There’s two sides to the coin of deadlines. Deadlines are a thing of beauty, encouraging even the worst of Writer’s Block to flee in panic. Take The Side Effects: Book 2, for example. The first book, Tungsten Carbide was pretty simple for me to write, and I didn’t even pick a release date until the entire thing was finished. Book 2 is a different story. Literally and figuratively. I have been frantically beating my head against the keyboard, trying to stir up the creativity to finish writing it. And finally, I did, which is a relief. Now I have just over 24 hours to finish editing. Gladly, The Side Effects do not require massive overhauls of editing, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.
So, deadlines, in the case of The Side Effects, have been great and made me really productive. But I’m not setting a deadline for Hero. Without a deadline, this project could stretch on for eternity. The reason I’m not interested in giving myself a deadline is because I feel like time will only make it better. When I write quickly, I don’t write as thoughtfully. A good book is like wine, as the saying goes- (not that I’ve ever… had wine… so I guess I don’t actually know) – it gets better with age.
My goal with Hero is to make it at least 300 pages (6×9, font size 12). I’m willing to stretch that font size if it’ll take me past that mark, but I’m hoping to fly past 300 without trying too hard. The thing is, I’m trying really hard right now to get anywhere, and I feel like I’m slogging through quicksand. I’m determined, however, and constantly reminded how much I love my story and my characters by Pinterest inspiration or character sketches I’ve drawn.
I realized today that I’m trying so hard to write well the first time around, that I’m not writing as much as I should. And it hit me- first drafts should be rough drafts. THEY SHOULD BE ROUGH. They should be filled with mistakes. When I compare what I wrote today to what I’ve polished up and edited three times, I can only see the mistakes. I feel like crumpling up today’s work and starting over. But I have to keep reminding myself that it’ll be cleaned up someday, too. I just need to get it down. Then I can polish it.