Today I finally finished Swansong, the novel I've been working on in Derbyshire. While the manuscript undoubtedly contains a few spelling mistakes and odd errors, there are no bugs that I am aware of.
I started working on Swansong when I was in Coventry, although I first had the idea at University (when I was at University the first time, that is, doing my BSc). The novel has turned out very different from what I first planned, but I think it's stronger for that. It has been fascinating to work on – the research has led to some fascinating conversations and I've met some interesting people.
I've learned a lot from writing this novel. One lesson is to be more careful with research. I spent too long gathering material rather doing the specific research that the novel needed. Hopefully I can avoid this in future by planning the second half of the book better – which would also have prevented a couple of the rewrites. Having said that, I'm very excited about some of the secrets I uncovered through doing the research.
FWIW, Swansong is not the first novel I've written. I wrote some appalling messes in my twenties, that have now been permanently deleted. There is also The Clown Novel, which I finished last year, but that feels a little too depraved to unleash upon the world. Swansong is the first novel I've written that I feel reasonably happy with. I'm now going to send the book to my initial alpha-reader for their comments. Then I'm taking the rest of the day off.If you want to follow what I'm up to, sign up to my mailing list