All posts tagged deadlines

Query deadline update

Published September 23, 2017 by authorbebedora

After careful deliberations, I have decided to extend my query letter deadline to October 16th. I hemmed and hawed, mad at myself for not sticking to the original plan, but in the end, I knew it needed to happen.

This final edit has been painstakingly slow, and I’ll admit that I’m picking this thing apart waaaaay more than I should be. Second-guessing every little detail has become second nature to me. The moment when you spend LITERALLY six hours trying to decide whether or not a list of somethings should be capitalized or not is the moment you realize things have spiraled out of control and you need to step back. (I walked away, did a twitter poll, asked my trusted friend, and finally came up with an answer. It was to NOT capitalize.)

After this final edit and format is finished, I still have to research my list of agents and cut-and-polish my query letter–which will then be torn apart and put back together again to tailor it to each agent’s specs.

While I’m disappointed in myself for amending the deadline, at least I can say I gave it a try, and was a big enough lady to know when I needed to surrender…for now. I was running out of time, and I didn’t want to send anything that wasn’t completely ready just for the sake of sending it by self-imposed deadline.

Off to edit chapter nine of 38 (plus two interludes and an epilogue), and begin the new countdown to query.


It Is Done.

Published December 7, 2016 by authorbebedora

Last night, December 6th at 8:50 pm, I wrote the last line of my first novel.

I typed my final word, saved my document and just stared at the screen.  A few seconds later, I poked my husband to get his attention and pointed at my laptop without saying a word.  He knew what had just happened.  He smiled and pulled me in for a big hug.  Then, I cried.

After a year and a month of work on this thing, the first draft is in the bag.  Twenty-five days ahead of schedule and everything!  It feels kind of surreal.  I’ve been living with this thing in one capacity or another for over a year.  Yes, I know that I’m nowhere near complete with what will become the finished product, but it’s strange to think that this chapter (pun intended) of this journey has come to a close.

I’ve seen this story morph, take left turns and send me reeling.  The core idea of what it was intended to be is still there, along with three of the characters–but so much has changed since that first kernel of an idea that looking  back, it’s hard to imagine the first drafted outline ever becoming a novel.

I’m SO GLAD I changed my mind about the plot and my main character’s chosen occupation.

So, now what?  I printed out the last few chapters of the hard copy this morning.  I hole-punched them and relegated them to their binders with the other chapters.  I told myself I needed to wait one week until I even dared to look at them.  Time to breathe a sigh of relief, time to take a little break.  I needed to get away from the story completely, so I could begin the editing process with fresh eyes.

When my son was off from school over the summer, I edited the first twenty-ish chapters in my hard copy.  (There was no way I was going to get any productive writing done with Mr. Jabber-pants at my side for three months!)  During that time, I added some key plot points and scenes.  Even with those chapters already “looked at” once, they’ll still need attention.  My plan is, after my week hiatus, to take my hard copy and red pen and edit.  After that is complete, I’ll let it sit for another week.  That’ll get me to XMAS-time, so it’s perfect.  After the holidays are done and my kid is back in school, I’ll do one more edit.  Then, I’ll implement all the changes and add the new scenes to a new manuscript file.  Up until this point, I’ve always written each chapter in a separate document.  In talking to author friends, it seems to be a fifty-fifty mix of preference when it comes to what do in that regard.  Some do one whole document with the entire kit and caboodle, some do separate chapters.  I’m still not sure which route I’ll take.

When all the changes are in the second draft, I’ll let my husband and beta editor read it.  After I get the changes from my beta, I’ll do the third draft.  Then…

Well?  The next step approaches.

Looking into publishing options is something I’ve thought of, but never really put too much effort into up until this point.  My main goal was to finish the damn thing first, then think about what to do next.  I have a friend who has published a book, so I plan to pick her brain (over pub food and a beer) on what to do next.

As I close this chapter of the journey with my first novel, I turn another page and move on to the next scene.  Massive editing.  Cover art.  Publishing.  Success!  (cross your fingers!)

And then, I have to write two more…

Deadlines, schmedlines…

Published December 4, 2016 by authorbebedora

December 31st.

That’s in twenty-eight days, people.  Less than a month to complete the first draft of my novel.  I have (maybe) four chapters and an epilogue left to tackle.  I’m hopeful I can get them all written, but with the holidays and some other stuff going on, it’ll be a photo-finish for sure.  But, I’m up for a challenge any day.

I’ve never given myself a deadline before.  I was hesitant to do it this time around.  But, I realized that if I didn’t, I’d be piddling around on this thing forever with no end in sight.  I  needed something to work for, and once I set that date, it was game on.  There were times where I thought for sure I’d fail and miss the deadline.  (One of those times was just last week when the shit hit the fan in our family.)  But, we persevere, recover and take life by the horns and hang on for dear life.

I’m confident I’ll finish on time.  I’m excited (and terrified) to finish on time.  When it’s done, that means that there’s still a bazillion things left to do.  Edit.  Edit some more.  Edit again.  Send it to my beta.  Edit again.  Then–publish?  OMG I can’t even.  But I’m nothing if not determined.  Bring it on.

Twenty-eight days.



Summer Moved On

Published August 26, 2016 by authorbebedora

Next Thursday my son will be back in school.

He’s sort of excited . He got the teacher he really wanted.  He got a kick-ass new shark backpack with a Patrick Star backpack buddy to hang on one of the zipper pulls.  Lunches are planned (we’ll see how long that lasts), school-time bedtime routine has been in place for a few weeks now and all his supplies are labeled.

I’ll drop him off, watch him go in, and…

…run home, put on my PJ’s and play Fallout4 with the volume turned way up.  I might stop at the local bakery and get a sinful confection known as a “wicked brownie”, which I will not have to share upon arrival back to the house.  I’m not going to do any laundry or dishes that day, nor am I going to run any errands.  I will enjoy my quiet house, my forbidden treat and my uber-loud, hella-violent video game.

When Friday comes around, I’ll float back to reality and make meatballs for dinner during the day, probably go to the grocery store and then crack the whip on myself with my fantasy novel.

You see, I did something a few days ago that I’ve never done in all the years I’ve been writing.

I gave myself a deadline for completion of my first draft.

I don’t know if I’ll make it or not, but it’s both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.  I guess it’s not as scary as it would be if I were to have a deadline imposed upon me by a publisher or something, but I still want to hold myself accountable.  I looked at my outline for the first time in months last week, (read: Mama has no time to write during the summer, so she didn’t bother to check up on herself) and found something very surprising.  I had been under the impression for the last few months that I was only about a quarter through the outline.  I was wrong!  If my estimates are correct, I’ve already hit the halfway mark.  It was a huge relief, and allowed me to finally commit to a deadline.

I’d like to have the first draft completed, but not edited, by XMAS 2016.  I’m guessing it’s going to be another, oh, 20 chapters?  But then again, I really don’t know.  I have 19 in the bag already, plus a prologue, so who knows?

That’s a lot of work ahead, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.  But, with my daytime writing time returned to me, I think I have a fighting chance of actually doing it.  If I make it, HUZZAH!  If I don’t, I’m not going to beat myself up over it, but I’d be disappointed.

So, wish my crazy ass luck!  Will I do it?  Who knows?  But there’s only one way to find out…