Working to Catch Up

THIS 1st PART IS FOR READERS (and fans of Forgive Me, Alex):

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I’ve heard from more than a few of you with something along these lines: “Hurry up and finish the damn sequel, Diamond!” I’m trying. I really am.

My duties as managing publisher/editor at Evolved Publishing have forced my duties as an author into the back seat. Well, the view back there sucks! And I’m getting tired of it.

So I’m now officially back to writing every day, even if just for an hour (hopefully 2 or 3 on most days). I simply must make daily progress, or The Devil’s Bane will just keep being relegated to the dustbin of what-would-have-been. Indeed, I’ve been re-reading The Devil’s Bane in preparation for charging full steam ahead starting Sunday night. (So by the time you see this on Monday, I will have already gone back to work on it.)

It’s interesting to discover that despite all the time away from them, those characters remain clear in my mind – a part of my life. I suppose that’s to be expected after working on Forgive Me, Alex for 5 years. These “people” are as real to me as the guy next door. Pretty cool.

I’ve also been doing a little forward plotting as I prepare to jump back into it, and I’m sneaking up on the conclusion that I’m going to have to kill off a beloved character. I mentioned this to a reader, and her reaction was, “Oh no! Which one? Oh my God, who are you going to kill? Who?”

Yeah, I had to smile at that. I’m such a sadistic $#$&! sometimes.

Who will die? To be honest, I’m not sure, as the plot can go one of two ways, but I see two beloved characters in the crosshairs, and I suspect one of them will fall. You’ll just have to wait and see.

I think this is the part where I say, “Na na na na na na.”

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THIS 2nd PART IS FOR WRITERS:

Write every day. I mean every… single… stinking… day! Take my experience as a lesson, and don’t do as I did, or next thing you know, like me, you’ll be wondering why it will be over 3 years between books. DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN!

As I look back on it now, I can’t help but wonder how different things would have been if only I’d taken 30-60 minutes a day to write. Seriously, maybe you only have time to sit down for a few minutes when you first wake up, or right before you go to bed, or while you’re waiting for the pizza delivery guy to show up. So what? Sit down for that half hour and crank out a few paragraphs, because even those few paragraphs will keep you engaged in the process.

More importantly, they will represent real forward progress.

Frankly, if I had started doing that right after Forgive Me, Alex came out, I’d have already completed The Devil’s Bane… a few paragraphs at a time.

Everyone complains about workload (*raising my hand*), but 30-60 minutes a day? Really? I… you… can’t find 30-60 minutes a day? Of course you… we… can.

I know what you’re thinking: “Diamond, if I have to do it a few paragraphs a day, I’ll never finish the damn thing!”

Wrong. Think about it. The average page is about 500 words. Just 500 words! If you did that every day – 1 little old page – you’d complete a 300-page novel in less than a year. Then, let’s assume you need a few months for editing, beta reader feedback, more editing, etc. You’d have a finely-polished novel done in about 18 months.

The alternative? To do what I’m doing now: looking back and wondering where the last 2 years have gone. Please… don’t let that happen.

Even if you only have time to sit down and write a single page, do it. And do it every… single… stinking… day!

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2 responses to “Working to Catch Up

  1. Glad to hear it, Lane! I manage a good five days a week but would like to get something on those more family centered days, even if just a few hundred words. Have you heard of the magic spreadsheet? It combines RPG type leveling up with charting your daily word count.

    Keep it up!

    • I’m not familiar with the magic spreadsheet, Tim. I use a spreadsheet of my own design, something I created back in 2007, to accomplish any number of things in keeping track of my writing.

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