Author Journal 10th – 16th June 2021

Ever since last week’s startling revelation of the obvious—that Thursday is my Monday—my time has been a lot less hectic. Actually, all the hecticness has reduced massively. I realise now that the hectic feeling is just that, a feeling.

It comes down to how I’d framed things—mindset if you will. I set out with Monday to Sunday as my set week, even though that hasn’t reflected my reality for some time now, and that caused me to chase my tail constantly. Now that I’ve reframed my week, it’s like I have a wee bit more time to work, to go out to play on the bikes, to unwind.

With that, here’s the week in review.

Review 3rd to 9th June 2021

My Writing Goals for Last Week

  • Complete Editorial Pass for Character (6/7) from Sparking Story Drafts by H. R. D’Costa
    • Action Step (AS) 36
    • AS 37
    • AS 38a
    • AS 38b
    • AS 38c
    • AS 38d

How Did I Do?

I didn’t complete the whole pass, but then I knew the goal was over-ambitious. However, I did get to the end of AS 38a, taking me to around 65% of the way through the pass.

How Do I Feel About That?

I’m happy with where I got to last week. Some of it—AS 36, where I was devising extra obstacles for scenes—was time-consuming and a strain on concentration, but I remedied that strain by reinstating the *Pomodoro Technique and finally got it done.

Other parts were faster to complete than I’d expected. AS 37 was one of the quick steps. In AS 37, I went through the outline, searching for and fixing any points where I’d sacrificed character. These aren’t literal sacrifices. There are numerous forms of sacrifice to correct, for instance, where a character does something for the sake of the plot and not because it’s in their nature.

For example, a character has major sexual hangups and has stated numerous times that no matter how into someone they are, they can’t initiate sex. BUT, because the writer needs the sex to happen for the plot, the character suddenly has zero hangups and is almost aggressive in pursuing sexual contact. Of course, that’s an over-the-top example, but it happens all the time on TV shows.

Another form of character sacrifice crops up when it’s needed for genre. Think about how mad you get when you watch a horror movie, and the seemingly intelligent hero(ine) ignores the backdoor that leads to safety and instead sprints up the stairs, trapping themselves with the bad guy/beastie.

Action Step 38a was a fun task. After running through the outline, I made a character pyramid. This was a new term and a new tool for me. Basically, there are three levels within the character pyramid: 1 = main character(s) (MCs); 2 = MC’s allies; 3 = love interests or, as I’m writing a dual-protagonist romance, I’ve put critical lower-level allies and family into this level.

Character Pyramid for Working The Asset


*The Pomodoro Technique, if you haven’t heard of it, is where you set a timer for twenty-five minutes. For the entire duration of the timer, you focus on nothing but your task. At the end of the timer, you get a five-minute break—long enough to pour another coffee.

This Week’s Goal

  • Complete Editorial Pass #6 (of 7): Character (Sparkling Story Drafts) for Working The Asset.
    • AS 38b
    • AS 38c
    • AS 38d
  • Start Editorial Pass for Odds and Ends (Final Pass!)
    • AS 39a


ThursdayAS 38b
FridayAS 38b (add new scenes) and Blog post
SaturdayRead chapter 42 of Sparkling Story Drafts (SSD); AS 38c
SundayAS 38d; read Part VII of SSD; read chapter 43 SSD
MondayAS 39a
TuesdayDay off–bike ride
WednesdayDay off–bike ride

Have you ever used timers to aid concetration, or to just get a task done? Do you have other methods to get you through tough jobs?

Until next week, thanks for stopping by, and take care.


Author: Susan T. Braithwaite

Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband,, and our squirrel army.​

5 thoughts on “Author Journal 10th – 16th June 2021

  1. bushboy says:

    It would be so cool if you used an hour glass. Keep writing and I am sure the tasks you set are too over the top. Would taking it down a notch make writing more satisfying. 🙂

    1. A real hour glass is just something for me to play with…
      Until this last week, I agreed with you on maybe taking the tasks down a bit. But, things went really well this time. If it becomes an issue I’ll probably drop the workload a notch or two.

      1. bushboy says:

        Glad to see the work flow easier Susan 🙂

  2. Chris Hall says:

    Interesting, Susan! Especially the super-smart techniques. I’ve never used a timer, although I’m always conscious of my time running out… that’s loadshedding SA for you – back to rolling power cuts again.
    Happy writing, my friend 🙂

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