The needs of the deadline outweigh the needs of the to-do list (#SFWApro)

So last week I mentioned that McFarland had asked me to fix a couple of things in the manuscript for Now and Then We Time Travel. I didn’t think to mention that after I did that, they requested a couple of other fixes, this time to the appendices. Primarily to identify the source country of every film listed, even if it was a U.S. production, and to make sure every entry specified whether it was a film or a TV show. A very reasonable request, and not too difficult (there were a couple of other fixes too, likewise minor).

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(Why yes, I do post the cover of this book a lot. Can you blame me? All rights to cover and image with current holders)

However, the appendices have easily 600 items in them, so even with slight changes, that’s a lot to change. And that used up a lot of my writing time Monday and Tuesday. I’d much sooner have used the time on Southern Discomfort, because finishing that is a high priority—but like the title says, stuff that’s on deadline or under contract takes precedence, always.

In the remainder of the week, I got a couple more chapters of Southern Discomfort done … and then ran into an obstacle. I was aware when I wrote this draft that Maria’s final assault on Gwalchmai’s fortress was kind of lacking in drama, but figured I could tighten it up in the polishing. Well, the hour has come … and it really, really doesn’t work. Due to the nature of the otherworld she and her friends are stuck in, it’s basically “walk through the woods, sneak into the castle, rescue Joan” without any real threat. And if there is a threat — they confront Gwalchmai, say, which would be the logical choice — I don’t think they’re equipped to stop him. And I’m not sure how to fix it.

Despite which I’m forging ahead and asking my writing group if any of them want to beta read, followed by a critique session/dinner before the holidays start (if not, I’ll push back to early in the new year). I have 70,000 words that are sufficiently polished (except one scene that amounts to “the baby started coming so Alice did midwifey things” — I’ll fix that next draft), and unless they’re phenomenally fast readers they won’t get through that before I have the rest ready to go. I hope.

Today I focused on Martinis, Girls and Guns to see if taking a break readies my mind to tackle the problem (and it went well). Monday I reapply myself.

Wish me luck.

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Filed under Nonfiction, Now and Then We Time Travel, Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, Southern Discomfort, Story Problems, Writing

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