I’ve been chipping away at my current work in progress (novel WIP#6) since January 2022, so it goes without saying that I’m more than ready to see it finished. This one is particularly complicated because it has historical time skips, which is making it especially hard for me to keep the continuity straight between past and present. Why on earth did I do this to myself? Okay, I’m being a bit wry there; it’s a challenge that (I think) I’m up to. I’ll get this final draft finished eventually.

I also need to make the ending finish with a bang, not a fizzle. When I read through the current draft, I was underwhelmed by my own ending. It doesn’t need much work, just extended a bit to tie in some info from earlier in the story. This manuscript will become Book 3 in my Belfast Ghosts trilogy. I was happy with the ending of both Book 1: The Blue Man and Book 2: The Fairy Lights when I wrote the final drafts, and Book 3 has a lot to live up to as it will complete the trilogy.

Setting a final draft checklist for myself has helped. To check for any continuity issues, I’ve been reading through the chapters and jotting down key facts that my main character has learned at various points in the story. Even basic things like other character’s names matters; can’t have a character referring to someone’s name when they hadn’t yet learned it. Find and replace has also been my friend; I only recently noticed that I had used US spelling for a common term used in the story. Not a big deal, but since I write using UK English, consistency matters.

Speaking of consistency, making sure that hair colour and eye colour of main and peripheral characters matters too. Dates, times and names have all been given a once over in my final checks too.

SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) is a tricky one, I find. I’m always spotting a missing full stop or comma and often my editor and proofreader will catch more. Every writer’s bane, I guess.

But, not to end on a downer! The end is in sight for Book 3, and if you are a reader of the series, I’ll let you know that it falls somewhere in between The Blue Man, which is a sinister ghost story, and The Fairy Lights, which gets strange and fantastical. Book 3 has vengeful medieval ghosts and witchcraft, though it has its fair share of ‘weird’ moments too.

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has written four novels, including award-winning ghost horror, The Blue Man, as well as three poetry collections. Her writing confronts the nature of self; her novels feature main characters on a dark psychological journey who have a crisis of identity and create a new sense of being. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing literary journal with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from publishing pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary lad, a voracious reader of sea monster books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/75c5a1ad6956/leilanie-stewart-author-info

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