I'd be lying if I said I wasn't hoping the three chapters of the Cabinet so far would be enough to get me an advance. Two things help me focus when I'm writing: deadlines, and Actual Money.
In fact, I think this was a possibility, but not necessarily the most practical one - better to go to a publishers with a finished first draft of a manuscript, so they can see what they've got.
Now I have had some of my screen work novelised ('A rollercoaster of emotion' said Anthropormophised Construction Vehicles Weekly, 'A searing tale of thwarted emotions and slow-setting concrete' said the Penryn Library under-5's reading group, 'A modern day saga of revenge, passion and grand ambition' said Bernard Cornwell, creator of the Sharpe series*), but someone else did the adaptation, and my name's only on it in very small print, and I didn't actually get paid for it, so apparently it doesn't count.
So, I've set myself a thousand-words-a-day** minimum, given myself the end of September as a spurious and unlikely deadline and gone through all my notes to see if I left myself any clues for an ending (I like going through my notes, as I recognize the handwriting, but never any of the sentences; it's like reading letters from a parallel you in a universe unrestrained by technicalities like spelling, or having to actually finish anything). And to my surprise, I sort of had left myself an ending- although whether it'll still seem like a good idea when I good closer to it, I don't know.
Currently I'm writing completely out of sequence, which it wouldn't have occurred to me to do previously. That's a GW hangover, when you just write the fun bits, although I will have to do things like exposition and plot at some point. But quite often writing a piece of chapter three solves a problem you've been fretting about in chapter two (I'm keeping one as is, but rewriting from then on, so I ought to take the sample chapters off the website soon). I think three chapters ahead is my maximum at the moment. Currently, I'm writing about the Collector's suit. It's a good suit, and deserves its own little space in the book, so that's what I'm giving it.
* He actually did say this, for which he will always be in premier position of my list of Top Five Good Blokes Of Alll Time.
** They don't have to be good words*** - it helps to remember this. Just chuck it all down and worry about the details later.
*** These don't count, obviously.