View Full Version : Writing a book under a deadline

11-28-2008, 06:58 AM
Has anyone been contracted to write a book, in, say a year? Currently I am in one now, and it's really not easy to do. First of all, the book is in a field I'm not a hundred per cent familiar in (so there's research) and it feels like I'm just not getting enough words in to fit my schedule (about 10,000 a month). Has anyone else gone through this?

11-28-2008, 08:40 AM
Boy did I. A while back I was contracted by a publishing company to co-author (actually ghostwrite and project direct) 24 books (144 pages each) over a 2 year period for a very famous person. I had a huge budget out of which I paid for 3 full time assistants, a secretary, 4 researchers, a picture researcher. an illustrator, freelance copy editors, proofreaders, and an indexer. When I completed a volume I then had to work with the company's design department and thereafter production department. Bottom line, it all got done on time, but never would have without having first established a detailed outline for each volume, dates of completion for all elements of each volume, and working myself to the bone. I also had to meet with the expert (the very famous co-author) twice a month either in New York, Los Angeles, or Paris. My entire life for these 2 years was completely consumed by the project.

My point? Organize yourself and establish dates for completion of every element you are responsible for. If you don't you are only asking for a problem.

11-28-2008, 04:08 PM
Yeah, me too. I was contracted to complete my third book in six months. It required a lot of research and writing and rewriting while I worked a full time job. I had to put EVERYTHING else in life on hold while I wrote and rewrote in every spare second I had.

As Scope said, you have to create a weekly schedule and set goals and follow the schedule as best you can. If you don't, your deadline will suddenly be upon you and you won't be finished.

11-28-2008, 07:14 PM
Immerse yourself and deliver early. You have a luxuriously long deadline considering the schedules other writers keep! Some writers turn in 3-5 books a year, even more.

If you commit to writing five pages a day it'll be done in months.

Early on in my career I did one in 4 months, research, writing, the works, and counted it a miracle. The critics loved it.

Not too long after I turned one in in ONE month. It was pretty danged good, too. Immersion worked again.

One of my friends often writes a book in a month or less, and she holds down a demanding full-time job. She's insane and scary smart, so I don't recommend it.

But back in the day, writer Walter B. Gibson, who wrote 282 Shadow novels (http://www.mysticlightpress.com/index.php?page_id=131) (plus a bunch of other pulp novels), hammered out a 60,000 word book every 12 days.

Two novels a month.

On a manual typewriter.

:Hail::Hail::Hail::Hail: http://www.mysticlightpress.com/images/gibson_shadow_typewriter.jpg

12-03-2008, 07:17 AM
I've done a 95K novel in 4 months. I kept track of my daily word count in a spreadsheet, along with how many words I had to do per day in order to meet my deadline. The biggest help I had was a detailed outline.

But you HAVE to apply rear to seat. There's no other way. I averaged 1000 words/day (which is nothing for some writers, but is a lot for me), and my best days were those when I didn't particularly feel inspired to write, but sat down anyway.


-- Marcy

12-03-2008, 07:43 AM
I was offered a contract on a partial, and they asked when I could deliver. Foolishly, I told them December 15th. Fortunately, I got an extension, but I think I can deliver by January 15th if I apply my butt to chair.

That being said, I'm staring at a Leafs game right now.