If you're following my journey to complete a book, you'll know that my structural edits for Shetland book 3 were completed in January 2022. Structural edits focus on the building blocks of a novel being in the right order and place to allow the pace and understanding of the book. The focus is on timelines, character arcs and plot points being amended to ensure there aren't any loop holes or date discrepancies.
Having checked my amendments, my editor sent my manuscript to the copy editor who hones in on the word order, the word choice and rogue punctuation. This allowed me a three week break from the manuscript to focus on Shetland book 4. Shetland book 3 arrived back from the copy editors last Thursday, so I have spent the weekend rereading and viewing each suggestion. Its the kind of task that once you've got your head in the book you need to plod on until completion - which I did. Thankfully, it took three days to complete. I've now returned the amended manuscript to my editor - accepting some and rejecting other suggested amendments. For those who have followed my writing career from the beginning, it is at this stage that I fought for the word 'stera' in my debut novel. A four day wrangle ensuring that my book set in 1986 had authentic phrases.
The Shetland book 3 manuscript will now be tidied up, all tracked notes removed and chapter formatting entered before I receive it for proofreading. This is usually the last chance I have at altering any specific detail or word whilst reading the final proof. I tend to block out four days and read the manuscript aloud to the dog. That sounds ludicrous but I've found it is the only way to hear the story and keep my mind focused on each letter, word or punctuation mark. The dog is yet to complain about his involvement!
In the meantime, I shall return to Shetland book 4 as my deadline for submission is 1st March.