For the past month, I’ve been juggling two projects. One is a proposal for a Harlequin line, the other is the second half of a book I’ve chosen to transform into a single title. I’d work on one until something came up with the other, then switch. Now, this isn’t a very efficient way for me to work, because there’s always a period of adjustment for me to really get back into the story I’m working on. And, quite frankly, I was starting to get tired of both projects because they were dragging on so long.
But I wanted to get the single title done before Nationals. That is my goal, because I’m pitching this book to an editor and agent while I’m there. Plus, if I get too tired of it, I’ll just give up and move on to something more exciting (like the brand spanking new idea for a single title series I have roaming my brain at the moment), and that would be a waste of the six months I have invested in this story. Not to mention that I haven't abandoned a story yet... I don't want to start with this one.
I decided I needed help and external motivation to accomplish this task. So I signed up for a class called Fast Draft (taught by author Candace Havens) where you write a book in 2 weeks. And that’s exactly what she expects you to do. 20 pages per day. No excuses. Lucky for me, I have 1 very good caveat: my book was half written already. So my goal has been 13 pages per day and in a week I’ve written 98 pages. I’m quite impressed and finally seeing the end of the tunnel after a long time in the trenches.
Not that it’s been easy, by any stretch of the imagination. Though I’m sure I have it a lot easier than women who have to work full time. But I do have rug rats underfoot all day, who require being fed and toted places occasionally. It’s really hard to keep your focus when munchkins come in asking you questions all the time or just wanting to tell you about something interesting. I can shut them out for a little while, but not all day.
According to the teacher, the average author can write 20 pages in about 3 hours. I’ve always thought I was a slow writer and now I know it for certain. It takes me 4 hours (approximately) to write my 13 pages. On a good day. Add in interruptions, and it is taking me quite a large chunk of my day to get this accomplished. But accomplish it, I do. Of which I’m very proud.
My birthday is coming up this week and someone asked me what I was going to do to celebrate. My answer? Write. The class won’t be over yet, but the book will be almost done. :)
When you are working on a project, do you like to sprint to the finish or pace yourself? Authors, do you think fast drafting would work for you? Why or why not?
Our very own Instigator is blogging today on the Blaze Authors loop.
On Thursday, June 11th, welcome author Julie Cohen to the Playground.
Don’t forget!! We are currently suffering from a fit of nostalgia… 80’s nostalgia. As part of the madness, we’ve declared June 16th Big Hair Day on the blog. Send us pictures of your Texas Hair, your Mall Bangs, your poodle perm, or even that asymmetrical Flock of Seagulls hairstyle you wore so proudly! There will be competitions, bragging rights to be gained, prizes, and much amusement at what used to be so attractive. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 10 if you want to play along!