It’s day 11 and I am 1.5 pages behind schedule for Script Frenzy at 33.5 pages – but with things the way they are at the moment it is no surprise.

It’s weird because I’ve been through so much in such a short space of time. I actually went from 6 pages to 27 in a matter of 4 days; simply rising above the normal mortal deadline. And then I stalled; firstly, when I realised that I had major plot issues – as in not having a whole plot worked out on paper – and secondly when I got bogged down in a difficult scene and then received a weird hand injury.

It is fine to think that you have an entire feature plot all inside your head, but it is only when you write it down that you realise that your mental estimates are often way off; scenes that you thought were more involved often come up shorter than your expectations and other scenes that should not hang around really outstay their welcome and smell the place up, if you don’t sort out your plot and keep an eye on the pacing.

I would have planned mine in detail before the challenge, however my work commitments got in the way and prevented me from doing so. As I thought I knew things pretty well, I decided to continue rather than stall. But I soon realised by page 19 that I really had to sort it out and could not continue until I did so. That took 2 days of hard thinking to rectify.

Things were great once I had licked the plot into some sort of shape – despite having to force myself to kill some very nice scenes and snippets that I loved but could not get to work for me and were throwing my entire pace off kilter. It’s true when they say you have to learn how to ‘kill your babies’. I very much had to learn that painful experience straight away and I am sure it will come back to haunt me later on. So where I would actually be on page 40 around now, there are some old unused scenes, 10 pages worth, just rotting in a dark plot folder; never to be seen again.

But the real problem was when on page 27 I just got stuck deep in the hole of a very pivotal scene – at the same time that I injured my left hand. The two could be related. Did I punch myself out during a workout on the heavy bag and dislocate or break something? In anger at being mired in a scene that should be a joy to write, that was so pivotal to my plot, and instead turned sour and made me waste a whole day and a half; before I decided to make a note to revisit it and move on, leaving it unfinished. Who knows? The only problem is that I am having to type most of this using one finger on my left hand and the rest on my right, as stretching my left hand out to reach all the keys for touch typing causes me too much pain.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. I’ve discovered new shortcuts within Scrivener that make Scene formatting much quicker and only requires one finger. Perhaps the two will balance out and I can continue, complete this thing in time and get the entire usage of my left hand back… wouldn’t that be nice? ;0)

N.B.: the short cut is using the Tab key to switch between format settings until you get the one you want.