Saturday, August 26, 2006

Rather than a figurative line floating somewhere in the romantic notions of aspiring authors, deadlines are really dates, given by the publisher, for when a manuscript is due.

Sound a little less like the fairytale?

Janelle and I thought so, too, especially when we realized that with more than twelve chapters left to write, our deadline was only eight weeks away. Added to that, the pressure of preparing for the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference, held every year in September, loomed heavy over our heads. Both of us have other manuscripts we want to pitch, so finishing this book early became doubly important. In order to conserve time, we decided to put aside the editing for a bit, and concentrate on getting the story down on paper. . .er. . .computer.

Funny thing is, the rest of the world didn't stop simply because we had a deadline. There was still home, work, and family, to deal with, not to mention VBS! How did we do it? I found myself spending a lot less time answering emails and surfing the internet, for one thing, but the biggest time saver of all was simply turning off the t.v. and forcing myself to write, even it was only a page or two each night.

The days and chapters flew by as we scrambled to get the writing done and still give ourselves and our crit groups ample time to critique. Thankfully, they were understanding and agreed to look over large portions of the manuscript in order to help us meet our deadline. That did not, however, mean less to change. Like any good crit group, my partners are dedicated to helping me put out the very best novel I can, which translated to minor, but necessary revisions. I didn’t mind. Better them, than my editor.

Once the novel was complete, Janelle and I got together to apply the final edits. Both of us could realistically be accused of being perfectionists. She is very detail oriented, and I am nit-picky when it comes to editing, so we prepared ourselves for a long day of hard work. The entire process took nearly ten hours, but we were satisfied with the finished product and managed to submit the book with four weeks to spare.

Next week: Hurry up and Wait


Jackie Castle said...

Ah, but doesn't it feel good to say, "I did it"? It's funny, but you work so hard, the clock ticking loud in your ears, and then you finally type that last word... Ah sweet. And then, after that? It's like your in a free fall...waiting and waiting.
I'm eager to read your next installment on how you deal with that after euphoria feeling.

Ane Mulligan said...

We crit partners didn't have it bad at all! This is one whooping good novel! Run - do not walk - the moment it comes out and buy a copy!

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