After months of thrashing through my Father of the Grooms book project, it gave me an immense degree of satisfaction when I wrote the words “The End” finally, at long last, on the page. My novel has grown from one word to 325,000 words, which is well and good, but the book is still a long way from being completed to publication standards.
Yet to be done is the sometimes maddening job of going through the entire manuscript word by word and punctuation mark by mark along with items like making sure the characters are consistently referred to throughout the novel and that the elements of the plot and subplots are properly resolved. I do not want a reader who may have self-identified with one of my characters to suddenly discover that his character has somehow disappeared between the pages and is never heard from again.
I best do such reviews by printing out a copy of the manuscript and going through it by reading it line by line while running a straight-edge down the page. This is a slow way to read, but that is exactly the point. This method makes me look at every word, and not only that discover the missing words that should have, but did not, appear in the sentence. Such careful reading also allows a more careful look at the many English homonyms to make sure words like “sense vs. since ” appear in their proper context.
This stage is also typically when footnotes are added which are first positioned where they need to be at the ends of chapters or at the bottom of the pages. Having them at the end is certainly the easiest way to handle them from a mechanical point of view, and these days are the more common way that footnotes are published. Although footnotes loose something of their immediacy of having them at the bottom of a page, as it makes readers turn to the end of the chapter to discover more details about a topic that may have provoked their interest. Increasingly, these are on-line references or perhaps one of my own books or videos.
Once the First Draft corrections are made in the manuscript, I plan to take the unusual step of publishing a First Draft edition of the book as an e-book title. Such a publication will provide several advantages: 1. The draft edition will provide a platform from which to derive a screenplay. 2. This unusual publication will put an inexpensive first-draft novel on the market that can be used as a teaching aid in a novel-writing course, without having the students write their own books, and during editing them during the following semester as is commonly done. Using my First Draft book allow instructors the much easier task of everyone working on one book, rather than on a entire class’ creative compositions. 3. Feedback from readers will allow corrections to scenes and episodes in the book to more nearly reflect real-life places and events.
In approximately two months I expect to have the First Draft Edition of Father of the Grooms available on Amazon.com as an inexpensive e-book. Anyone who makes a significant contribution in upgrading the book to publication-ready status will receive a credit in the book.