• Fatal Practice

The third volume

The third volume of the Drake and Hepple mysteries is now written and has a provisional title of Fatal Practice. I am hoping to publish it soon. However there remain a number of jobs to do.

First, I have to read right through and check for any problems that you might think of as lack of continuity. A book like this has many strands and 41 chapters. I never write entirely from start to finish so there is always the risk that things might happen out of sequence. This usually happens when one character mentions something to another character that has not yet happened. It is easier to make this mistake than you might imagine!

Second, I need to go right through looking at style and phrasing. Sometimes it feels necessary to get the bare bones of what happens into the computer. This means that it is not always as neatly phrased as it might be or characters speak in a manner that is outside their personality and so on.

Third, it must be copy edited to eliminate as many typos etc as possible.

Fourth, come the rather tedious tasks of building the whole book. I like to wrtie each chapter in its own 'Word' file. These all have to be concatenated and formatted to the book size and so on.

Finally come the tasks of designing the cover, finalising the title and adding the preliminary and final pages.

Sorry that this is not the most exciting blog entry. However I thought some of you might like to see why writing a book is not always fun. Especially during this final phase, it can become quite humdrum and tedious. However there is one more task that I have yet to describe. I need to convince myself that the book is actually finished. This book has been with me for over a year. It has become like an old friend. Perhaps parents might like to think of it as more like bringing up a child. It is actually quite hard to say goodbye. To accept that I am no longer improving it. To come to terms with this being what you, the reader will actually get.

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