Sunday, July 1, 2012


I haven't written about the process of my attempt at getting the novel published in a while and though I was procrastinating for a couple of weeks, I have actually been formatting it so it will be "clean" when it transfers over for Kindle viewing.  (Let me interject to say that the new iPad update for the Kindle app is beautiful. Thank you, powers that be.)  The way that I've written all my novels is that I've created a separate word document per chapter and kept the novel in a folder.  In the case of my novel Existence, that's over 90 documents I've had to combine.  I'm not sure if there's an easier way of doing it other than copy/paste, but doing it one chapter at a time has given me another excuse to take yet one more look at it.  As usual, some stuff I love, some stuff makes me stare at the screen for a while before I hit delete and rewrite.  This time around though, that barely happened.

It was interesting to note that even though an ms word document can look clean when you view it, there are a lot of little hidden cues fixing the document in the background, like a Merlin gremlin, without us even being aware of it.  It's a great system but it appears to be a nightmare for html conversion.  I will be taking an html course eventually.  I tried it once about ten years ago but at that time I had no immediate use for it. Now it seems like a pretty good idea to understand what's happening to my words when I send them off to college.

dot dot dot

I reached the end of Existence and am now formally formatting the layout. i.e. title, dedication, page breaks, chapter headings, etc.

Do you know what that means?  I wrote the last chapter.  I wrote the The End (and then deleted it because I thought it looked cheesy). 

Let me share this because I find it, always, really interesting.  I imagine it's hard to look at - I'll gather all writers in together with me - our work objectively, right?  I mean, we love it extremely or hate it intensely.  For me that can happen within the same chapter and sometimes it can happen even within the same paragraph.  Like I said above the dots the other day, some stuff is like, WOW and other stuff is like meh.  Is that normal?  No se.  But, BUT like Beyonce, when I read the last few chapters of my novel yesterday, I broke down in tears.  There are a couple of reasons for this, one is obvious and one sneaks up on me every time I get close to the end.

The first reason is that everything comes to light for my protagonist, Erin Keane, at the end of the book. There are truths revealed that he wasn't capable of confronting until he'd had some clean and sober time and the trip through that process isn't an easy one for him.  The truth can sometimes be a hard pill to swollow unless your chasing it down with a little Stoli.   While this story is not an autobiography, I can obviously relate.  I mean, as much as it isn't about me, these characters are entirely me.  We go through the storms together, and we find the peace together.  I want my readers to experience the same thing, of course.  I want everyone to cry as they reach The End.

The second reason, the one that chokes me up even as I write about it now, is that it's done.  I'm finished and will have to cut the connection.  Do you see what I'm saying?  The relationship is over.  It's not over in like, I hate you, I'm taking the dog.  It's not over in like, it's not you it's me, but we can still be friends.   It's over in like, you can't touch me anymore; I'm with someone else now.

I found myself holding my breath sometimes as I reached the end of certain chapters.  I found myself involved in their lives again, again.  What I did not find was the need to change any of the story lines.  I wrote the last chapter and it was easy.  It felt natural and right and it basically wrote itself.  So, yeah, I'm afraid it's over between me and Existence.

It's okay, Magician is waiting for me with open arms.  I am not a player, not a beyotch.  Erin is over and Jeremy needs me to finish his story now.  Soon, I will be falling all over again.

I am frigging STOKED!! 


  1. I find myself in different yet similar shoes. My second novel is coming to a close. I only need one more chapter. So far, my writing habits have been "write whatever you feel like writing and then figure out where it goes later". This sort of philosophy can tend to get stinky when you're dealing with either a time-frame to finish or if you're collaborating on a project with another writer.

    What this means for me, basically, is that I do not write my stories in order. An example for me is that in my latest novel, the last chapter I have left to write is not at the end, but rather, just past the half way point. This can create continuity errors that would of course need to be reviewed and corrected during final read-throughs and edits. Which is not always fun when you eat, breathe and dream about your characters for months on end. I was glad to cut my ties with the characters from Space Punk. It's been two years now and I'm finally starting to think about a new story with those guys.

  2. I know how that feels to sit and write a random chapter or piece of a chapter. Sometimes I'm driving and a scene will play out in my head and I'll race home to get it down so I don't forget, but I won't really know where it's gonna fit until later. I like to think I write the first draft from beginning to end but the truth is it doesn't flow that easily and when I sit and start writing I hardly ever have the ending in mind. I'm pretty good with beginning and middle but the climax is a mystery until I get to know my people a little better; my novels are pretty character driven. I know some writer's do outlines and whatever, pie charts - I don't. That's a little too like... it's too apathetic an approach IMHO. Figuring out the puzzle with the continuity issues has defintely been part of the chaos... Come to think of it I actually did create a calendar and used it to figure out the time span so I could wrap my head around a few things that weren't jibing. I'm just starting to understand how much work is involved in all this. It seems like writing the novel was the easy part.