Photograph by Hedi Slimane

Almost finished. All the scenes that used to be marked with hash-tags to indicate their need for attention are now blissfully clean. There is still a good bit of polishing to be done, but I’m more or less at the paint-and-carpeting stage of this construction project. I’ve renamed my settings to save me the headache of trying to get a handle on Seattle or Vashon Island (which is now Chilkat Island, named for a Native American tribe of the region and bearing a giddy resemblance to our Catherine’s moniker). I’ve worked on theme and motivation, I’ve distributed the back story and come up with what I hope is a fitting end.

It’s possible that there are a few more plums on the tree, but until someone else takes a look I’m not sure how to reach them or which ones would improve the story. I’m a less-is-more kind of writer. I enjoy tight little books with no superfluous information, and hopefully that approach suits the claustrophobic mood I’m trying to create with this one.

This afternoon I divided the story into chapters. Some of the divisions came easily, others gave me trouble. Of course I want each chapter to draw the reader in and get her reading the next one, but like paragraphs or scenes, I think chapters should have a roundness. I’ve found some sharp edges that need to be sanded, so that will be part of the last bit of work on the smut-novel.

What are your final steps before you call the fucker finished?


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