Today I was signing books at The Glasgow Markets in the Hidden Gardens at the Tramway. Fab turnout and was pretty chuffed at how many books sold, plus my friend Jen brought me tea and a Tunnock’s tea cake so all was right in the world of Claire. Only in Glasgow though — the weather was so lively that on several occasions half the stallholders and a few customers had to leap up to hold down the marquee we were all in to stop it blowing away. So that was fun too.
Headed through to Edinburgh for a trapeze and aerial silks workshop with the aerial yoga crew! Discovered that I have no fear… and possibly should have some as turns out I’m not as coordinated as you’d think. Crash mats for the win 😂 Absolutely loved it — definitely a New Year’s resolution to take up properly. Afterwards got to catch up with my lovely friend Kim who also lives the bi-North Sea lifestyle 😆
All about Top Secret Script today, mostly focusing on breaking down the overall story of the episode into scenes. Writers often get asked whether we plot or pants: I do both at different stages. I start by scribbling out an outline as it falls into my head, then I do some plotting to make sure that the nuts and bolts of a story structure is there (this is particularly important for TV as you have to work around ad breaks!), then when I know the spine is solid I forget it all and go back to instinct. In the evening some friends came round so I could practice teaching yoga on them, then we had some drinks by the fire which is absolutely how every yoga class should end.
Today I worked on my new book. At the plotting stage, I like to switch back and forth between a few projects (when time allows), so that as I’m working on one, the other kind of bubbles away at the back of my brain. I haven’t quite nailed the ending yet — this one is a bit more action-y than most books I’ve written so far, so there’s a lot of moving parts to bring together at the end and at the moment it’s a bit bitty. That’ll come though. As long as I know roughly what needs to happen at this stage, it’ll all be fine.
Back to the script. Think I’ve nailed the treatment — these terms can mean loads of things (so if a producer ever asks you for a ‘treatment’ get them to specify what they expect!) but to me, a treatment is a breakdown of the script scene-by-scene — essentially everything but the dialogue. This script is based on historical events, so it’s been an interesting learning curve figuring out how to balance the real stuff with keeping the story tight and efficient. I had to combine two real people into a single character today (if I included every actual person involved it would be a cast of thousands), but the one I dinged is one of my personal heroines so I feel awful! Will write something else about her someday to make up for it 😩
Worked on the outline of the book this morning — the ending is still dodgy, but improving! — got an exciting update on one of the Top Secret Projects, did a bit of Christmas shopping then met my friend and fellow author Heleen for some drinks — always fun to catch up on plans and industry gossip ❤️ Afterwards, I collapsed in front of the fire and the new season of The Marvellous Mrs Maizel, and discovered that an afternoon of fancy Christmas cocktails and attempting to crochet a hat for your nephew do not mix.
It’s Chriiiiiiiissstmmaaaaasss!! One of the perks of being your own boss is that you get to decide when your Christmas holidays start. My mum gave me a spa day for my birthday a few weeks ago, and I decided to save it until today to kick some festive relaxation off with a bang! Assuming I don’t melt, this weekend will be finishing my shopping (just Grandma and the kids to get for now!), a Christmas party, 101 Sun Salutations for the Winter Solstice, and making the Christmas pudding! Then I am off to London and signing off social media for a week of family madness. See you in the roaring twenties! 🥂