Squeeze Play: Stacking Multiple Writing Projects

I’m behind on my plans for this year.

My business plan for 2013, as you may recall, was to publish two novels and a short story. Things have gone a little astray on that scheme.

My goal was to release The Sword and the Sorcerer in March/April, “Beauty & the Beast: A Modern Fairy Tale” this summer, and Roses Are White (the next Wolf Dasher novel) in November/December. Not much of that is working out.

I got married in March, and, while that was one of the best things I ever did, it made hitting deadlines for The Sword and the Sorcerer pretty difficult. I still had hoped to have it out by now, but the damned thing resists getting into finished shape. I’ve had to make several adjustments to the story and the narrative, and I’m planning on making another before I actually release it. I would much rather hold the book back to make sure I get a well crafted, high-quality novel out there, but I would also prefer to have it available now so I could be selling it.

“Beauty & the Beast” was supposed to be a short story — a companion to my successful book, “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale.” It’s currently 22,000 words long and it isn’t finished yet. That sort of defies any definition of short I’m familiar with. At this point, it’s going to end up being a novella. That’s fine. I have no objection to that, but novellas take longer to write and edit than short stories. So I’m behind on that project too.

And that means I haven’t even begun Roses Are White. The first two Wolf Dasher novels averaged 85,000 words. That’ll take a little time to get written.

Last year, I started stacking projects, and it’s a good thing I did. Otherwise, I’d never have a prayer of pulling this off. The Sword and the Sorcerer is in editing now. My editor assures me she’ll be done with it by the end of this week, so I should be back in rewrite mode Monday morning.

In the interim, I’m madly trying to finish the first draft of “Beauty & the Beast.” I believe I can do that. I’m writing the final section now. The goal is to get that completed before the week is out, so I can start plotting Roses Are White. I’ve not tried stacking three projects before, but there’s no way I hit my publishing goals for the year if I don’t. (I’m not sure I can do it anyway, but I’m trying to give myself a chance.)

So my hope now is to publish The Sword and the Sorcerer in early July (I’d like to say late June, but I’m afraid I won’t make it). “Beauty & the Beast: A Modern Fairy Tale” lands in September/October. (Football figures in the plot, so that’ll be timely, at least.) Then we’ll see if I’m able to bring Roses Are White in before the end of the year. If not, I should be in position to get it out in January/February.

I don’t like being behind. It makes me feel like I’m letting people down. There wasn’t much I could do about it, though. One novel proved trickier to write than I foresaw, and the next project is a lot longer than planned. That was a perfect combination to throw my schedule off.

Still, I’m going to have at least two books out this year, and the third will be well advanced before 2013 becomes 2014. I’m not on schedule, but I am on pace.

Time to get back to work.

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