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Writing to the Deadline (A Dragonswarm Update)

I’m a huge fan of GMail. Have I ever mentioned that before? I know I’ve talked about Google Docs, and you can probably take it for granted that anyone who raves about Google Docs appreciates the company’s email service, too.

Still. I’m a huge fan of GMail. I never delete anything. Everything goes in the archive, and it’s astonishing how many questions in my life can be answered by searching through old mail.

The other day Joshua was introducing me to a writer friend and pitching a new fiction project, and he needed to dig up some old synopsis he’d shared with me. So I went searching in my GMail, and discovered we’d first chatted about that project back in early June.

I laughed to see that conversation started with him saying, “Good morning! What’s the Taming Fire emergency today?”

Releasing Taming Fire

Taming Fire was set to come out June 21, meaning for ideal publishing conditions I should really have been done with it by May 7. But May 7 rolled right by and I was still rewriting the original manuscript. I hadn’t even given it to my editor yet!

For that matter, May rolled by before I got my first rewrite done. And then I had Jessie and Courtney and Joshua read through and give me feedback, and they all found big problems, and suddenly it was mid-June and my book was supposed to be out next week and I was still frantically trying to finish writing it (let alone getting cover art and promo text and sales pages set up)!

I got it done. The book went out on time. Then I sat back with a heavy sigh, wiped my brow, and stated loud and clear, “Never again!”

Yet here we are.

Releasing The Dragonswarm

That book’s sequel, The Dragonswarm, was on my publishing schedule for December 13, 2011. I wasn’t going to wait until Nov. 1 to have it done, though. I wouldn’t have time. I was scheduled to write a novel this semester (book 3, The Dragonprince’s Heir) for my Master’s project, and another (Ghost Targets #5, Faith) for NaNoWriMo, and all my publishing staff would be busy with NaNoWriMo, too, so I was determined to have Dragonswarm done before school started.

I didn’t make it. My summer turned out busy. Then school started, but I was still determined to have Dragonswarm done before the end of September so I could really focus on the other stuff. I didn’t make it. I didn’t make October, either. Or November.

Right now, I’m six days from the scheduled release of The Dragonswarm, and I haven’t quite finished the first rewrite. Last night I finished Chapter 16 (out of 18). Jessie’s done an edit up through 10, and Joshua’s given me feedback up through 12. So far, it’s looking pretty good.

But once again, I’ll be sitting up ’til after midnight for the days before my launch. I’ll be frantically typing in every desperate spare moment. I’m skipping meals and canceling plans and missing blog posts.

I don’t want to say, “That’s just how it is.” It isn’t healthy. It’s not fun. And yet…it’s such a thrill. I can’t slow down, can’t second-guess, can’t dither over options. I have to do it now, and do it right, and in a couple days the world will be my judge.

It’s good. I’ll tell you that. It’s huge and loud and action-packed. I’ve killed more dragons in the last week than in the rest of my life combined, and there’s still thousands more rushing to the fight.

That’s where I’ve been. Now I’ll go get back to work.


3 Responses to “Writing to the Deadline (A Dragonswarm Update)”

  1. Dave Doolin says:

    I can wait!


    Let the deadline slip if it doesn’t make the grade. Seriously. If it really does slip, use the last day to task out what really does need to be done, then let it sit for a week. This works really well for me. The key is in the tasking. Once I task properly, the work itself becomes relatively easy.

  2. Paul says:

    When are you planing book 3. I have just read the first 2 in 36 hour, I want more 🙂

    I am 51 and have read many hundreds in fantasy books over the year. I have had a kindle for just over a year best tech I have ever bought 🙂

    I put your Dragon Prince trilogy in my top 10 – pos top 5 I will be tell all my friend to get these books

    • Aaron Pogue says:

      Thanks, Paul! I’m working on Book 3 right now (I’ll be defending it as the final project for my Master’s degree), and we’re planning to publish it in June. I don’t know if you’d be interested, but I plan to release several dragonswarm short stories in the meantime, showing how it played out in different eras or exploring Daven’s adventure through the eyes of some of his soldiers.