Friday, May 30, 2008

The Whooshing Sound of Deadlines

I take a lot of pride in the fact that I almost never miss my deadlines, but, just like with my college papers, I always find a way to get my book in EXACTLY on time -- which, in the case of June 1, which falls on a Sunday, often means I'm technically going to deliver a couple days late.

I have no idea how my editor feels about this, but it's something I do reliably, like clockwork. I suspect she just rolls her eyes at me, because, barring major tragedy, I have never been later than a couple of weeks. Actually, there was the book that I never finished (the St. Paul alternate history/magic book) that turned into a contract renegotiation for Tall, Dark & Dead... so I can't really say I've NEVER missed a deadline.

I suspect I'd be better served if I were more like Kelly and could get my books in months ahead of deadline, but my personality won't allow it. I'm anal about holding on to a manuscript and re-working it and trying desperately to find every last typo and plot hole. I should say though, too, that I tend to have a very messy first draft. I write so organically that by the end I usually do need to go back over the beast a few times to make sure the beginning and the ending match.

Anyway, I don't have anything of substance to say about deadlines and the whooshing sound they make as they pass, except I'm mostly done. My book will arrive a few days late, but it will be there.


Kelly McCullough said...

Not that the guy who finishes books five months ahead of deadline so that he can have two months to obsess over reader comments and still get the book in early is the least bit anal.

Anonymous said...

Don't know who you mean.

Ann Wilkes said...

Mostly that like "mostly dead"? Hope you're a Princess Bride fan, or that one fell flat...

I can't get anything done without a deadline. But late? I'm the queen. Striving for "on time", always does it to me. Heaven forbid I should strive for early!

Kelly Swails said...

I've had a few deadlines and I've beat them by a few weeks or a few days. My last story I turned in the day before it was due and I Freaked Out about turning it in that close to the deadline.

Probably if I had a book deadline it'd be the same way. You need it June 1? Well, it's May 15. Here you go.

Now, personal deadlines? I shoot those all to hell. "That doesn't really need to be done then ..."