I’m a few days late on this post, but on the weekend, I finally finished writing the complete manuscript for my new mystery novel, “The Body in the Building.”
The last little bit took longer than I expected and a couple of additional chapters to get there. One of the things that annoys me is when you’ve read a really good book, you get to the end, and they haven’t actually explained the “why” or set up the epilogue. Or worse, they’ll leave it hanging as an attempt to lead you to the next book.
My plan with “Body” was to make it standalone. You didn’t have to have read “The Map in the Fortune Cookie” to understand it, and you won’t have to have read “Body” for when I write another story in the same universe (which I will almost certainly do). I deliberately haven’t called this a “series” because well, it isn’t.
Putting that to one side, now that the manuscript is complete, I’m at the less fun but at least as important part of the process – editing! This is the part where you go back over your entire manuscript and make sure that it actually makes sense.
You look for grammatical issues, you look for waffling, you look for omissions. While it’s necessary to get these fixed, the biggest part of the editing process is to ensure continuity and that there aren’t any inconsistencies or contradictions. Sometimes there are many months between when you start writing and when you finish; I finished writing the manuscript for “Body” almost exactly a year to the day from when I started. There is a lot of scope there for not remembering what you wrote exactly.
Once I have finished the editing process, the final stage will be pushing it to my editor, who will look at it from an outside perspective and hopefully, identify any of the above types of issues that I will have missed. Note that isn’t “may have missed,” it’s a given that there will be issues.
I have a release date set for the 31st March. I plan to have my own editing finished by the end of this week before sending it off to my editor. Then, I need to send off copies to some reviewers to review prior to the release date as you want to try to go with at least a couple of reviews before it hits the shelves.
It’s a busy few weeks left ahead!