The End

the-end

Those of you who follow me on other blogs know that I’ve been in jail lately. Book jail. Imprisoned behind the bars of my own words and convicted of criminal procrastination. I have good news to report. I’m paroled!

This weekend I committed to finishing the book, even if it killed me. And it very nearly did. The woman who is writing this blog has had three hours of sleep since Friday. Yes, that’s right, three hours of sleep out of the last seventy-two hours. Am I tired? Heck yeah! Do I feel good? What, you can’t see me doing the Snoopy Dance For those of you who are math nuts; I wrote 11,000 words during that time. Most of those words between the hours of midnight and six in the morning. I’ve always been a night owl. Lucky break there, don’t you think.

The recidivism rate for writers is high. We can’t seem to help ourselves. There will be another book, there will be another deadline, there will be another time spent in book jail. And I will love every minute of it. Right after I finish cursing about why I waited so long this time, and you would think I should know better.end-is-often-the-beginning-life-quotes-sayings-pictures

What happens next? In my world, the end is similar to the single woman’s battle cry: NEXT! No, I’m not starting another book, at least not until November 1 when NANO starts, and I have a lot of work to do before that. The end of every book is the beginning of editing. I’m in the editing process now. Every writer edits differently. I try to clean up my writing as I go. Each night I try to finish a chapter, then I skim it again the next day. That serves two purposes; it refreshes me in the story, and it lets me see any errors in grammar, plot, etc. Make that three purposes. It gives me a leg up on the editing process.

I write in Scrivener, so each of my chapters is a discrete file. I copy those files and paste them into something called ProWritingAid. PWA analyzes my chapters and warns me of overused words, grammar errors, vague words. In short, it helps me strengthen my writing in the first pass. After I’m through that, I print the whole danged thing and read it in five chapter increments, from back to front. You’d be surprised at what you find when you do that. If for some reason, I don’t want to read in reverse; then I read line by line using a clean sheet of paper to cover what’s coming up. Again, wonderous things appear. Most of them I wouldn’t want to share.

everything-will-be-okThat done, I read the five chapters out loud to help me pick up on bad dialogue. “Hello, Hayden. How are you?” SNORE. Then I read the five chapters straight through. Just as I would read any book. That’s where I find out that Sally in the first chapter has morphed into Stella in the third. And oh yes, the dead guy, well, he’s moved from around a bit! I continue that process throughout the book, and I try to do it in seven days. See note above about three hours of sleep in every seventy-two.

The heavy lifting part of my job done, I send the book out to my stellar editors.  I’m lucky to have two and each catches more mistakes than I thought possible. I make those changes, read the book through again, and then send it to beta readers. Beta readers are first readers. And a good one is worth his weight in gold. Guaranteed they will find plot errors, truncated storylines, unresolved red herrings, and name changes that escaped everyone else. After I get over wondering how I screwed that up, I make the changes and…Send it to the publisher.  Time for another happy dance! A short one, followed by rinse and repeat. More simply put—NEXT!

Author photos 009Kait Carson lives in an airpark in south central Florida with a pilot husband, seven tropical birds, and six rescue cats. By day, she’s a practicing probate and litigation paralegal, in the evening, legal pads give way to a keyboard, and she spins tales of murder and mayhem set in the tropical heat. Kait writes two series, the Catherine Swope series, set in Miami, and the Hayden Kent series set in the Fabulous Florida Keys.

Kait loves to hear from readers, check out her website at www.kaitcarson.com; follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kaitcarsonauthor, on Twitter at @kaitcarson, or e-mail her at kait.carson@gmail.com.

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “The End

  1. Oh Kait it is four AM and I am still awake. Bless your book and you and I hope we all get some sleep. The air units are all on and it is still hot. I am tired of the heat. I think I have had it for tonight. Do get some sleep. Best to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post. I am going to look into some of the programs you use. I am in the middle of revising with my editor and you have given me some great ideas. I’ve been traveling and heading home today! I hope you didn’t have a problem in Florida with the weather.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to be of help. Sharing information is so valuable. I’ve done a lot of frog kissing when it comes to usable programs. I like the ones that don’t try to control what you write but make suggestions that you can take or leave. Let us know what you think.

      We lost power and had what I refer to as a heavy breeze with light rains, I’m in the South Central part of the state (Hendry County). My heart goes out to those who bore the brunt. Thank you for asking.

      Like

  3. Wonderful post. I am going to look into some of the programs you use. I am in the middle of revising with my editor and you have given me some great ideas. I’ve been traveling and heading home today! I hope you didn’t have a problem in Florida with the weather. Looking forward to reading your stories!

    Like

  4. Kait, there’s no way in Hades that I could accomplish what you just did. Eleven thousand words in 72 hours–I would be a zombie! I’m in book jail myself, about halfway finished with a book that’s due to be published June 1, 2017. I really have to step it up to get it done. Why has this happened? Well, for beginners, that “little” matter of promoting the book that was published this March 15. And then I had to stop working on my WIP to edit proofs for the book coming out this January 15. And then there was that other thing called “life” that has tossed me a couple of curveballs the past few months. I honestly feel like Atlas at times, carrying the world (my small world) on my shoulders. I get overwhelmed, and then I simply want to crawl under my desk and hide from everything. Poor me.
    Very interesting post, Kait. Now I have to pull myself together, man-up, and crank out words. 🙂
    –Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can do it, Mike. I have no doubt. i do agree though that book promoting can get in the way of writing. It’s schizophrenic to be promoting one and writing another. I always have to orient myself depending on which book I’m talking about. My save line, “and that’s a preview of coming attractions!”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great, relatable post! So happy for you. I am turning in final, final edits for book #3 tomorrow. Such a good feeling. (I just accidentally typed “freeling” instead of “feeling.” Maybe “freeling” better describes that freeing feeling!) 🙂 Anyhow, I hope you’re getting some sleep!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s