The first stage of this has been quite a learning process. As I’ve worked through the Channel Islands, I’ve realised that I’m trying to do a final draft which is effectively doubling the time spent per section. Now there are big benefits to this, including being able to show people the work in progress, but realistically it’s not the best use of time. The weather right now is good and the likelihood of being able to fly into small airfields is at it’s highest. In the dark days of winter, there will be little or no chance of planning flights, especially to the northern islands, but plenty of time for writing.
So I’ve been struggling quite a bit with tone of voice, tense, transitions and markers and I think that’s the wrong thing to be focusing on right now. I need to do a basic write-up while it’s fresh, locations, history, people, what happened and how it felt. But it doesn’t need to flow, in fact it doesn’t even need to link up. As long as all the pieces are there. I can make sense out of the jigsaw later at my leisure.
Planning for the Isle of Wight and Scilly Isles has put this into sharp relief. Sensible would be to write down now my expectations and worries (600 meter runway!) in preparation for the trip rather than re-writing the previous prose over and over again. I have 16,000 words which means I have enough to cut liberally, always a dream, and I am not relying on hazy memories or scribbled notes, I’ve written the detail.
I do need to work out technical writing issues and the sooner I’m happier with the “house style” for this particular project, the easier it will be. But I need to prioritise the the content over the technique.