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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Guest Blog: Adele Downs Surviving Those Dreaded Deadlines!

One of the benefits of writing for digital and small presses is the flexibility to write books of varying lengths and submit them as they’re finished. Want to write a novel? Great. A novella or short story? Go for it. Unless a contract states otherwise, there are no fixed deadlines for submissions, allowing us more freedom than ever before to foster our creativity.

With more than twenty titles to my credit over seven years, under duel pen names, I’ve written and submitted my work under deadlines of my own making. Without fixed completion dates, I was able to take vacations in the summer and time off during the holidays without worry. That all changed in July when my current editor asked me to write HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY, a Christmas short story, for publication in November 2014. Deadline, five weeks. Weeks!

Since I’d never written fiction with a deadline, my first thought after telling my editor, “Of course, I will! I’d love to!” was Can I do it? Can I write under pressure? I tried not to panic, remembering the editing deadlines I’d met when my books were in production. With only days to come up with a story idea and plot it out, I got down to basics. Whose story would I write? What would be their GMC? Which theme would I use? Stress is the mortal enemy of creativity, so I knew I had to relax and let the ideas flow or I’d be in trouble.

I do my best plotting and plot-fixing in the shower, or right before I’m fully awake in the morning, when my body is relaxed and I’m not distracted by the outside world. Once I have the germ of an idea, I develop the rest of the story in my office. I write a rough outline and then let the plot twists and turns occur organically during the first draft. By sticking to my comfortable way of doing things, I discovered I can write under deadline, and I did! I finished writing, self-editing, and polishing HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY with time to spare. As it turned out, my editor liked the story so much she asked me to write another in the series—with a deadline. Who knew I’d need practice?

The experience taught me not to be afraid of new challenges. Meeting challenges increases our confidence by decreasing our fears. The absence of fear fuels creativity. By writing to deadline, I learned to focus under pressure. I guess it’s time to head to the shower with my favorite soap and a fluffy towel and start my next plotting session before heading to my office to work on the manuscript.

(“You can’t go wrong with Adele Downs.” ~Will Work for Books
A .99 Lunchbox Romance short story from Boroughs Publishing Group)

Daisy Phillips has a choice to make: return to Pennsylvania and the Christmases she once knew, or stay in Texas and find a new way to celebrate the holiday--with the handsome cowboy who brought joy back to her life.

The heartwarming sequel to the Amazon-bestselling Lunchbox Romance, Kissing Her Cowboy!

Buy The Book on Amazon!

Adele Downs writes best-selling contemporary romance inside the office of her rural Pennsylvania home. She is a former journalist, published in newspapers and magazines inside the USA, UK, and Caribbean.

Adele is an active member of Romance Writers of America and her local RWA chapter where she serves as a past-president. She has written several articles for RWR magazine (Romance Writers Report) and has presented workshops for writers.

When Adele isn’t working on her current project, she can be found riding in her convertible or reading a book on the nearest beach.

Books by Adele Downs on Amazon

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Jeanine said...

Deadlines are tough. Nice post.

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks, Adele. Very inspiring post. I read Her Christmas Cowboy and loved it. Beautiful story beautifully written. I also loved Kissing Her Cowboy. Best of luck with your next deadline!

Adele Downs said...

Thanks for stopping by to read my post, Jeanine.

Thanks so much for your support, Cara. I'm thrilled that you love my books.


Judy Baker said...

Adele, best of luck with your deadlines and congrats on the publisher wanting another story. I'm looking forward to reading Her Christmas Cowboy. Merry Christmas.

jean hart stewart said...

Interesting blog. I've seldom written on deadline, but find when I do the juice seems to flow on command. Love Christmas stories!!!

Adele Downs said...

Thank you, Judy! I hope you enjoy HER CHRISTMAS COWBOY. Merry Christmas!

Thanks, Jean! Some people work much better under pressure. I use self-imposed deadlines when I don't have an editorial deadline. That keeps me moving forward. Merry Christmas!

Paris said...

You are so right about decreasing our fears by meeting challenges (whether self-imposed or otherwise).Best of luck on the new story!

Adele Downs said...

Thanks so much, Paris! Nice to see you again. Merry, merry!


Melissa Keir said...

Congrats on finding a way to be creative under pressure. I may just have to check out the shower to see if it makes my brain come alive too!

I love the cover and all the best with your book!!

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