The first rewrite is complete! Whoopee!
But that’s by no means the end of the process.
Having made the changes to the story elements, I’m now checking for consistency on all 36 named characters over the 54 chapters. So far, I’ve done two of the major players and two minor ones. It’s a check to make sure I haven’t made them sound like each other in conversation, or, worse still, sound like me! The task is quite demanding and time consuming. Although, with Scrivener, I can do a global search for the character’s name and just visit the chapters where that particular player is featured. A few of the minor characters appear only in a couple of chapters, so they’ll be quickly dealt with.
Once that’s done, I’ll concentrate on language, looking for overuse of certain words, inserting the odd metaphor where that’s appropriate and ensuring I haven’t overdone any descriptive passages.
The final stages include running each chapter through Prowritingaid to find those errors that are so easily missed by eye, printing out each chapter for my beta readers to report on, deciding which of their comments I need to address, and then a final read aloud, from paper, to check on the flow and pace, and find any sentences that just sound awkward or clumsy.
After that, it’s off to the publisher for his editors to make suggestions that need addressing before the book is finally put to bed.
So, as my publisher would say, ‘Onward!’