In terms of my own book, there have been the following stages (so far!):
- I wrote several synopses and submitted them to my agent, Luigi Bonomi of LBA
- Luigi and I mutually agreed which one I should write
- I then wrote a more detailed synopsis
- I met with Luigi to discuss and fine-tune it
- I then planned and wrote the novel
- Next, I edited the first draft before sending it to Luigi
- He and a colleague made suggestions for changes, which I incorporated
- I edited it again, before it was sent out
- After it was sold to Headline, my editor Alexander Hope made further suggestions
- I then incorporated his changes into the novel
- It then went to the copy editor, who made further changes
- I then hand-adjusted the manuscript with my own changes to this copy edited version
This is the stage it is at now, and there will still be a further stage of checks before the proofs are produced prior to publication.
It is amazing what a team effort producing a novel is, very unlike how I imagined it in my boyhood!
But I really think such a process leads to much better work. Often it is difficult to see the wood for the trees if you are just writing on your own, and mistakes can often get missed. With a collaborative effort, the standard of work naturally becomes more professional, and hopefully the finished product reflects this!
That being said, mistakes can still creep in, but I now know that this is certainly never through a lack of effort!