Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Deadline

From one of my commenters:

"So remind us when you do post, when is the deadline?"

My deadlines are more like ... guidelines, to quote from Pirates of the Caribbean. My editor is wonderfully accomodating -- as much as the marketing people allow her to be. Right now I'm aiming for Friday, July 7, because I desperately want the thing done and out of the house when I leave for Denver. If that doesn't happen, then I'll turn it in sometime in the next week. The latter is definitely do-able... but I'll pay the price later on, of getting shorted when I'm working on the final draft. And right now I really need some distance from it. As I'm going through the coherence edits I am coming upon so many little details that I just threw down, and now need to work out... But since I haven't decided what all I'm keeping yet, I don't want to get too carried away with detail work. And I really really want to be finished by Friday.

I've finished the rough draft of ch 38 and started ch 39, and just printed up the finished coherence edit of ch 22. Which means I have a lot more editing work left to do than first drafting. It looks like it's going to be 40 chapters long. This is where I have to start applying that Tom Clancy quote about good enough being good enough, whereas perfect is a total pain and often not worth the trouble anyway.
This is where I come upon a scene in the editing process that's all wrong. I see I have to change the setting, the intent, the subject matter and maybe even the point of view, but I have no time to think through all that now. So I trim it up as best I can and allow myself to leave it, even knowing it's all wrong. That is very hard for me to do, but it's one of the things this writing to a deadline stuff has forced upon me. It's a good thing, I think, one that forces a certain kind of humility -- you've done the best you could in the time you had. That's all you can do. And if it's criticized for not being better than it is ... oh well.

Still plugging,