I'm now over half way through writing the first draft of the next Inspector Andy Horton marine mystery police procedural crime novel, the seventh in the series, as yet untitled, but that doesn't mean I'll have finished the novel by Christmas, although Christmas is my deadline for completing the first draft. Why a deadline? Is this imposed by my publisher? The answer is 'no.' I find setting deadlines helps to concentrate my mind and that's probably because of my background in marketing and PR where deadlines for brochures, advertising campaigns and media must be met otherwise sales and opportunities would be lost.

Some writers set themselves targets to write so many words per day, others to write for a certain number of hours per day or week. I've never counted the number of words I write per day, but I like to write for at least two hours every day and many days I will write for several hours a day, it all depends on the stage of the novel, and what else I have going on.

In between writing there are copy edits and proofs, talks, book signings, conferences and appearances, marketing and social networking, media appearances and interviews. Plenty to keep me occupied! For now though it's back to writing.

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Comment by I. J. Parker on October 13, 2010 at 1:30am
I think you may work faster than I do. I'm for the first time in a position of selling an unfinished book. It makes me nervous. This, too, required me to set a deadline (a generous one!) and I write for the same publisher. I will say that revisions, copy edits, and proofs have run a lot more smoothly than they used to. For once, I'm not at war with my copy editor. :)

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