I am quite breathless with the excitement! Since Friday, fuelled perhaps by that view of King’s and a slice of Battenburg, I have written and edited like a demon. Then I added dates to all of my chapters. I did this in the first book (“Fatal Forgery”) without really thinking about the implications, but because it made (and still makes) sense for a constable’s notes to be dated. What it does mean, however, is that when I reach the end of the writing, I have to work out how time passes between chapters – is this the next day, or weeks later, or even flashback? (Actually, that’s a red herring: Sam Plank, being a man of great practicality, lives in the moment and does not do flashback.)
Next I had to think of names for each chapter. Again, I did this in the first book and so now I have to keep to it – but it’s not really a chore because I enjoy looking for a slightly quirky little phrase to sum up each chapter. So this time round we have, for instance, chapters entitled “Bruises and confessions” and “A ferret in the Compter”. (No, I will not elaborate: you’ll just have to buy it in October.)
And once that was done, I had to admit that I had a completed beta draft, ready for sending to my greatly trusted and hugely respected beta reader. You see how nice I am to him? So – scary moment this – off it went about thirty minutes ago. Nothing to be done now until I hear from him. (Big tip: once you’ve handed a draft to someone else, don’t be tempted to fiddle around with your own copy, otherwise you’ll create enormous confusion. Just. Leave. It. Alone.) How am I celebrating? Well, I went for a walk in the sunshine, and I’m going to have fish and chips for dinner.