Thursday, November 13, 2008

Working my way through a long To-Do list

I'm not much on To-Do lists, preferring to keep my different projects compartmentalised and work on one thing at a time. This is especially important when I'm writing a novel. If possible, I burn through the first draft in one go, start to finish. Doesn't always work, sometimes I have to break off for an urgent, short-term job. But that can bring its own benefits, especially if you've already broken the book's back. Gives you a chance to review progress.

Sometimes the freelance life throws so many things your way at once a To-Do list is the only sane solution. Write down all the things that need doing and delivery deadlines, assess how long they'll take, and assign priorities accordingly. This week's been particularly madcap with story of the day ideas for Doctors, a novel synopsis to rewrite, plus characters and stories to be devised for the Lighthouse screenwriting project all demanding my time.

Tomorrow I'm taking two sessions at the East Ayrshire Book Festival, so they need prepping too. Just after lunch I'm talking to 15 school pupils about writing graphic novels and various genres, while there's an open session at the Stewarton Library from 4.30pm where I'll be gabbing about novels. Of course, you never know what questions people are going to ask, so there's only so much preparation to do while expecting the unexpected to happen.

On top of all that the final script for a 100-minute audio drama I've written came back to me for a last look-see. The script editor shuffled a few scenes around, added some extra character moments for the regulars and streamlined some clunkier moments. I was more than happy to sign off on the changes - anything that makes the story better and me look good is always welcome. That's due in the studio the week after next, so time's getting tight.

All in all, this is proving to be an action-packed week. But there's still plenty more to do, so it's time to see if I can't get something else scratched from my To-Do list today. Onwards!

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