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CHARADE is (almost) done!!

I finished my first draft of CHARADE (my Athena Force book) last night.


Okay, so in the middle of the night, I remembered something I forgot to wrap up in the Epilogue, and I’ll add that today. But still, I’m counting the victory as of last night.

I have never – ever – been so glad to finish the first draft of a book. Why this one?

There are lots of possible reasons. It’s part of a continuity, which means I relinquished more control over it than I have for my other books. So in the back of my mind, I’ve been telling myself not to get too attached to it. But in truth, I absolutely adore this book. So that’s probably not the reason.

Maybe it’s because I don’t like having books due in the summer. I love summer. I love the spontaneity, and quite frankly, I lose that when I’m too tightly scheduled, as I am in the month before a book is due. So I tried to power through this one, leaving as much of the summer free as possible thereafter. Not that I won’t write, write, write all summer – I just won’t write on a deadline. There’s a world of difference, believe me.

But the real reason? I’ve got such a great idea for another book, and I couldn’t dare start it until this one was done. Plus, an editor recently asked me to send her a few chapters on another idea I pitched a while back, so I need to do those before I begin seriously working on my “great” idea. (By seriously working, I mean allowing myself to concentrate on it. I’ve been jotting down notes, somewhat surreptitiously, like a criminal, but now I can write it in the light of day, so to speak.)

Am I out of the woods yet on CHARADE? Hardly. My first draft is just that. Now I begin the sometimes-painful process of going back and answering my own little queries. You see, I leave myself notes, right in the manuscript, that say things like [Kate: what is she wearing?}, [Kate: find out what kind of gun she’d be using], [Kate: did she eat any meals today?], and my least favorite [add some sort of transition here]. Plus, by the end of the book, I know my characters so much better than I did at the beginning, I’m bound to do a lot of tweaking when I re-read it.

Add to that the stack of notes I write myself and put in a “fixer” file – these are things I think of later, like when I’m in Chapter Eight and I think of something that should have happened in Chapter Two. I don’t dare let myself go back – too reminiscent of a time loop from which I’d never escape – so I write myself a “fixer” note, sort of like a contractor’s change order.

For CHARADE, I probably have about twenty fixer notes with which to deal.

Still, I declare absolute victory – ergo the: yay!

Celebrate with me by doing something fun today. I'll be writing, and for me, that's definitely something fun.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
Yay Right Back Atcha!
Kate, I absolutely know what you mean about the summer! Gah, I can't get myself disciplined right now and it's driving me (internally) nuts. The heat and the swimming pool beckon, the bikes need riding and the trips need taking. I love the summer -- it's my favorite season of the year. But writing? Not so compatible with the summertime. That's why I'm giving myself until August to start the next book.

But you good you -- congratulations on finishing the first draft of CHARADE! I can't wait to meet your new heroine!

Jul. 17th, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay Right Back Atcha!
Thanks, Karm. I think you'll like this heroine. Her name is Sasha and she's a talented liar which makes her useful to the FBI and the NSA, but wreaks havoc on her personal relationships.

The surprising character in this book is the love interest, Jeff Crossman. That's why I left you the note I did on your blog this morning. Jeff was given to me by the continuity gods as a clean-cut, dependable guy -- Sasha's FBI handler. And that's how I thought I was writing him. Then he surprised me by suddenly turning super sexy and a little grouchy! Needless to say, I'm madly in love with him -- which happens a lot with my heroes, but I never thought this guy would get to me this way!

Waaahhhh, we don't have a pool. Every year I plan on getting an estimate, just to see if we can possibly swing it. Then Spring gets away from me, and it's 105 degrees here in Elk Grove/Sacramento, and I vow to call them the very next Spring. Sigh...

Keep cool! And thanks for stopping by. -- Kate
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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