Final Chapter …!

adult alone black and white blur
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Forgive me for sharing, but I’ve been faintly hysterical. To clarify, I am most certainly not looking for sympathy. That was very kindly given, free of charge by the staff in the coffee shop. I think it’s the only thing I’ve had free of charge there, the place costs me a small fortune.

My lovely coffee shop has endured months of me sitting in my usual spot, tapping away at the iPad whilst buying a few desperately expensive lattes and a chocolate brownie or two. We chat and laugh and they ask about my writing, and are the most kind and friendly bunch of people. Suffice to say, should I ever get this wretched book published, I’ll have to sell quite a substantial amount just to break-even, in order to compensate for the amount of coffees I’ve bought.

Each day they hear me come through the rickety door as the little bell above gives a jingle and a jangle. They call out with a cheerful, “Morning! Your regular decaf latte, in a mug not a cup and saucer? We’ll bring it right over!” and I smile coyly, blatantly ignoring the snarls and filthy looks of the other customers in the queue in front of me as I take my place in the corner with the cushions and the squishy seat. As the morning progresses, I change my order a little and try not to be quite so predictable. Sometimes I ask for extra cream or try an Americano in anticipation of moving across the pond, but I don’t really think that’s going to help me.

But today was different. Today I began the final chapter of the book, which is now less of a book and more of a friend. I friend I have created and although at times I have loathed it when I have come to a tricky section, I also love it with a passion that makes me want to weep. And sadly today, that is exactly what happened.

I was writing about the final few kilometres of my trip on a squeaky bicycle called Claude, when suddenly it dawned on me that it was nearly over. Through writing, I had been re-living this ‘journey’ of mine, and now, for the last time it truly was coming to an end. To the horror of everyone, this realisation suddenly found me wailing, howling and dribbling into my flat white with extra cream. Bless them, the girls came straight over, the men more slowly and somewhat nervously. (They wisely understood that women-of-a-certain-age in a state are to be treated with caution …)

As I wiped my mascara’d cheeks with a unlimited pile of Farrow and Ball coloured napkins, I explained how I would miss coming to their lovely coffee shop and writing and as I snivelled and dribbled, I thanked them profusely for all their kindness.

“Err won’t you still have a bit of editing or something to do?” one of the girls tentatively asked.

“Oh! Oh yes!” I exclaimed, brightening somewhat. “In fact, lots of editing and umm re-editing and things like that,” I carried on. “Err, yes of course … you know, spell-checking and things!” I trailed off at this point, quite unsure what on earth I was talking about. But this seemed to appease us all and the world seemed like an infinitely better place, with all-round smiles and lots of slaps on the back and reassuring, ” Well, you’ll be here for weeks then!”

“Thank goodness for that!

The men disappeared with sighs of relief that all was now well, and the girls gave me my first ever free coffee as a get better soon gesture and offered more Farrow and Ball napkins to wipe away the eye makeup which was apparently now on-my-chin-makeup. And we sat and chatted happily together about the benefits of waterproof mascara vs falsies. I thought falsies were fake bosoms, but they’re all a lot younger and infinitely wiser so I’ll heed their advice. So, when it really is all finished, spell-checked and edited, I’ll simply go to America as planned, have an Americano and get myself some falsies. Sounds like a fabulous plan – odd how the Colonel looks ever so over-excited …

Katie xx

Any tips, advice, suggestions for finishing a book? (Including editing and finding an agent or publisher or …. anything). Thank you x

71 thoughts on “Final Chapter …!”

  1. Good for you–my book is still in the middle, and I can’t get to a nice coffeeshop to do it on and just do it at home. It is really a way of life.

    Honestly though, you’re not really moving here? This place that used to be America is mostly a tip now–very sad, very true. If you have a great place to go with community and have lots of money and all, it might work out, since some places are still sort of okay, but it seems to be that the okay places need people to have tons of money which can’t be earned there, and the places to earn money are not pleasant to live in. Maybe I didn’t hear part of the story or plans. I moved to the UK decades ago naively thinking that Thatcher’s England would be better than the US of whoever the head was in the US those days–Reagan probably. The grass is always greener til you read the pesticide label–hey, that’s funny!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I love the pesticide bit! Oh golly, I hope it’ll all be ok when we get there … we’ll be in New York which is desperately expensive, more so than London I think. Perhaps I can just sit in Central Park and bring my own coffee … that might be cheaper! Where are you now? Katie ps. Thanks very much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. New York City? Very expensive, although Central Park is really lovely–my partner has an office there which costs ridiculous amounts per year. I live a couple of hours above it, near Woodstock NY. Good luck to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Katie, I’m with the tentatively questioning waitress. From experience of publishing a few “how to” creativity coaching kind of books online, and never finishing but writing big chunks of a novel and a screenplay, the writing bit is pretty easy. It’s trying to gather it all together in a logical, cohesive order that’s the challenge. At least for me it was. It still is even with a lengthy blog post! I would say of the books I finished perhaps only 25% of the total time was writing and the rest was editing, proof reading, setting up landing pages, emails to sell it etc.

    Employing an editor will save you masses of time and tears, otherwise be prepared to buy plenty more coffees!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh help! Perhaps I should start making my own coffee and drinking it on the doorstep – I think I’m going to be broke. Thanks so much for reading. Do you think I should get an editor as well as an agent? Or do you think that an agent will do that anyway? Katie

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      1. I’m afraid not experienced enough to advise either way, but I would suspect you could find an editor online first, who could then advise about the steps beyond editing too.

        Maybe write a post asking for any editors others would recommend?

        I think your end goal for the book will influence the editor you choose too, so perhaps try to find others who have published books in a similar market/arena and see who their editor was/is?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. But…. isn’t it going to be hugely successful and your going to have to start the next one as soon as your lovely creative mind is ready?

    I believe any place is what you make of it and it’s an exciting journey you are on ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Once you’ve got it as good as you think you can, then is the time to find beta readers – readers you trust to go through it and tell you anything they think doesn’t work, wrong words, bad grammar, etc. Oh, you’re nowhere near finished, Katie!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done for finishing it! Editing prob will take a while as you fiddle caddie around with it.

    I would recommend getting hold of the Writers Yearbook and then submitting the first 3 chapters to a few selected agents. Prepare for rejections, but keep at it.

    Remember how many rejections Bowie got before he made it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The coffee shop is not in your past alone- you can still go there! Start writing another book! Take up sketching or bullet journaling and make it your routine in place of the writing. Or keep writing and play with words in the form of poetry- but dont give up your lovely coffee shop 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right … besides, I’d miss it too much! I’ve just started the editing process which is far harder than I had imagined and incredibly time consuming, so thankfully I can see more time being spent there.

      Thanks very much for reading. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know how you’re editing but it’s worth looking into tools/software available that helps keep things organised. I remember doing a non fiction book a while back and I ended up printing out masses of pages and physically laying them our all over the floor to get my head around the order and layout. Took hours on end! Someone then told me there’s software that helps with this, ie the layout and structure adn continuity etc, not just a basic word processor.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ahh now this is wise advice … I’m doing everything on my iPad and am asking my husband to print it off so that I can physically see it and shuffle chapters around. This sounds rather like what you did! I should look into finding some software. Thanks for saving me hours and messing up the sitting room!

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      3. Ok, this looks really good. I like how you can be typing but also have the dictionary for example open. I’m such a buffoon that I can’t yet quite work out whether I can have it on an iPad; it certainly talks about Apple, but will read more about it tonight. Thanks so much. I need to simplify how I’m doing everything.

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      4. Yes, all 70k words. I thought that was what everyone did! I was thinking when I move house it might be a good idea to buy a nice big computer with a proper keyboard. I’m afraid I don’t know what a trackpad is! What is it?

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      5. The track pad is the pad below the keyboard, the equivalent of a mouse for laptops. But you can get stand alone track pads for desktop computers. I find it vastly easier to use than an iPad, especially for selecting and editing text, copying and pasting etc, which I always find a bit hit and miss (mostly miss!) with an iPad.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I physically cannot do copy and paste on the iPad, I end up tapping ever more furiously before wanting to hurl it out the window. iPads are wonderful for reading and browsing, but writing and editing devices they ain’t!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s quite adorable that the baristas know your coffee order by heart. I love coffee shops but never have gotten to the point of getting friendly with the people there that they start recognizing me. Americanos are strange to me…. And I am an American lol. Maybe I am too accustomed to the taste of how I like my coffee; very bitter black coffee with a dollop of milk and absolutely no sugar. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, there are a ton of coffee shops. Small business ones and the big name ones too. Did I read correctly on another one of your comments… You are coming to NYC? I live in Brooklyn (New York).

        Liked by 1 person

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