I am in the final stages of writing the final first draft of The Absent Ally, Case Number 27 in the Hot Dog Detective series. It has been a challenge, trying to get the final novel in the series exciting enough to keep a reader’s interest, yet at the same time, tying up all the loose ends in a 27 book series. I have frequently tossed out several scenes (chapters in these books) because they didn’t meet my criteria.
Once I have the final draft completed, I will do the first of my two edits. The first edit will be a mechanical spell-check type of error. Then I print out a formatted copy of the draft, and carefully edit each page. Then I re-do the spell-check, and send the edited draft to my beta-readers.
The beta-readers are so much better at editing than either me or Microsoft’s Word program. They find things that I am blind to, that mechanical edits simply cannot even see, and then they send these back to me.
Finally, I review every single comment or suggested my beta-readers provide, decide if I agree with them (usually I do – as I said, they are often smarter and more observant than me!), and make the corrections. Then I submit the final document, Version 1, to my publisher. She reviews the document, formats it, and gets it ready for publishing.
When will The Absent Ally be available to the general public? Alas, not until September. I hope you all can wait until then.