Monday, January 31, 2011
How to Meet a Deadline
The countdown is on! I officially have one month until book #2 is due to my editor. It is my first time to write a book on a deadline. It's exhilarating and scary.
Here's what I've learned so far about how to meet a deadline.
1. Banish self doubt. There isn't time to constantly second guess every decision. If an editor had faith that you could deliver, have that same amount of confidence in your own abilities.
2. Have a great critique partner. When I couldn't make a chapter in my book work, I sent it to my critique partner and got some great advice. (Thanks, Sue!) On a tight deadline, it helps to have a fresh set of eyes on your project.
3. Focus on the big picture changes first. I have a tendency to tinker with my scenes. Change a small sentence here. Reword a phrase there. That is not progress. Save the tinkering for your final run through of the book.
4. Leave enough time for surprises. I just received my galley proofs for Canyon Walls. Yea! It means I'm going to have to step away from book #2 to proof the galleys of book #1. If I had left myself only enough time to finish book #2, it would have changed the arrival of the galley from an exciting development to a stressful one.
How about you? Do you work better on a deadline? If you're unpublished, do you impose your own deadlines for your writing?