Yesterday I printed out the complete manuscript of Book 2 for the first time. I still have some blank spaces to fill and facts to check but it feels like a milestone – another step in the journey from inspiration to (hopefully) publication.
I find that my confidence in a manuscript ebbs and flows while I’m working on it. Sometimes I feel a story works well. Other times I think it flounders and will never see the light of day. While a hard copy read-through will give me a sense of sentences, paragraphs and passages that need more work, I might not get the same insight into the story as a whole until I hand it over to someone else.
I’m all for saving trees and reducing paper consumption but a hard copy read-through of a manuscript is a must. Why? Because you’ll be surprised just how many mistakes you find on a printed page, compared to reading from a screen. (As mentioned in previous posts, reading your manuscript aloud is also an enlightening, worthwhile exercise.)
The best thing about reaching the hard copy stage for this draft of this manuscript is that I can take it with me on my fact-checking mission. Yes, I’m heading back to Kangaroo Island this week to renew my acquaintance with specific lighthouses, museums, shipwreck sites (without diving) and a very special cemetery. I can’t wait.
Did you know? A lighthouse lover is known as a ‘pharologist’.