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  • Shannon Work

Writing a Mystery Novel

Updated: Sep 5


It took me a year to write NOW I SEE YOU, my debut novel. I kept the book a secret from my family and wrote in fits and starts when I knew no one was looking. I finally told my husband what I was doing when I was about halfway finished with the first draft, but I didn't tell my kids until I was completely done. But now that I've been outed as a writer, I should be able to write the second book much faster.


When I was finally finished with the first draft, I self-edited it before I sent it on to a structural editor. This was a Herculean effort since the first draft was a mess. So many plot holes to fill, character names that had changed mid-draft, dates to check and recheck with timelines, etc., etc. Scenes got added, rewritten, and reordered. I was nervous but also relieved when I finally uploaded it in an email to my editor and hit Send.


When I got the manuscript back, there was yet another round of edits to complete. Interior monologue was replaced by dialogue in some places. Description added in some spots and taken out in others. Problems with storyline were addressed. Scenes were again scrambled and even deleted in a couple instances. Whew!

Next, it was off to the copy editor and proofreader. Wow, do I need to brush up on punctuation! There were also sentences to revise for clarity and a few more story editing issues to address.

Then finally, after two complete read-throughs (the last done in a single day), I was finished. Writing this first novel has been a steep learning curve. I’m hoping writing the second will be a bit easier. Here’s to hoping!

NOW I SEE YOU is currently with the formatter and will probably be published sometime next week. I hope you read it and enjoy it!


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