The problem with deadlines is that once you set them you have to be ready to deal with missing them. I began writing Undead Heart almost three years ago. The plot came together quickly in my head and the characters needed little development. I finished writing the book in ten months, I figure three maybe four months to edit it and I would have it out by the Summer of 2011. Something in the mean time happened. I started working on my next novel. A Steampunk take on the Frankenstein story. Along the way I also read some classic literature and Ann Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. As a result my writing went through a slight change, one I am certain is for the better. This however meant I needed to do some rewriting of various parts of Undead Heart. Actually my wife spotted the weaker parts before I did. Those have been changed and editing was back on track.
I set a deadline for myself to have the book finished by this year’s Phoenix Comicon. I am so glad I did not spend money on a table. About three weeks ago my wife and I had a discussion on how many YA books in this same genre feature a first person present tense point of view. The novel as it existed was already in first person but the tense had to change. The switch from past to present tense is a little more involved than doing a find and replace of all verbs with an -ed at the end. In some cases the scene needs a bit of reworking to make the new tense flow logically from one point to the next. It’s lengthy and a bit tedious but the end result is a work that moves much quicker and benefits from letting me tweak the mood and environment of several scenes.
I have been here before. My second novel, a science fiction work, actually went through two shifts, from third person to first and back and a tense change before it was done. At times I worry that I just am not ale to let it go. One fear I had when writing my first novel, twenty years ago if you can believe that, was that that book was it and I had nothing else. Well eight and counting novels later I know I have more coming. At the same time I have learned from my previous two publishing experiences that you do not want to rush this part and release a manuscript that is not 100%. It is not a race. So while I watch this latest deadline for Undead Heart slip past rest assured it is still coming and it is going to be worth the wait.
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