Wrong. There’s still a lot to do.
After I put the last period on the very, very first draft of Shadow Games (a title selected by popular vote), I went back to the beginning and began to read, edit and rework.
I found typos. I found grammatically awkward sentences. I found continuity problems. Is this a problem? No. My NOT finding them would be a problem.
I know few writers (in fact, I know none) who write a first draft and never edit or rewrite. This is because, usually, as a novel is written, it changes. It does this for a number of reasons. For one thing, as a writer comes to know her characters better, she may realize that a reaction she’d plotted won’t work for the simple reason that it’s out of character.
She may change a character’s back story to account for character attributes or to hit desired “notes” or set up plot developments better. She may discover that that really cool action scene she dreamed up won’t work for logistical reasons or, in the GFFA, because the physics or history of the setting won’t allow for it. She may find that the key character she had decided was an enemy early on, turned out to be a friend—or vice versa. She may discover that what she thought was going to play a small part in the protagonist’s life during this period is actually far more important than she thought.
In Shadow Games, there was the added layer of having a main character (the holostar) who had a dual persona—the hype, and the real person behind the hype. Making sure those pieces are consistent is one of the things I made a point of before I handed off the finished piece to Michael. He’s worked with individual sets of chapters, of course, but now I have to go back and do my best to tie it all together, so I hand off as smooth a synthesis of our combined work as possible.
So that’s also part of the After Period process—Michael’s polishing pass. Then the MS comes back to me for another continuity check, which, we hope, is mercifully swift, then hand off to our editors. Then the real fun starts … the artist gets involved, the marketing people go to work, the editors edit.
And then…? Well, that will be the subject of another blog.