Monday, December 05, 2011
29 and NOT Holding!
This poor book has been beset by so many problems, you’d think it had been visited by the seven Biblical plagues. It’s no wonder it’s behind schedule. But it’s not the book itself that has issues, but the author. This year has been a humdinger, and I can’t wait for it to be done with.
I started book #7 ages ago, but one thing after another kept interfering with its progress. For starters, my work schedule at the office was heavier than usual and I put in longer hours. It also seems I had one ailment after another, starting with last December, and even now am fighting a tooth abscess and waiting to schedule a root canal. Thankfully, nothing turned out to be major, but all set me back time wise, especially a bad fall I took in February in Atlanta. Top that off with some other personal issues and you have writing schedule disaster. First Gem of a Ghost was turned in late, now Odelia #7 is tardy. I’ve pretty much spent all of 2011 limping after the calendar. And this year I only had 2 books due, instead of my usual 3. (Whew!)
It happens to all writers. I know authors who have turned in books 6-12 months late. I’m not sure how their publishers deal with that since schedules for catalogues and marketing are set far in advance, but I’m doing my very best to hit my publisher’s extended January deadline.
The problem with a book getting interrupted by bumps in the author’s life is that you can lose focus of the story. That happened to me with this Odelia book, something I realized this weekend as I was slogging away on it. I use the term “slogging” specifically because that’s what it felt like each time I sat down at the computer. Usually my writing flies, but these past few weeks it has dragged like a dead body caught under a mob car.
So what’s a harried author to do?
On Saturday afternoon I stopped working on the manuscript and went back to page 1, paragraph 1, word 1. I started from the beginning, editing and reading and taking notes along the way. And it’s a good thing. Seems what I was writing later in the novel was in conflict with the beginning of the book. I also noticed that the beginning, while still needing editing, was tighter and much more focused and more fun to read. The chapters I had been working on seem rushed and scattered in comparison.
As of this morning, I’ve edited everything I have to date and it’s flowing well and is consistent. I’m back on track.
I’m still not settled on a title for this book. I have a couple in mind, but nothing that jumps out at me. I’m sure between my publisher and I, we will come up with something fun.
So please excuse me now, I have to get a book done in … um … 29 days.