There’s a ticking clock, just like at the climax of Goldfinger! (#SFWApro)

The time limit being how long I can take to finish polishing Southern Discomfort and still get it out for beta reading before year’s end — which practically speaking means getting it done soon enough that the critique session (in our group for a novel-length work the critique involves the author cooking dinner for everyone) can take place before the holidays. Because after that, forget it.

If I get it done by the end of next week, I think it’s doable. But that’s a big if. I’m at 73,000 words with maybe another 15,000 (not counting any added wordage that may develop) to go yet. But as I’ve mentioned before, all the little changes I’ve made have an increasing effect as the story goes along, which makes this section less polishing and more entirely new. For example, with the chapters I did this week:

•I switched the location of a key scene to Olwen’s house. As a result, a whole bunch of people show up for the scene who weren’t there before, and that means different dialog, reactions, etc.

•Instead of conjuring up monsters, Gwalchmai is now a shapeshifter. This works better for a lot of reasons but it requires reworking the scenes in which he actually summoned something to attack the good guys.

•A couple of people who were part of the finish are now somewhere else. So I need to rework their role in the finish.


All of which is making for a better book (I hope) but also for a lot more work. In total I only got three chapters done this week, though that’s partly because today turned into a mess. We had veterinary appointments in the morning (Trixie’s fine; Plush has some problems, but nothing serious or terminal) which took a chunk of time. And Trixie was needier than usual when we got up this morning, which proved quite distracting (usually she just snoozes, as above [photo copyright is mine, please attribute if you use]). So by the time we were back from the vet, I was completely unfocused and didn’t get much done. And no chapters.

Other work during the week:

•I redrafted Oh the Places You’ll Go! and I think it’s ready to read to the writer’s group. I’m not sure I like the ending (it’s the character arc I want but I don’t know if I bring it off) but that’s a good reason to get feedback.

•I reread A Famine Where Abundance Lies and I think it’s ready to go. I’ll check again next month. I’d planned to read that to the group yet, but I think it’s in less need of feedback.

•I put in some more work on Trouble and Glass. It’s shaping up well.

•I finished the text of Martinis, Girls and Guns. Now begins the proof-reading.

•McFarland, the publisher for Now and Then We Time Travel, sent a few questions they wanted answered before formatting. I took care of it, ASAP. As part of that I was able to add my synopsis of 11-22-63 to the text, which is much easier than adding it to the galleys later (as noted at the link, the Hulu series ended a week after I sent in the manuscript). Currently looks like release at the end of the year (all rights to cover image and photo reside with relevant holders)


I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t put in a little extra work early in the week and do less on Friday. This is the second week in a row where Friday has been my poorest day of the week, and that’s despite a late night Tuesday (so Wednesday ought to have been the bad one). But really long days don’t work great for me either.

I’ll figure it. First world problems, after all.

1 Comment

Filed under Now and Then We Time Travel, Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, Short Stories, Southern Discomfort, Story Problems, Time management and goals, Writing

One response to “There’s a ticking clock, just like at the climax of Goldfinger! (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: The needs of the deadline outweigh the needs of the to-do list (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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