From Notes to First Pages to Finished Book

Writing is hard work. There are many stages in the life of a novel, from first drafts (of which there are too many to count), to structural edit, to copy edit, to cover design, to first pages, second pages, third pages and then final print. Of course many of the work is invisible and hard to record like all the hours spent researching in books and on the internet, or the discussions and interviews with family and friends. Here are a few of the stages that I have gone through while writing Little Paradise. The ultimate pleasure after all that work is holding the finished product in your hand for the first time.

As the novel takes place over 6 years in Mirabel's life and is set against the backdrop of World War 2, I had to work from a timeline. Much has changed since I wrote the timeline eg. Rose no longer gets murdered, but the dates remain pretty much the same.
As the novel takes place over 6 years in Mirabel's life and is set against the backdrop of World War 2, I had to work from a timeline. Much has changed since I wrote the timeline eg. Rose no longer gets murdered, but the dates remain pretty much the same.
Part of a chapter written in my favourite chai latte cafe
Part of a chapter written in my favourite chai latte cafe
Manuscript with editor's notes
A page from the manuscript with editor's notes
The manuscript before it went to 1st pages with editors notes.
The same page after another edit with editors notes.
1st pages which I am still editing. Then the book will go to 2nd and 3rd pages before it goes to final print.
And again the same page but now at 1st pages stage. I am still editing this. Then the book will go to 2nd and 3rd pages before it goes to final print.
Some of the cover concepts for Little Paradise
Some of the cover concepts. There were 12 in all.
This is photocopy that I pasted onto a book to see what it will look like when it's published
This is photocopy that I pasted onto a book to see what it will look like when it's published. I'm thrilled with it. The photograph is one taken of my mum when she was 20 which is a perfect match because the story was inspired by her love affair, her courage and her spirit for adventure .

2 thoughts on “From Notes to First Pages to Finished Book

  1. Fascinating to see the process documented in these snippets and snatches. Also finally I have firm hard copy proof that writing is really hard work. I have none of my own as I throw all my notes out – except the research – but from here on in I’ll just point to this blog post. I love reading your posts.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Sandy. I have those big plastic boxes for each of my novels. I am a bit of a hoarder but luckily have a big garage.
      I think it’s a good idea to keep everything associated with the making of the book just to remind yourself of the amount of work that went into the finished product. I don’t know about you but once it’s published, I forget the incredible pain and moments of self-doubt I went through. I guess it’s a bit like childbirth, once it’s out you forget the pain of it all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.