I don’t even know where this blog post fits. Getting your Third Book Published? Sleepless Nights for Fun And Profit? Goodbye Video Games?
I tend to work in spurts. New writing is steady. I do about a thousand words or the equivalent in plotting, most weekdays. During convention season, when a lot of writing groups get cancelled, that might slump a bit, but I turn in about six thousand words a week to group, so that schedule handles the occasional missed meeting.
When edits come back from the publisher, that’s another matter. So far, they’ve been pretty easy. I TRY to clear up all the big story problems before they ever see the manuscript, so it’s not too hard to just do about ten percent of the manuscript every night after everyone goes to bed and not really miss anything socially, while still turning the manuscript around in ten days… which I think catches them a bit off guard.
But what about those drafts before I turn in a manuscript? Oh, are they labor intensive. I try to read and do my major rewrite at night after everyone’s asleep. That can go more than two hours getting me to bed after midnight, and leaving me chapters sorta clean to work with the next night, when I painstakingly go through piles of critique notes, considering whether or not I’d addressed those comments the night before and addressing those that I haven’t (or not. I don’t agree with every note, and sometimes the notes argue, especially where jokes are concerned).
So I tend to work between 50-55 hours when everything is happy and I’m in an off period with new edits. I binge video games. I enjoy life. I also set entertainment benchmarks, after which I have to get back to work. I played a few games during the last vacation period that ended with me playing all the Dawn of War II expansions. I finished those Saturday. Now it’s back to work.
I want to draft two novels this bout, one that’s a cyberpunk murder mystery that’s been percolating in my drawer for about a year and a half. The other is DbC 3. They are both around 100k words, and I have a vacation starting the last week of October. I WANT to finish them by then, but I don’t actually think that’s possible. Still, I’m going to give it the old college try and see if I can double my editing output for the period, which basically means giving up all reading whatsoever and collapsing in exhaustion every night for bed. There were fewer pages of existing critiques on these two, so the time going through the edits might just be quick enough that it’s doable if I sacrifice everything else and work 80-120 hours a week.
If I fail, it’s not super critical. I’ll just take my vacation. My critiquers for this bout of beta reads have all over-committed to the point where I don’t think any of them will blink if I stop sending them pages for a week. I’ll just take it up the week after. Still. We’ll see if I can do it. I’m curious to see how it goes.
Wish me luck.
The next installment awaits...Slouching Towards Amazon: LTUE Post Mortem