Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time: Breaking it down with SURRENDER

**Today, I am Super Trooper, Never Surrender excited to have Elana Johnson stopping by today as part of her SURRENDER blog tour.**
Get to know Elana by blog, Facebook  and Twitter

Elana's work, including POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER, is available from Simon & Schuster wherever books are sold. She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query, which can be downloaded for free on her website. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog. She blogs regularly at The League of Extraordinary Writers, co-organizes WriteOnCon, and is a member of SCBWI, ANWA and LDStorymakers.

She wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.

Here is the cover of SURRENDER in all it's symbolic beauty:

About SURRENDER: Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.
Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque…. 
Purchase your copy here :-)

**Now, I don't know about you guys, but I've always been curious about how long a project takes from concept to publication.  Well, Elana has been kind enough to take pity on my begging to share this very thing with us today.  Make sure to check out the giveaway as well.  Take it away, Elana!**

Okay, so today we’re going to examine the lifespan of SURRENDER, a second book that was never intended. See, Possession was supposed to be a stand-alone. But the conversation about making it a series happened as soon as Possession edits were complete.

July 2010: Possession edits complete. Discussion of SURRENDER begins. Agent wants an outline.

One problem: I don’t outline.

But this time, I do!

Begin outline.

September 2010: Turn in outline. Begin writing book while agent reads the sucktacular outline.

Write SURRENDER in 25 days, after laboring and wrestling with the outline for 3 FREAKING MONTHS.

Note to self: Next time, write the book first, outline second.

October 2010 – January 2011: Edit SURRENDER.

February 2011: Turn in SURRENDER to editor.

Don’t you like how easy this all sounds? “Write the book. Edit it. Turn it in.” I really struggled with certain aspects of SURRENDER, namely who should narrate it. That took a very long time to figure out, and I wrote probably 25,000 words using the wrong character(s). Once I had it figure out though, the drafting went quick.

Edits were also quite extensive, as I often lack in setting, motivation, arc, and well, plot during the first draft.

I abused my betas and asked them to read fast. They did, and I swear I edited day, night, weekend, for months so I could meet the deadline for getting SURRENDER where it needed to go.

I think that’s something every writer has to do at some point. The better you are at working under pressure, with a deadline in mind, the better for publishing a book each year.

So we turned in SURRENDER. Simon & Schuster bought it.

July 2011: SURRENDER edits. (Yes, again.)

September 2011: Edits done! Yay! Cover proof seen.

October 2011: Copy edits.

November 2011: First pass pages. I did these in the car on the way to Denver, where we were going for Thanksgiving. 8 hours of editing? Check.

And that’s it. That’s the last time I read SURRENDER. Eight months later, and the book is on shelves.

Whew. This publishing thing isn’t for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

Do you feel like you can adhere to deadlines? Read and edit your book until the breath’s been sucked out of your body? Yeaaah, it’s just like that. Ha!

Participate in this week’s tour and you can enter to win one of two e-books—anything you want! Enter in the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

16 comments:

  1. I spent months on the outline for my third book, so I know the feeling.

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    1. Yep, you certainly have a kinship understanding.

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  2. Life is nothing but deadlines. :)

    Congrats, Elana! You're a true role model.

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    1. It's quite the feat. I know it differs from author to author, but getting a breakdown like this is very enlightening.

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  3. I give myself self imposed deadlines. They work. Sometimes. Congrats! and good luck with Surrender!

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    1. I'm giving myself those now...though I don't seem to be sticking to the letter of the law when it comes to these deadlines lol!!

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  4. Loved hearing about the timeframe for Surrender. I remember when she tried to outline. I'm not sure I could do it either. And writing on a deadline is scary.

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    1. Sticking to, or just staying within eyesight of, a personally imposed deadline can be a challenge. Having to buckle down and get'er done on someone else's deadline has added stress.

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  5. Wow, that was quick writing for the first draft. I hate outlining too. I'd rather write the book first. I'm just about to start reading Possession. I grabbed a copy after Angela mentioned Surrender earlier in the month. :)

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    1. I'm stoked you grabbed a copy of the book. I really enjoyed it myself...so much so I think I'll have to discuss a post with Me, Myself and I.

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  6. Replies
    1. It was my pleasure and it was wonderful learning about the timeline, something I'm always curious about as a writer myself.

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  7. This was an interesting post. I find outlining to be very hard. I plan to start reading Elana's books soon.

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    1. Elana's novels are great. I hope you enjoy them :-)

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  8. Thanks, Elana for sharing your experiences. I outline, but roughly, if that. I'm not even sure you can technically call what I do an outline!

    I often wonder if I could adhere to deadlines. My initial thoughts are, heck yeah! Outside deadlines are probably the only thing that'll get my butt in gear. I do not like displeasing folks. Displeasing myself, well, that's another story.

    Great post, Angela. :)

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    1. I outline loosely with a skeleton outline. I wonder if I could get better at outlining and see if it would take a shorter time actually writing.

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