Writing Update: Manuscript Finished!

Six months ago to the day, I started drafting the manuscript for novel #3 (it’s still untitled). Last night, at close to midnight, I actually wrote the words “The End” to complete the draft. It always feels great to bring the story full circle. It comes with a real sense of accomplishment, even though the journey is far from over. The manuscript is just over 91,000 words, which should make the book about 300 pages, I figure.

So what’s next? Well, now I head back to Chapter 1 and start the editing and polishing process. I also do a ‘humour check.’ This can mean toning down or even cutting out some of the funny stuff that may just be trying too hard. Alternatively, I may pump up the laughs in places where I haven’t fully exploited the comic potential. But I’m learning to let the story carry most of the load. It’s nice to have a laugh or two along the way, but it should only support, not supplant, the story. So I’ll spend the next month of weekends and the odd weeknight massaging, rearranging, cutting, and adding to make sure the last six months of writing hangs together as one continuous, seamless, compelling story. Then on December 1st, I’ll send it off to my editor, Douglas Gibson at McClelland & Stewart, as well as to my literary agent, Beverley Slopen. Doug will carefully read the manuscsript more than once, and then add his distinctive, insightful and almost always sound editorial suggestions in pencil in the margins. He’ll pass the manuscript back to me probably by the Christmas holidays. I’ll then work my way through it, making changes where required. Then I imagine I’ll send it back to Doug sometime in January where the more formal publishing process begins. There’ll be copy-editing and cover design, not to mention the gathering of blurbs from interesting folks. Then, if all goes according to plan, the book will miraculously appear on bookstore shelves and in online catalogues in early September 2012.

But the big news today is that the first major hurdle has been surmounted. The story is fully written for the first time. I’m going to bed…

7 Responses to “Writing Update: Manuscript Finished!”

  1. Evadne says:

    Congratulations on finishing the first draft Terry … can’t wait to read it!
    Evadne

  2. Congrats Terry!

    Great to hear. I’m learning more and more what a huge accomplishment that is…

    ~Graham

  3. Dan York says:

    Congrats, Terry! Writing those final words of the first draft is indeed a MAJOR milestone to celebrate.

    Looking forward to reading #3!
    Dan

  4. Janice Brown says:

    Wonderful news, Terry. We’ll all look forward to reading #3. Congratulations!

    BTW, have you read Alexander MacLeod’s wonderful collection of stories, “Light Lifting”? I read it last week and was completely blown away.

  5. Terry Fallis says:

    Light Lifting is wonderful and so is the author. I’ve spent some time with Alex at a couple of different writers’ festivals. He’s humble, thoughtful and funny. Hope you’re recovered from the marathon!

  6. Congratulations Terry! A tremendous accomplishment.

  7. Katt24 says:

    Congratulations on finishing the first draft of your manuscript!

    I just finished reading novel #2. Love a book I can LOL with. I was hoping there would be a book 3.

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