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Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Author Insight: Defeating the Deadline

Do you have a strategy when you’re on deadline?

"Turn off the internet. There are no greater distractions in my life than the corner of my screen that announces I have a new email." - Aimee Carter, author of The Goddess Test

"Caffeine. Nap. All-nighter. Nap. Take a shower. Caffeine. Nap. Rinse. Repeat." - Leanna Renee Hieber, author of Darker Still and  The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess.

"I just count the days left and try to divide my task into manageable chunks. It's helpful to have a desk calendar so that each day's wordcount or specific task is spelled out right in front of you. I'm a listmaker, too. There's something so compelling about crossing items off a list!" - Sonia Gensler, author of The Revenant


"Nope. Deadline is strategy enough. My problem is that I have no strategy when I am NOT on deadline.  I need to believe that someone wants what I am writing.  Really wants it and is possibly going to love it.  Again, it’s like sex.  If someone wants me, well, that’s a deadline, baby oh baby.  And if I have the feeling no one wants me, then I’ll just keep my pants zipped and find something else to do.  That’s why God invented cable TV.  TV Guide and the Bible, I’ve come to learn, are variations of the same book." - Randy Russell, author of Dead Rules.

"Get it done. Forget the world, bills, dinner, cleaning, grocery shopping… they’ll survive without me for a few weeks. And I just get it done. I’ve never missed a deadline, and I don’t ever plan to." - Suzanne Young, author of A Need So Beautiful.

"I haven’t had a serious deadline yet (knock on wood), but I imagine I’d have to give up reading several books a week." - Miranda Kennealy, author of Catching Jordan.


"Write. A lot. That sounds flippant, I know. But, frankly, it's the only strategy I can think of." - Lesley Livingston, author of Tempestuous

"Yes, depending on which draft I’m working on, I have a certain number of words or chapters that I have to finish every day. If the deadline is really tight and I have a lot of work to do, I go away for a week so that I can focus exclusively on the book. (When my fictional kids are fighting my real ones for attention I get bad-tempered with everyone.)" - Amy Plum, author of Die for Me

"Write. The first novel I ever wrote under deadline was The Novel Formerly Known as Hellbent. It was also the hardest novel I ever wrote because I needed to wrap up a trilogy with a tidy ribbon. Which is really hard. Really hard. Hard. I started and stopped a bazillion times, and it sat most of last year untouched. My deadline was April 1st, so when December rolled around I started to panic. I sat down and wrote. And, guess what? By the end of December I had a novel. Course, no one got any Christmas gifts, and I didn’t sleep for most of a month, but it got done." - Lisa Desrochers, author of Original Sin

"Just to pace myself and manage my time accordingly. Of course, that really sounds convincing, doesn't it, since I was frantically trying to finish these questions!"   - Jennifer Murgia, author of Lemniscate.

"1. Stay in my pajamas, don’t bathe, don’t shave, leave the dishes and the laundry for another day, or week, or whatever. " - Steve Watkins, author of What Comes After.

2. Get up really, really early, before the kids are stirring, write and revise and write and revise and write and revise all day.

3. Try to not read over anything at night when I’m too tired and so everything sucks.

4. Refrain from talking about the characters in my book as if they were real people on the rare occasion that I leave my house or answer the phone and find myself in actual conversation with real people.

5. Don’t read anybody else’s fiction if I’m writing fiction.

6. Drink coffee. Do yoga. Drink more coffee. Do more yoga.

7. Walk the dog. Toss the football with Lili. Rhyme stuff with Claire.

8. Ask my wife Janet to read what I’ve written, and pray she likes it, and revise further if she doesn’t.

9. Repeat as necessary.

"I’m really good under deadlines! I love deadlines. I wish I had a deadline for the book I’m working on now that doesn’t ever want to be finished! Honestly when I’m on deadline I can write all day and all night and neglect essentials like showering and teeth brushing with no problem." - Janet Gurtler, author of I'm Not Her

Stop by Tuesday to learn if the authors have ever started reading a book and foubd it intimidating. The epic giveaway for this round goes live the same day!
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