After a manic period of panic-stricken, all-night writing sessions, I now look exactly like a corpse. However, I don’t care. I’ve finally delivered the manuscript of my new book to my editor at HarperCollins, and now I’m planning to sleep for a week.
After that, once I’ve found out what my editor thinks of the manuscript – which is the nerve-wracking part – then I’ll be starting what’s known as a structural edit. This is the first part of the editing process and could easily take several months, as it can involve making major changes like deleting scenes and/or writing new ones; moving chapters around; improving the characterisation of existing characters, or getting rid of those who aren’t earning their keep.
After that, the next stage is what’s called a line edit. That’s when I’ll be focusing on the finer detail, and once I’ve finished that, then the manuscript will be proofread and any last-minute minor changes will be made.
Meanwhile, the team at HarperCollins will also be working on the cover design and what the back cover “blurb” is to say, and then they’ll be sending out advance copies of the book to reviewers. (That’s another very nerve-wracking time.)
Eventually, the finished manuscript will be sent to the printers to be turned into a proper book. When that happened to my last novel, I was lucky enough to be invited to watch the process happen at Clays of Bungay, and I had a wonderful time and learned a lot.
The names of authors whose books Clays have printed are sign-written on the walls in their reception area, and read like a “Who’s Who” of famous writers. I couldn’t believe an unknown like me was keeping such illustrious company!
As you can probably tell, I found the whole experience incredibly exciting, and if you’d like to know more about what printing a book involves, I’ve written about it here and here. (There are lots of photos and some videos, too.)
My new book is due to be published in the Spring of 2016, and I’ll keep you up to date with what’s happening to the manuscript between now and then.