Saturday, January 28, 2012

Finished! (well, almost...)

I've been a bad blogger lately, I know. My elder daughter got married at the end of December, several of us have been battling health issues, and I've been pushing hard to finish my next Sebastian book. It isn't due until 1 March, but it is finished. Almost.

Why almost? Well, I've done all the major revisions and the line edits, too, and printed off a clean copy. Now I'm just going to let it sit there for a few weeks, then come back and read it one last time with fresher eyes. I also haven't written the last few paragraphs of the final scene yet, either, because I want to wait until after I do that final read. So almost finished. But this breathing space is a rare luxury for me; normally I'm pushing SEND at 4:00 p.m. the day it's due.

I thought some of you might enjoy this glimpse into how I write. I divide the book into four parts, and keep each part in a separate file. As I print the book off, I also keep the parts separate, each with its own variously colored title page. I use the title pages to write notes to myself--the spelling of the names of people or places that I find myself forgetting or (especially at the beginning) even character descriptions. Why do I do it this way? Hmmm, maybe that would make a good blog post in itself!

In the meantime, what I am doing now? Why, plotting book number nine, of course! Can't tell you much, yet, except that it will be set in late January/early February 1813.


malita said...

oh oh oh! If you need fresh eyes i volunteer happily! though I need to read #7 first so send that ahead - really I don't mind at all!! ;-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Interesting about the four parts. I haven't heard you tell us this before. Perhaps a post sometime about why you do it that way? What does it help you with?

Anonymous said...

Wow - so close and yet so far (for me that is). I'm counting the days for When Maidens Mourn, but I know the minute I finish it I'll be ready for this one. Oh, the agony. I'm with malita....any help you need..... ;-) Congrats on being so far along. Maybe since you're finishing quicker, you can move to two a year? Sabena

Essex said...

That is an interesting system you have there. Do you write each part in order, or do you bounce around depending upon how you feel or how the ideas come to you?
I am glad you made it through the holidays. It sounds like you had a lot on your plate! I hope that you and all your family have returned to good health. I am, of course, eagerly awaiting When Maidens Mourn. A year between books seems like such a long time! And like other posters before me, I will happily serve as "an advance reader," kind of like those test audiences for movies. :) I wish!!!

cs harris said...

mailita, thanks for offering!

Charles, I think I will do a post on it.

Anon, not long now! As for two books a year, I wish!

Essex, I write straight through. I will sometimes skip a scene for various reasons, but I don't think I've ever deliberately written a scene far ahead.

Anonymous said...

C.S. ~ I enjoy your work and pray you are feeling better. Sounds like you are extremely busy writing, etc.. Get my pkg..? Hang in there!
Larry W. Taylor

Steve Malley said...

Looking forward to the four-part post. One thing I love about your stories is their structure and pacing! :)

cs harris said...

Larry, we picked it up today. I'll be answering you soon!

Steve, thank you! That's great to hear because it's something I really work hard at.

Anonymous said...

A glimpse of the next installment -almost a cruelty :-)

I too am looking forward to "Maidens" but expect it will take a little while longer to reach Australian bookshelves; at which point I will read far too late into the night to discover the protagonists' fates.

The writing process is fascinating - I was wondering whether you compel yourself to sit for a certain period of time each day or wait until inspiration takes hold and dash off a chapter?

Two books a year - surely one or two hours less sleep a night would facilitate it!

Belinda, Melbourne

cs harris said...

Belinda, I do try to write for a set period every day, although I'll admit that life often gets in the way. Once I have an outline and start a book, I don't have the luxury of waiting for inspiration; I just make myself sit down and wrestle the next scene onto paper. The only time I give myself permission to spin my wheels and look for (not wait for) inspiration is when I'm at the plotting stage, because I find if I try to push myself at that point, the result is artificial and unsatisfying, and therefore counterproductive.

Linhie said...

"Good things comes to those who waits."

Truly fitting for us fans, but boy does waiting make us stir crazy. 2 more weeks until the release of "Maiden" I cannot wait!

Do you happen to know when the AUDIO version of "Maiden" will be released to the public? I've gotten all the books in text and audio format and love to read and listen to both.

And congrates on spinning another installment and another on the way. We're all waiting on pins and needles to learn more about them!

Mom in High Heels said...

Torture!!! I am so excited for the next book I can hardly stand it. My Kindle is fired up and waiting for the day it drops. I'll have to lock myself in the bathroom so I can have some quiet time to read. :)

I'd be happy to give you some notes on this one if you need a reader. :)