On Saturday I finally finished the first draft of my next novel. It needs a fair bit of work to whip it into shape, but from this point on I’m editing rather than first-drafting. I feel more than ready for this change of tempo – it uses different parts of your brain and I am kind of looking forward to it.

I say ‘kind of’, because that first read through is a terrifying prospect. What if it’s rubbish? What if the plot doesn’t hang together and the prose is dull and lifeless, and the characters are unlikeable and inconsistent?

When I am writing a first draft I try to keep forward momentum going at all times, and never go back to edit. If I write something which will require a tweak or addition in an earlier chapter I just write myself a note and keep going. Otherwise I know I would never reach the end. This method works for me but does mean there can be quite a lot to tackle in the first edit – the one I must do before I let anyone at all read it.

Anyway, just now I printed off the entire novel. I will read it through with a red pen in hand and scribble notes as I go. Then I’ll get going on the edits. Deadline is Christmas. Wish me luck!