Sunday, April 18, 2010

Under the Gun


Wednesday I got a call from the person agenting a particular project of mine, letting me know she'd had lunch with an editor from a well-known British publishing company and said editor was interested in my project. She needed me to beef up the outline, make it 'kick ass,' and polish up the finished chapters and get it to her that evening.

Mind you, I was at work when I talked to her and still had about four or five hours to go. I also had plans with friends that evening. My response?
"Sure, I can do that!"

I mean, what else do you say? A job is a job and when you have to work overtime, you do it. Especially when a possible publishing contract is a potential reward.

I did get both the outline and chapters beefed up, cleaned up, and even kick-assified. I had three writer friends read the outline to catch any spelling/grammatical errors, plot holes, or story points that made them go 'WTF is wrong with you, Fredsti?' I went over the chapters several times with spell and grammar check, read them for continuity, flow, character development, really stupid, self-indulgent bits that needed to come out. And then I hit the 'send' button and poured myself a restorative glass of wine.

Since then I've resisted the temptation to re-read either the outline or the chapters. If there's a mistake I missed, I just don't want to know about it. It's too late to do anything about it. It's always scary getting things done as a rush job under a tight deadline. It's motivating as hell, but not always conducive to turning in your best work. And I've found no matter how many times I read over my own writing, I will invariably find an error or two during a later read. Drives me mad, but if spell check and repeated line edits don't catch it, whatcha gonna do?

What about you? What's the tightest deadline crunch you've ever had? How did you insure the quality of your work? Would you rather work with or without a deadline? And where's that glass of wine?!

8 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I admire that you got it done. Even without a J-O-B, I doubt I would've succeeded.
I do well under deadlines, but not quite that close.

Hagelrat said...

great post love. :)

Maribeth said...

So stressed and still so funny!
Hope it works out well for you.
Maribeth
Giggles and Guns

Dana Fredsti said...

Thank you, ladies! I'm currently trying to pretend I don't remember any of last week so I don't compulsively check my email... :-)

Kilt Kilpatrick said...

The flip side of this story is that all this time she's been waiting to hear back from a different publisher on the same project. The Moral: Don't worry if you don't hear back from the publisher in a timely manner - keep writing!
xoxo
-Kilt

Morgan Mandel said...

Why do we put ourselves through such torture? (G)

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com
http://facebook.com/morgan.mandel

Jack C. Young said...

Hope you can forget the past week entirely. I know you did the best you could and that is all anyone can ask. More power to you. LOL.
:-)

K. A. Laity said...

Best of luck with that -- I'm sure it will be great! [LOL, word verification: inklebo!]