Saturday, November 16, 2013

How to Meet Deadlines and Remain Sane – Rob Manary @robmanary

A deadline is defined by the Oxford New English dictionary as a time limit as for a payment of a debt or completion of an assignment. What a great way to start a blog post right? Handle it like a grade six term paper, a bad grade six term paper, first define the term and eat up a couple dozen words in the process.

Interestingly enough there is another definition for deadline:  a boundary line in a prison that prisoners can only cross at the risk of being shot. I didn’t know that. Maybe you’ve learned a little something here today with me?

Since I’ve just completed a book I hope I was asked to write about the first kind of deadline, not the second. But, in case I am mistaken I’ll take a minute to address the second kind of deadline. I am firmly opposed to boundary lines in prison that result in execution style murders. I believe prisoners have enough to worry about with the inability to get take-out food, the sodomy, and the likely poor thread count in their sheets. They shouldn’t have to worry about deadlines as well. I hope that doesn’t make me look soft on crime.

I look at deadlines the same way I look at maxi-pads. I’m sure a lot of people find them extremely useful, but they’re not really for me. I wouldn’t know what to do with one really. If confronted with a deadline I turn cavalierly into Han Solo about to navigate the asteroid belt with C-3P0 chirping in my ear about the odds,”Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1!”

Only it is my editor who has nearly swallowed her tongue as the deadline approaches, “Rob, the possibility of you finishing your book on time are approximately 53,237 to 1!”

Sing it with me Star Wars fans: “Never tell me the odds!”

I’ve been trying to work a Star Wars reference into a blog post for some time now. I think that was pretty seamless. Thank you.

So advice on deadlines was the topic? Here is what I think might work. Decide how long your book is going to be, preferably between 50,000 and 80,000 words, anything more than that and you are showing off. Seriously, longer than 80,000 words, who do you think you are, really? And count backwards. Let’s say you’ve decided on a 60,000 word book. About 2,000 words is a good goal per day. Give yourself a month to do it.

Turn off the T.V. and stop updating your twitter or your facebook feed about your writer’s block and just write. If you’re even writing just the same word or sentence over and over and over again at least you are writing. A chapter or two of the word “dolphin” filling page after page might make an interesting read and have you hailed as the next great existential writer. You never know.

And when you hit 60,000 words…. STOP! Mid paragraph, mid-sentence, regardless, just…. STOP! You want to save a little something for the sequel.

I probably should have tackled the subject of the prison deadline instead, after all. I would strongly recommend no one take any of my advice, and instead just read “Icarus Rising”. Thank you.


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Genre – Erotic Romance

Rating – R

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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.


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