Friday, May 08, 2009

Blame it on the deadline

Yikes! I forgot I was supposed to post until this morning! I even wrote it in my calendar and forgot. But that's what deadline brain does. I'm rolling along fine, with about 4 weeks to go, but I'm also being very focused and worrying about each and every little thing. I didn't have second book syndrome, thankfully.

But I may be having 3rd book syndrome. This is the first book in a new contract, and I'm so worried about not disappointing my editor, about not shaking her faith in me. HMB has given me a wonderful opportunity, and I don't want to disappoint anyone there.

And yet I know I always feel this way at a certain point in the book. I always have that sinking feeling that it's not working, that I suck, and that I'll never pull this off. And then, somehow, it comes together. Somehow, I write through the hard part, and it goes smoother and I suddenly see the pattern I'd been missing, the piece that makes it all fall together.

It's an amazing and frightening process, especially when I know someone is waiting for this book, that it no doubt has a tentative slot on the schedule, and that I must deliver a quality product. It's just my process, though, and I'm learning to accept it for what it is.

So blame it on the deadline for the short post, but I have to get back to work. Let's talk process, though. What is yours? Do you see yourself adapting it, if you aren't published yet, for when you do sell a book? Or do you think your process works so well you can't imagine changing a thing? Plotter or Pantser or Hybrid? I'm a pantser all the way.....


Karen Beeching said...

I'm a hybrid. I plan major plot points and then panster my way through the rest. Each published author I've talked to has mentioned that doubt you describe here. I think it's normal and I'm certain I'll going to go through it when I'm published. Hopefully it just pushes us to write the best quality book we can. :)

Christine said...

Lynn: You'll get through it and you'll finish the story!!
I am a plotter/pantser... hybrid. I tried just sticking to the plot and that took away the creative edge. Now I see myself growing and emerging as a writer and the process is changing as well with each book.

Doubt and worry come with the writing territory--unpublished or published. Keep at it--it's like you said: struggling in one area makes one feel like, oh oh, it's never going to come together, but then the solution creaks out and you swiftly move forward till you hit the next snag in the fishing line.

Rooting for you!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hi, Karen! Yes, I think the doubt is very normal. I was just on one of my Harlequin loops where people were saying the same thing! And I think one of them was working on her 10th book or something. Maybe the doubt keeps us honest. :)

Christine, yes, I know what you mean about trying to plot and losing the creative edge! I've tried it, and failed. I just don't plot well. I have to write it and see what happens. Sometimes that means rewriting, but I'm learning it's just the way it works for me.

And now I'm back to it. Thanks for the encouragement!!

Carla Swafford said...

I'm a pantser with strange habits. As I finish each chapter, I write an outline of what I've written. Otherwise, I forget what I've already shown the reader and will do so over and over again with variations.

I've been thinking of plotting my next book ahead of time to help me speed up the writing process. I just won't plot the last two or three chapters so I'll be surprised.

M.V.Freeman said...

I am adapting as I write. I have also discovered I'm a hybrid--which is alot like discovering that you have a long lost sister, you're happy about it, but what do you do now?

I am going to cheer you on!

Now, I have my own personal deadline to meet...*sigh*
(Carla--I like that idea for your next book!)

Louisa Cornell said...

Lynn, my CP and I were discussing this just last night. We talked about the fact that we procrastinate and waste time now and how the heck are we going to meet a deadline once we DO sell a book. EEEEK! So, we are trying very hard to convince ourselves that we DO have a deadline even if it is self-imposed. They say it takes 90 days to form a new habit so we are determined to write five pages a day for the next ninety days.

My process is strictly by the seat of my pants for the most part. However, with each book I HAVE had a more substantial synopsis each time. Do I veer off from the synopsis? Sure! But I do have a better outline for the third book than I did for the first.

M.V.Freeman said...

I LOVE your idea of writing 5 pages a day for 90 days!

I also have decided to finish the darn book, and move on. I have determined if I write 1200 words a day til the end of june I will get my word count and book I am also off to the races.

I refuse to let my procrastination win anymore.

I salute all of us, who have made that same decision!