28 Jan 2011

Two manuscripts and so little time ...

I may just have written myself into a corner, so to speak.
I have comitted myself to finish a manuscript by mid February, and another by March 15.  And that's not very much time ...
For some reason dates that are more than a week away, always seems so far, far away. Like it's never going to happen, and there's an infinite number of days ahead of me.
It was the same way in school. Exams? I didn't have to study for this exam or finish that paper now! I had so many other interesting things to do, so usually I'd forget about it. Until about a week before, or in most cases, the night before - I'd suddenly remember, work like possessed and sort of slide through it. (I wasn't much of a scholar, I'm afraid).
Of course, I can't do that anymore. For one thing I'd starve to death... and the publisher wouldn't be very pleased. And also I love finishing a book. There's just no better feeling.
I actually have to work pretty hard every day to finish, and since two manuscripts is a bit much, I'm worried.
The only way to manage the deadlines, is to work everyday. Which I do. But there is only so much you can do in one day.
The first manuscript is the second book in a new series. I have a contract for that, the first book has been approved, and I should have finished this manuscript by now. At least a first draft. And I'm halfway. I'll get it ready, I'm sure of it. This is the 13th book I'm writing in this genre, so it's not like I don't know what I'm doing. (or at least pretend I know).
The second is a new thriller, and I want to finish it so badly, I can't sleep. Anan has been rewriting and doing extra research on it for a couple of months, and now it's my turn to work on it. A first draft has been completed, it's just not good enough yet. There are so many holes in the story, it's not fit for editorial eyes.
We have been working on it for years, and we are way past the point of no return.
Deadline is looming ...

21 Jan 2011

The 2011 Stephen King Challenge ...

Oh, I just found a great challenge  - to read between 6 or 12 Stephen King novels in 2011. How could I resist? I love Kings books, and although I've read quite a few of his books, there are still more. Since I'm an avid reader, there's nothing better than a productive writer!
This will be fun!
And I get a great looking button!
Here's the link to the site: Book Chick City

15 Jan 2011

The Writer in conversation with the Writer ...

I wrote this on my Norwegian blog, but since the manuscript in question is a Singh & Normann book, it should be here too.

In my head there's room for two strong personalities: The Sensible side and The Creative side. Sensible represents everything practical in my life. All the things I have to do to keep the taxman away and get my bills paid. Creativity just wants to have fun.

Sometimes discussions like this flare up:

Sensible pricks Creativity on the shoulder: Hey! You have got to pull your self together!
Creativity is absorbed in the computer: Shush! Can't you see I'm working?
- Don't shush me! You're just playing Solitaire, for Gods sake!
- I'm thinking while I'm doing this. It's part of my job!
- We are up to our necks in dustbunnies and dirty coffee mugs! Sensible is not about to give up. - Can't we at least vacuum? How can you think in this mess?
- Stop nagging me! Can't you take the dustbunnies out for a walkie? Creativity flashes a charming smile.
Sensible rolls her eyes and looks for something else she to pick at. - And when do you intend to finish that manuscript in your drawer?
Creativity gets a confused look on her face. - What are you talking about?
- Well, there's a big pile of papers you have to complete before sending it out.
- Oh, that. Creativity waves her hand. - That's finished.
- No, it's not! Sensible scents blood. - It has to be rewritten, reorganized, recut, and edited properly.
- How boring! It's fine the way it is.
Sensible is in shock. - What? Are you insane? You can't send that to a publisher the way it is now? You do understand that, right?
- I don't see why not. Creativity is so immersed in herself she misses the danger signals.
- Because there's no proper ending, the story sags in the middle, and you need a hell of a better opening than that lazy trash you've stitched together! Sensible drops the manuscript on the table, causing the dustbunnies to fly.
Creativity ignores the manuscript. - I'm telling you it's finished.
- It will just get rejected! And what's the poing of sending it out then? Hm?
- But it's already 400 pages long! Creativity whines. - That has to be good enough for them. What else do they want?
- It doesn't matter how long it is! You HAVE to finish it!
- Blah. It's boring. Creativity lights up and points at the computer. - What I'm writing now is sooo much more fun to write. Have I told you the story line?
- I'm not listening! Sensible covers her ears. - You have to learn to finish things. Finish one thing first, before starting something else. Why is that concept so impossible to get in your head
- Oh, shut your trap. Creativity turns her back. - I have to write what inspires me. Don't you get that? Stick some stamps on that thing and send it out.
- I'm telling you, there's no editor in this world who is going to understand what that book is about. The story is absurd! Sensible is loosing her voice as well as her patience.
- Can't we just say  tell them it's a surrealistic crime novel? Creativity is deeply impressed by her own ... eh ... creativity. - We can start a new trend or something. Wouldn't that be the great?

At this point Sensible either gets a headache or screams at the top of her lungs. Creativity turns the volume up on her music, and fills the computer with words, happy in her world. For as long as it lasts ...