Easy Pieces

I've come up with a new scheme to make writing (and finishing) How Can I Tell You (Touchstone, Summer '09) a bit more manageable. I usually work by word counts, setting a daily, weekly and monthly goal. (So far I have just under 40k written which isn't bad considering I had a few weeks of not doing anything while I twiddled my thumbs. Once I heard my editor was OK with the new direction, I had to cut a pretty significant chuck off and re-outline.)

Since I now find myself with not only a deadline but a looming one (September 1) I've come upon the gimmick of sectioning off pieces of the manuscript into 25 page chunks and then forcing them upon my small group of readers. This is so I won't dawdle over sections and just keep plowing forward. Once I finish I'll take all their notes and use a few weeks in August to give the whole thing a marathon revise and polish.

So what have I learned from writing/selling two books on proposal (a partial and a summary/outline)? Never again! For now on I'll write the whole thing, live with it for a while, revise it, polish it and then shop it around. Selling on proposal is a goal for many writers (it was for me until I lived through it) and though I like working with a deadline, I'd rather it be my own and not have to worry about lousing up my editor's and publisher's schedule because I can't get on the stick.

No comments: