The whodunnit learning curve

NotebookIn the past, I’ve been known to blog about manuscripts as I’ve been writing them. If you’re a regular subscriber, you’ll know that I’ve been keeping my current project more or less under wraps.

I still don’t want to say too much about it, but I am here to record the fact that at 17:19 GMT I wrote the final word in the final chapter of the first draft of the novel I’ve been working on since just before Christmas.

That last word (in case you’re interested) is out.

As I think I’ve observed here before, finishing a first draft is a funny old business. There’s elation, yes. Relief too. Exhaustion. A strong desire to drink red wine in large quantities. All sorts of other urges I should perhaps keep to myself. There’s also a nagging suspicion that all those words you just strung together may not quite add up to the coherent narrative you had in mind when you wrote that first word all those months ago.

And, lurking underneath all those feelings, is the sure knowledge that, when you return to the manuscript after the essential cooling-off process known in the trade as Putting The Bloody Thing Aside For As Long As You Can Stand To, the hard work of editing will really begin.

I’ve already let slip this new book’s working title, which is The Frozen King, so I can safely blab that out again. I’m happy to tell you it’s a short novel (first draft just under 62,000 words) and that the story is essentially a murder mystery – not something I’ve written before. One of the great pleasures of getting it to this stage has been slowly crawling my way up the whodunnit learning curve, which proved to be rather steeper than I’d anticipated.

That’s all for now. Before I get too deeply into the red wine, however, I will tell you that the first word of the book (in case you’re interested) is Screams.

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