Friday, August 6, 2010

Facing Deadlines

I work best when I have lots of time to plan, craft, and listen to my characters. I can work under pressure when necessary, but I am so picky, it’s difficult.
Right now I have two books to finish, and the date for one is swiftly approaching. This is our new anthology "An Aspen Grove Christmas," written again with Sherry Derr-Wille, Luanna Rugh, and Christie Shary. This time we’re introducing a new author to everyone: Cheryl Gardarian. Cheryl has been part of the Lagunita Writers Group for the past year and is emerging as a real force to be reckoned with! She is working on the final edit of her novella, “Christmas Treasure.”

Sherry has already finished “Cory’s Christmas.” Lu completed “Christmas Day” last year and has done the final edit—cutting 5,000 words from the original manuscript! Believe it or not, the revised version is much better than the original! (Often less truly is more!)

I’ve been working on two urgent manuscripts, my romance/fantasy "Ghost Writer," and my contribution to "An Aspen Grove Christmas" called “Mistletoe Magic.” The characters from both books are in a shouting match to get my attention.
Max, the title character in "Ghost Writer," is the loudest. Of course, he has an ego the size of Jupiter, and he’s persistent.

But the current priority is “Mistletoe Magic.” Noelle and Matt, the young couple in this one have been waiting patiently for their turn. And the time has come to allow them to tell their story. And a sweet story it is!

I finished another chapter today, and they are quite clear about how they want their story told. Having their clear input always makes writing easier. It’s just a matter of crafting the words in such a way as to clearly convey their ideas and emotions.

Both Sherry and Lu can quickly crank out the words, do a quick edit, and they’re done. Turns out, Cheryl can, too! Only Christie and I feel the need to really listen and record our characters’ ideas as they want them conveyed.
I have about four more chapters to finish—in the next week. Christie is on vacation, so I don’t know where she is with hers. And I don’t even have her title yet. But she is a yeoman, experienced writer, and she’ll come through.
So, instead of tackling the next chapter, I’m sharing the process with you. Sometimes I have to get away from the story, take a deep breath, and then plunge in again.

Wish me luck! Matt and Noelle are anxious to get to the wedding, and I’m pressed to get them there!