There's a nice line in my '...Onwards to 2013' blog post which I was determined to actually stick to. It was simply this: "In addition, I'll try and resist adding new first drafts to my pot (excluding NaNoWriMo)." My logic was sound. After all, I've got six novels in varying stages of redrafting already written. What I need to spend this year on - alongside my PhD, of course - is redeveloping those to make them fit for human consumption. I was going to allow myself a NaNoWriMo novel because one first draft in a year might just satisfy me.
Might. I should've known not. You see, I got a brilliant idea last week. This amazing character just popped into my head unbidden and, naturally, I can't let her leave. That would be rude, amongst other things. So I started writing on Friday. A chapter a night means I now have three chapters coming to just over 5,200 words. Not bad for a weekend when I was supposed to be doing nothing and relaxing.
My problem is, as part of my maximising productivity drive (see here) I need to focus on one thing at a time. Unfortunately, the next week has already been earmarked for my PhD studies. I have a supervisor meeting on Tuesday so my plan for today was a read-through of my chapter and also some secondary reading I've had on my shelves for a few weeks. Then Sheffield on Tuesday and, after that, who knows? I have a feeling my supervisor will suggest I put this chapter aside for a few months and start my next. That means Wednesday through to Friday could be devoted to rereading Edmund Yates's The Silent Witness and going through some fresh secondary material picked up at the library on Tuesday.
As for the week after, I've promised my agent a revised version of novel one ('Lily') by the end of the month. That rather ties me up a little, doesn't it?
I suppose I just have to hope that the enthusiasm for this idea doesn't die out rapidly. I don't think it will, to be honest, and it needs a few weeks to percolate properly. While I have the next few chapters mapped out in my head I don't have an ending to work towards yet, and that's my preferred method of working. This may work to my advantage. And, perhaps, a few chapters may be slyly written in the interim.
So, a week on the PhD and a week on the novel editing... Easy. Roll on March!