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#FirstDraft120 Day 113: Timer Tuesday! | #amwriting #1k1hr

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

fd120-timer-tuesdayMoving forward with our “New Year, Revised Goals” theme for the remainder of FD120, our challenge on Timer Tuesdays will be to schedule and complete a solid one-hour block of writing-related work during the day. If you’re still working on a word-count goal for your first draft, please continue with a regular 1k1hr sprint, if you so desire. For those of us who are now looking at a goal of spending more time writing, the focus of that scheduled, uninterrupted hour isn’t trying to hit a word-count but just making sure we’re completely focused on something fiction-writing related for the entire hour with no distractions.

I’m going to try to do my #1k1h fiction-focused hour today at 5:30 PM US Central time*.

*To determine the time of the 1k1hr sprint in your time zone, go to the Time Converter website by clicking the image above and inputting my time (as Nashville or Central Standard Time) on the left, and your city/location on the right. For example, 5:30 PM Tuesday in Nashville is 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in Sydney, Australia.

What time will you be doing your 1k1hr today? Or if you absolutely cannot do one full hour, how will you make sure you get at least one hour of writing-related work done today?

Remember, the more support (and accountability) there is, the more successful we’ll all be!

1k1h Tips for Success (Updated for New Year, Revised Goals)

  1. Prevent Interruptions.
    Let anyone within your household know that you need one uninterrupted hour to try to head off at the pass any interruptions.
  2. Set a Timer.
    This is most important. Don’t do this by just watching the clock. You’ll find yourself only watching the clock and not getting anything accomplished. Setting a timer allows you to forget about the time and concentrate fully on your project.
  3. Prepare Ahead of Time.
    Schedule your 1k1hr time far enough in advance (allow yourself at least an hour if not more) in order to start thinking about what you’re going to work on. Even if you’re doing something else until just about time to work, you can still use part of your brain to be thinking ahead as to what scene you’re going to write or what story idea you’re going to work on. Be sure to allow a few minutes before your work time starts in order to truly prepare, though.

    –For Sprint Writing: Re-read the last few pages you wrote (without editing/revising!) to get your head back into the story and figure out where you need to pick up. Review your outline and/or character pages in your Story Bible. If you’re going to be sprint writing, put all of that away so you don’t use those to procrastinate during the hour.

    –For Project Time: If you’re focused on building time rather than word-count, surround yourself with all of these things in order to keep from having to stop to find stuff as you work. The more things you have that will spark your creativity and present new ideas to you, the better.

  4. Music:
    –For Sprint Writing: If you listen to music while writing (I recommend instrumental so that you don’t get distracted by the lyrics), have it set up and playing before starting your timer. Use earphones, even if you’re working at home, to block out any sounds that might pull you out of your story.

    –For Project Time: Have you considered setting up a “playlist” for your story/idea? Do you have a theme song for each of your main characters? How does/could music play into your story idea/character development. (See this post for an example.)

  5. Wear Earphones.
    If you can’t listen to music while writing/working, I recommend wearing the earphones anyway. People are less likely to interrupt you (at home or working somewhere like a coffee shop) if you have them in/on—and they help block out other distracting sounds.
  6. Prepare Your Work Space.
    Make sure your work space (both physical and mental) is set up and ready to go before you start your timer, whether your sprint writing or working on a writing-related project for the hour. In other words, make sure that about five to ten minutes before you start the 1k1h time begins, you’re in the process of getting ready to work.
  7. Eliminate all distractions!
    Silence or turn off your cell phone (unless you’re using it as your timer—then don’t turn it off, just put your phone in Airplane Mode; or if there are people who may absolutely need to get in touch with you—spouse, kids, etc.—set up your Do Not Disturb with exceptions for those few people.). Close your Internet browser. Close Facebook and Twitter. Close your email program if you use something like Outlook that isn’t web-based.

Can’t figure out how to get started sprint writing? Check out one of the previous Timer Tuesday posts for ideas.

Don’t forget to check in with your progress and how you do with your own 1k1hr writing/project time today!

  1. Tuesday, January 24, 2017 6:06 pm

    Here’s the story summary I wrote in my 1k1hr this afternoon:

    Working Title: Secrets of His Heart

    At twenty-eight, having recently paid off and left the Royal Navy, Edward Ransome arrives in Portsmouth to take charge of the European branch of his family’s sugar and shipping empire. In Portsmouth, Edward lives with his sister Eleanor and brother-in-law, James Yates, Viscount Childers, at Witherington Hall, the large house once owned by their grandfather, Sir Edward Witherington (the house was Julia and William’s wedding gift to Eleanor and James, who’ve added a completely new wing to it since). To welcome Edward—and to ensure he meets all the right people—Eleanor and James host a ball shortly after his arrival, which, in turn, generates the multitudes of invitations they’d hoped for to make his entry into English society assured.

    At the ball, Edward is intrigued by the angelic countenance of a pale, silver-haired young woman and determines the night will not get away from him before he dances with her. First, though, he does his sister a favor by opening the ball with his sister’s closest friend, Miss Clara Eckley-Hibbitt—on the plain side of pretty and too quiet to capture his attention from the angel across the room. It is only when their dance is ending that Edward asks Clara the identity of the silvery blonde vision. He doesn’t miss the caustic tone in her voice, nor her rapid retreat, when she tells him that the woman is Cordelia Eckley-Hibbitt, her recently widowed stepmother who did not have the decency to wait even six months after the death of Clara’s father to re-enter society.

    Clara isn’t surprised to once again be overlooked by eligible men for the former Cordelia Pembroke. Three years her elder, Clara has been competing with Cordelia since the younger girl came out at the unfashionable age of fifteen. In the three years before Cordelia married Clara’s father, not a single young man in society gave Clara a second glance—not if Cordelia was in the room. Or, come to think of it, even when Cordelia wasn’t in the room. She was still foremost on everyone’s minds. After a while, Clara took herself out of the competition. She retreated to Oxford to care for her aging maternal grandparents. She assisted her grandfather in collating and transcribing the journals he kept as a younger man on his trips to research antiquities in Italy and Greece and then helped him write it all as a memoir. Her greatest desire now is to travel to see the sites her grandfather described and sketched in his journals. But she cannot until she reaches her majority (25) in two more years and receives her inheritance. Unless, of course, she were to marry first. But then the money would go to her husband. And how likely is it that a husband would allow her to hare off on such adventures?

    Though Edward knows there was some kind of breach in the relationship between his mother and her cousin, Sir Drake Pembroke, he is unaware of the intrigues that took place between them. So when he discovers that Cordelia Eckley-Hibbitt is his second cousin, he feels this gives him an advantage with the coy, mysterious young woman. Cordelia, seeing not only an opportunity for a wealthy (and handsome) husband in Edward, also realizes what being the sister-in-law of a current viscount/future earl could mean for her position in society. After all, her father, Sir Drake Pembroke, has drilled it into the heads of all of his children that they must always be seeing to grow their wealth (for their father can gamble it away faster than they can find it).

    When Eleanor realizes her brother is falling for Cordelia, she approaches him with her concerns over “women like Cordelia Eckley-Hibbit—who care more for gossip and fashion than reading, and whose behavior and reputations mark them as people Eleanor doesn’t think will reflect well on Edward, or the family business, in the long run. But Edward thinks Eleanor is being a boor who doesn’t like anyone who doesn’t spend several hours a day with her nose in a dusty old book. Eleanor decides to take matters into her own hands and ensure that Edward comes to see what a treasure Clara is compared to Cordelia, so she takes every opportunity to throw Edward and Clara together.

    Edward finds Clara’s intellectualism and constant harping on about voting and women’s and children’s working conditions fascinating, but he’s still captivated by Cordelia’s coy and mysterious nature. (Let’s face it, Cordelia knows how to flirt; Clara doesn’t.) However, the more time they spend together, the more they realize they have in common—including a desire to travel and see the sites of Antiquity her grandfather wrote about.

    When several contracts and business deals that Edward has been working on fall through and go to a rival company, and Cordelia starts flaunting expensive purchases, Clara begins to suspect that Edward’s business rival is bribing Cordelia to ferret out Edward’s secrets in order to undermine him. She’s unsure of how Edward feels about Cordelia—or her—but she knows that she cannot live without Edward, whether losing him to a woman she knows is not worthy of him nor to business failure that would lead to his leaving England. But can she convince him in time?


    • Wednesday, January 25, 2017 7:05 pm

      Cordelia Pembroke Eckley-Hibbit = Holliday Grainger
      Edward William Ransome = Tom Mison
      Clara Eckley-Hibbitt = Catherine Steadman



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