Friends and followers will know that I have spent the last four years or so writing a novel (working title: Elin’s Story). I have the feeling I might actually complete it during 2012. (Yippee!) My current target is to complete a draft by 30th September in time to submit it to the Historical Novel Society Annual International Award. I am creating this page as a place to gather relevant links and re-introduce my progress metre.

Links are in the column to the left. Relevant progress updates are directly below the progress bar. I shall try to update daily from now on.

Written: 27692 words / Target: 120000 words (23.07% complete)

6th September 2012 Various developments. (See Elin’s Developments – blog entry At the Quill)

13th-31st August 2012 On holiday! Changes in the offing. More in September.

12th August 2012 Away from the computer all day. Wrote about 50 words (with a pen on paper) but nothing that affected the progress bar.

11th August 2012 579 words written. Some added to progress bar.

10th August 2012 Wrote 1131 words, most of which went into the progress bar. The servant problem and what happened on Sundays.

9th August 2012 Wrote 895 words. Added and edited various scenes.

5th-8th August 2012 Don’t ask.

4th August 2012 Wrote 1098 words of which about 900 went into the progress bar.

3rd August 2012 Wrote 856 words Lady Helena’s writing and exercise routine. Broke the 20% completed barrier. Good!

2nd August 2012 Wrote 598 words some of which went into the progress bar. Lady Helena’s writing routine.

1st August 2012 Wrote 800 words. Geoffrey and the servant problem.

31st July 2012 Thank goodness – 14 words written. Only 14, but still better than for days. And I’ve improved the picture to the left here too.

28th-30th July 2012 Let’s draw a veil over that.

26th & 27th July 2012 I’ve clearly hit a block. No words written. I am, however, enjoying Ian Mortimer’s The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England. And I wrote another review for You Write On.

25th July 2012 Crash and burn. Zero words. Zilch. Nada. (OK, not quite true. Wrote a review for You Write On.)

24th July 2012 Somewhat redeemed myself by writing 2842 words today. All background however.

23rd July 2012 Took the day off. Null poeng.

22nd July 2012 some editing – unfortunately the word total is down -36 words. So it goes. No much work done as being visited by nephew Victor.

21st July 2012 Wrote 99 words. An improvement on yesterday. Also wrote a (rather long) review for You Write On. The post brought Ian Mortimer’s The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan Britain. Very good!

19th July 2012 Wrote 46 words. Progress at halt. :-(

18th July 2012 Wrote 1506 words – but all of it background so the progress bar stands still today.

17th July 2012 I’ve spent the day preparing the ground for Part 2 and have written 932 words. About half of that is for Meg’s scene with Helena in which they realise Helena is pregnant. Also received a review and wrote a review on YWO.

16th July 2012 Wrote upwards of 700 words of background. Otherwise mostly re-reading and making small corrections to Part 1. Printed it out and posted a copy to my mother. No changes to the progress meter.

15th July 2012 Wrote 1149 words of which 700+ found their way into the progress bar. I think I’ve completed Part 1. Will re-read later/tomorrow and if it looks OK I’ll print off a hard copy for safe-keeping. Otherwise I’m reviewing plots and POV characters and making notes for Part 2.

14th July 2012 Wrote 2231 words – all background so no change in the progress bar, but good stuff even so.

13th July 2012 Did some editing. Was afraid the word total in the progress metre would go back, but in the end it’s up by 16. No reason to change the percentages. Received a new review on You Write On and took the opportunity to fix one spelling mistake and two anachronisms in the excerpt on the YWO website. A month since I started keeping this log. Have written approx. 14000 words. Average = 448 words/day. Hmm … going to need to improve that if I’m to get much more than half way by 30th Sept. Have set 1000 words/day as new target. We’ll see.

12th July 2012 About 300 more words on Geoffrey’s scene with the guards – playing cards.

11th July 2012 Just 237 new words. Geoffrey gambling with his fellow guards. Spent a ridiculous amount of time ‘responding’ to the review I cut from Elin’s You Write On page yesterday. Inverted commas because there is no way actually to respond (there is no e-mail address or chat form), and anyway there’s no point. But it’s hard to be told one “has very little idea of the history of the time” by someone who demonstrates his own ignorance of the period repeatedly in his comments. (There were too silver threepenny pieces in circulation in Elizabethan England! Shakespeare himself writes ‘chamber-pot’, hyphen and all, in Coriolanus Act II Scene 1!) OK, over that now … :)

11th July 2012 No words written today for Elin. Wrote a new review and received my fifth review on You Write On (which made it possible to erase one bad review). Elin’s Story is fractionally above a 4/5 rating based on 4 votes but needs 4 more to enter the YWO charts. Received (ex-library) copies of Eric Partridge’s 2 vol. Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. Thank you ABEbooks.com!

10th July 2012 Wrote 1105 words – Geoffrey’s scene with the other guards on the night watch. Broke the 20,000 word barrier!

9th July 2012 Today’s post brought a copy of Elizabeth’s Women by Tracy Borman. Read three chapters and realised something that I’d written last week – and that has been niggling me since – was a serious mistake. Had to re-write part of the bedchamber scene between Helena and Meg. Better now. (279 new words.)

8th July 2012 Wrote about 1800 words, 778 of which went into the draft. Geoffrey joins the night watch.

7th July 2012 Family grill party. Nothing written today.

6th July 2012 Only about 400 words today. Working on Geoffey’s scene, the penultimate one of the first section. Trying to amalgamate two earlier, rather different drafts and make sure I get in one or two important points. Sticky. Wrote a review for You Write On and received a review – my first since 19th June. The site is even slower now.

5th July 2012 Wrote 1067 words. Meg’s scenes in the Great Hall with Nell and in the bedchamber with Helena. Added to Helena’s scene after her dream. Today’s post brought a copy of the autobiography of Lady Grace Mildmay (1552-1620). This must be one of the earliest autobiographies of an Englishwoman and she’s contemporary with my Elin too.

4th July 2012 Wrote 2103 words. Working on Meg’s scenes with Elin in her chamber and Walter in the Great Hall. Also prepping Part 2.

3rd July 2012 Added one sentence, changed three words. Otherwise, spent day helping a friend move house. No time for anything much else.

2nd July 2012 Wrote 513 words. Meg’s scene with Lady Helena. Spent a lot of time looking for maids/ladies of Elizabeth’s court who were briefly exiled from the Queen’s presence as a punishment for marrying without permission. There are many, I know, but few before 1576. Need to find at least two (or invent them). Visited TudorHistory.org – as ever masses of ideas. Have ordered a couple of new books & found some more to consult at University library. Dropped TudorHistory a line of thanks – have been meaning to do so for some time.

1st July 2012 Wrote 828 words. Adjustments to the Guards’ Council Chamber scene and Geoffrey’s scene (which has shifted venue). Started new scene from Meg’s pov.

30th June 2012 Wrote only about 30 words today. No point in revising the progress bar. Also, finally brought myself to open and read my mother’s letter with her critique of the first 7000-odd words. I’ve had the letter since the 26th. I sent the extract to her in hard copy as she doesn’t have Internet. (I’m far too old to be bothered with all of that.) To my relief the words transfixed and explosive appear – as good things.

29th June 2012 About 670 words. Re-writing Geoffrey’s scene so not a lot more added to the total in the progress bar.

28th June 2012 Zero progress today … but wrote another review for You Write On. Looks like whoever had Elin’s Story to review most recently chickened out. It’s not received a review for more than 5 days. Hmm. Yesterday’s post brought Eric Partridge’s Shakespeare’s Bawdy – language research!

27th June 2012 Wrote 303. Still with Geoffrey’s scene. Not happy – am I trying to make it carry too much? Over 12% completed though. Good.

26th June 2012 Wrote 1710 words today. Great relief after the recent drought. Geoffrey’s scene – more on the layout of the house and the Gorges family. Not all of it counted in the total for the book (some of it background) but still: Progress.

25th June 2012 About 40 words. Hardly seems worth recording. Doesn’t affect the percentages for the progress bar. :(

22nd-24th June 2012 Swedish Midsummer celebrations + visit by nephew Victor (aged 9) = no words written. But I did re-read the whole text to date. It’s alright. It’s quite good actually. Onward!

21st June 2012 Wrote 422 words … well, I wrote more than than that but there was a deal of deleting and rewriting. New scene from Geoffrey’s p.o.v. giving something of the layout of the house including important stuff about the cellars which I hope I slipped in unobtrusively. Also wrote another review for You Write On.

20th June 2012 Made up in a small way for yesterday’s zero production by writing 595 words. Again the scene with Walter and his lieutenants. Received a second review at You Write On (see left, at the top under ‘Elin’s Links’). Took the opportunity to edit the extract. Replaced all the present tense forms in the first scene with past tense ones. Very minor edit. I hope it reads better.

19th June 2012 Today I scored a duck.

18th June 2012 Wrote 235 words for Elin. The scene with Walter and his lieutenants, and started a scene with Geoffrey. But the most of today’s time went to reading and reviewing someone else’s extract on YouWriteOn.com. Still waiting for Elin’s second review.

17th June 2012 Wrote 848 words. The bedchamber scene is OK I think. Added some bits to Walter’s scene with his lieutenants, wrote/re-wrote part of Elin’s dream.

16th June 2012 Wrote 626, not all of which went into the total as I also cut quite a lot. Am back in the bedchamber with Helena, Meg and Nell. Not happy. Re-writing. Also re-wrote the first section putting it into the past tense.

15th June 2012 Wrote 1345 words – Helena’s letter to her mother describing her situation. This forms the beginning of Part 2. I reworked the earlier draft (see link ‘My Dearest Mother’ to the left) and tried to remove all anachronisms. Elin’s extract on You Write On received it’s first review. The reviewer didn’t like my use of the present tense in the very first section (and now nor do I).

14th June 2012 Wrote 385 words – polishing and adding to bedchamber scene with Helena, Meg and Nell.

13th June 2012 Reviewed the points I wanted to get into Part 1, identified the bits that I haven’t yet dealt with. Wrote 1033 words – continuation of bedchamber scene with Helena, Meg and Nell. Constructed this page for my website.

12th June 2012 Wrote 629 words – Walter’s conversation with his men.

11th June 2012 Finished reviewing the revised You Write On version. Reinserted two passages I had edited out to bring the extract under 7000 words. Printed out the extract (26 pages) and posted it to my mother as promised. Where to go next? Walter needs attention.

10th June 2012 Reviewed the revised You Write On version.

9th June 2012 Uploaded revised version of the first 7000 words of Elin’s Story to the You Write On site for peer review and scoring. To read this extract follow the link below and click on ‘I want to read sample chapters from this book.’ NB: Unless you are signed up with You Write On you won’t be able to follow any of the other links on the page.
Link: http://youwriteon.com/books/bookdetail.aspx?bookguid=6c170697-268b-4997-a2dd-0d26a6f4fcc7
At the same time as uploading, I removed the original version of the extract.