How I changed my writing habits during lockdown

I need to be alone to write.

Regular readers of my blog know this. But with my husband at home with me during the extended Sydney lockdown (yes, this blog was written during that time), I’ve had to find a new strategy to work on my projects.

So, I’ve broken my process into what I can do when he’s home, and what I will do when he does his several hours of volunteering a week.

My original images of Sage, Carter and Hudson.

I’ve been working on my dystopian tale, Virtual Insanity.

This is the sequel to Social Media Central and after editing the previous draft I found the first half needed better character development and clearer dialogue while the second half was really good. It packs a punch all the way to the finale.

When Warren was out, I read and reworked the first half directly in the word document, but also tried a little experiment. To match the heroic qualities the characters display in the second half, I found anime versions of my characters to guide me in my rewrites.

Did it work? Yes and no.

My femme fatale, Hudson, became sassier. She also smoked in line with the new image of her, although in my novel, she vapes. I also upped her attitude.

New versions of some of my characters.

Tayler didn’t change but the vulnerability in his face from the image above helped me shape his uncertain moments. When it came to Sage or Carter or the others not pictured in this post, their original image came to mind.

I made notes for my anime Carter to be secret-agent-like. This definitely didn’t happen.

While Warren was home, I read my updated draft.

This didn’t require alone time. I had red pen in hand (actually, stylus for the pdf on my tablet), noted more changes to make and looked for continuity errors in the second half now that the first half was revamped. I chilled on the couch with music playing during this process.

While he was home, I had both pdf and word doc open on my laptop and made the minor changes. I also clearly marked any bits that needed rewriting the next time I was home alone.

This new draft is complete.

It has been put away for several months while I work on my other project. Intuitively I feel Virtual Insanity will still need more lighter moments in the first half. It’s part of the way there.

But you never know. When I read it next it just may be ready to submit to my publisher.

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