute maximum.

To keep me accountable I’ll also be posting my word counts at the end of each day on Twitter. I’m not starting completely from scratch, this is where the two novels stand at the moment – I’ve been doing this for twenty four hours. (I haven’t touched either of them today).

This what the wordcounts looked like on Sunday night, before I started working on this insane challenge Monday:


I do write quickly. My record currently stands at 1700 words in 20 minutes. If I’m inspired and can remain relatively unstressed then I shouldn’t have too much trouble hitting the 5,800 words a day ideal. Here’s hoping that’s how it plays out and I’ll be back here in two weeks cheering about my editor glaring at me because he has five of my books to work through!

Oh! I’ll be writing a mix of Typwritter and Scrivener. I save everything into Scrivener and go back and forth between writing that, and writing in Scrivener. The change of scene does me a lot of good. For those unfamiliar with Typwrittr you can change the background and personalise it so that it works for you. Mine currently looks like this:



I’m pretty sure you’re all familiar with Scrivener, I don’t do anything special there. My chapters are just called “one” “two” etc. I’ve already given you my outline, so there we have it.

Thanks for your love and support. If you have any questions, don’t hold back! If you want to join the sprints, please do! The more the merrier 😀

So how did day one go?



Day One Toggl
This shows the time breakdown. 20 minutes of sprints for BII and 30 for IA.



Day One did not go as I hoped. I was screwed from the outset to be honest, I barely slept, and I’ve been plagued by nightmares for four nights now. I’m not happy about it, but I’m hoping to get some proper sleep and get back on track.




5 thoughts on “14 Day Writing Challenge – Methods.

  1. Oh, boy. You have your work cut out for you. I think you can do it though!
    I’ve never heard of Meister Task. What exactly is that? I have a Trello account to see what it was like, but I’ve never used it. I couldn’t figure out how to utilize its features for my work.
    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Holly, I’m sorry to her that your first day didn’t go as planned. I hope that it’s gotten better for you. All I can say is that, if the pressure is too much, there’s nothing wrong in stepping back and saying the challenge isn’t for you. Sometimes the stress of having to do it can drain our creativity. At the same time, if you are truly committed to doing this and believe that you can achieve it, then you can 🙂
    You always have my support either way ❤

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s