Wednesday, October 8, 2008

CHALLENGE!

I am facing an amazing challenge, the kind that strikes terror into the heart of anyone who has ever faced a deadline. I thought, when I had to do a major re-write of Thai Die, that everything to follow got pushed down the time line a couple of months. That though the original deadline for Blackwork was the end of 2008, it would now be due in February or even March.

Then I was invited to debut Blackwork at a science fiction convention called Gaylaxicon – and you don’t have to be a detective to understand what the focus of that con is. The person running it in 2009 is a good friend of mine, someone I’ve known for probably close to thirty years. And it will be in Minneapolis, a first for this convention. Gaylaxicon will be held October 9 – 11. The reason he wants to debut the novel is that he is a sort of Godfather to Godwin, the gay man who is my sleuth Betsy’s sidekick, mentor, advisor and good friend.

I thought it wouldn’t work, as now (in my mind) the due date for the completion of the manuscript should now be too late for that pub date. To confirm, I asked my editor at Berkley when the pub date for Blackwork might be. Well, she said, we’re talking October 2009. I told Don that it looked good for debuting the novel.

And at the same time I felt a little trickle of fear. It takes time for a novel to go from manuscript to finished product. March, or even February, to October is awfully short a time in the normal course of events. When, I inquired, is the ms due to you? And the reply came: The end of this year.

I’m on Chapter Six. Well, Seven if I split that one long chapter in two.

Part of me is in a mild state of panic – but another part of me is exhilarated by this challenge.
So watch this space! And if anyone has any advice or encouragement to offer, please feel welcome.

The coundown begins now

6 comments:

Camille Minichino said...

You can do it, Monica! What a great opportunity you have coming up.

My personal best is 65 days for the nearly 88000-word ms I just finished.

I have a graph/spread sheet -- I blogged about it once -- that shows me where I am with respect to the deadline and % completed every day. If you want more details, let me know.

However, I'm sure you have your own methods -- and they have apparently worked well so far!

Terri Thayer said...

Go, Monica, go. The only thing you don't have time for is doubt. So banish all negative thoughts and write. I think you'll surprise yourself.

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Betty Hechtman said...

Camille and Terri beat me to the punch. I was going to say pretty much the same words of encouragement.

Just remember you are a skilled professional. You will do great.

Julie (Chloe's mom) said...

As I discovered when I was writing full-time, it's remarkable what you can do when they say, "Finish the book or give the money back." That's probably the best motivation I've ever had.
Also, divide the number of pages/words yet to be written by the number of writing days available to you and write that many words/pages each day, even if you're working some looooooong days. Keep track in a little notebook, it accomplishes nothing, but it makes you feel better.
Also get up earlier than you ever thought possible.
All of these have proven effective for me. Panic helps, too.

Good luck! Julie (Chloe's mom)

Monica Ferris said...

Julie (Chloe's Mom): That's a method I used before when faced with an urgent deadline. It's simple, but meeting daily/weekly goals did give me a sense of accomplishment and kept me on track.

Camille, your method is probably more precise, but I'd use up too much time trying to make one up! LOL