Do or Die Time

I’m at the 100-page mark in a new manuscript. This is where I stop writing.

I put the book away for a while and read something else. Grab a few novels, maybe a non-fiction work like CRAZY ENOUGH by Portland’s own Storm Large. I catch up on the New York Times, and all those articles I insist on clipping out and leaving on the counter, and which Katy politely never mentions.

Then I do a hard copy of the 100 pages, find a comfortable coffee shop or two, drag out the red pens, and edit. Remember: I was a copy editor before I was a thriller writer. I’m perfectly capable of editing in cold blood. Especially my own stuff.

One hundred pages is where I figure out if the story is coming together: If Act I is a super-strong launch pad for the story, and if Act II is coalescing the way it needs to as far as plot, character development, action and pacing.

One hundred pages is do-or-die time. I have thrown away entire manuscripts at the 100 page mark; torched ’em like so much kindling. (See “cold blood,” above.)

I’ll keep you posted.

About danahaynes

Dana Haynes is the author of ICE COLD KILL (2013), BREAKING POINT (2011) and CRASHERS (2010) from Minotaur and St. Martin's Press.

Posted on February 15, 2012, in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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