The Travelling Writer

I’ve been writing on the train for a couple of weeks now and I thought it was about time I gave you an update on how I’m going.

At first, as I mentioned in a previous entry – I Wrote Today…On the Train, I felt strange about the entire thing, but that strangeness only lasted a couple of days. Now, mainly because I’ve changed where I sit so I feel less conspicuous, I write to my heart’s content. I usually manage an hour and a half (or a little more) each day, which is working extremely well.

It took me a little while to get used to the keyboard on the Aspire One, but that hurdle has also been crossed.

I’ve been working on Mirror Image. You might remember that I had decided in a moment of genius to separate my manuscript into individual storylines. My intension was to concentrate purely on one individual at a time. It’s the first time I’ve done this with a manuscript so I wasn’t entirely sure how it would work out. Mirror Image was the perfect story to experiment on though, as each character’s storyline really needs to be separate and clearly defined. I think editing in this way was a success (for this story). However, I believe trying to do this for my other manuscripts might prove too hard.

Anyway, I completed all the storyline editing and yesterday morning I spent the entire train trip merging them back together. Now that was hard…and time consuming! Luckily, I used the original draft as a guide but it meant a lot of copying and pasting between eight files. I was fully aware that an error could easily be made so I took my time and tried to remain focused.

This morning, as a precaution I compared the first draft manuscript and the latest draft…and discovered no errors! Working systematically as I did was the key.

My original plan was to read the full manuscript now and edit as I go, but another part of me would love to see the manuscript printed so that it can be read it that way instead.

What to do?

I think I’d be better off sticking to my plan and doing a read and edit on the computer first. It’s the sensible thing to do as I know I will need to smooth out the transitions between scenes, so why waste the paper? I’ll do what needs to be done and then I’ll have a “cleaner” printed manuscript later.

5 thoughts on “The Travelling Writer”

  1. I’d have to write with my back not facing another seat? I can think of some good spots on CityRail trains, but Melbourne trains don’t really have such conspicuous spots…

    I’d so freak about getting the order of the storylines messed up. Did the edit of the individual stories necessitate a changing of the order of the scenes when they were put back together?

  2. Glad to hear the writing is working out for you. I’ve been writing at lunch getting in 20-40 minutes each day. It’s a little less than you pace but it’s writing almost every day.

    I’ve also started writing while my son is at his sports and swimming. It felt odd the first time but you quickly get over it.

  3. Benjamin, I sit in the single seat at the rear of the compartment. It’s ideal as no one can sit or stand behind me and no one can sit beside me. Because I feel secluded, I write freely.

    Yes, the order of the scenes is VERY important to the story. The scenes are short and change from one character to the next, but combined they show one continuous scene (from many sets of eyes). So to put just one in the wrong place would confuse the reader instantly.

    Terry, I’m glad you have a writing routine too. It’s amazing how quickly adapt when we have to. Good luck.

  4. I’m only on the intercity trains. There are usually about 8 single seats in each carriage. Getting on at the first station allows me to pick and choose.


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