Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The White Rabbit Has Nothing on Me

Deadlines. Nothing like 'em. Nothing like missing one! I was out of town since Friday and away from any kind of computer so I apologize for missing my 12:05 AM deadline this morning. Unlike the more organized (mature? tech savvy?) other writers who belong to this blog, I still rely on the e-mail messages to let me know when my blog piece is due.

But that brings me to the idea of deadlines. Writing YA fiction demands so many skills and characteristics of its authors: imagination, memory, creativity, basic knowledge like grammar and spelling, understanding plot lines and character development, plus the heart and courage to write for the age group we want to reach. And then, of course, there are the deadlines.

Does anyone ever struggle with being creative while the clock is ticking? I know every author out there deals with this, but I'd sure love to know how to kick-start my creative flow when all I can think of is when the piece is due. When I was doing newspaper writing, deadlines were not a problem. Newspaper writing, after a point, felt like term-paper writing to me, and I never had an issue with that. Making my characters fall into place according to schedule, however, is a whole 'nother ballgame.

Sometimes I try music, especially the soundtrack and the anchor songs that form the background of everything and anything I write. Sometimes I reread all the pages I've written up to that point that deal with my story, including everything I've rejected or edited out. I have even been known to have my characters write letters to each other, just so I can get into their voices. Sometimes one of these will work. Sometimes nothing short of what feels like a miracle can make the magic happen.

So I'm curious - how do you deal with deadlines when it comes to fiction writing?


  1. I'm one of those incessant planners. Without post-it notes my life would be unmanageable. I have found blogging helps me plan ahead, set deadlines and stick to em.