It starts with an idea and then, for me, the basic research phase begins as dates of actual historical events have to fit with the timeline of the novel.
Once I have the basics, I plot the story, undertaking more research as each gap in my knowledge arises.
The next phase is writing the story down. Writing has its highs and lows, some days the words flow easily, but there are days when it is difficult to feel motivated to face the blank page or a challenging scene. This is where I find plotting a novel helpful as it keeps me on the straight and narrow as I can see the progress I am making through the plot plan and where I am hoping to go. Having a plan is also helpful if I take a break as I can easily pick up where I had left off. Every writer has a different method, the most important thing is to complete the first draft of your manuscript.
The fourth phase is polishing the manuscript, editing and redrafting it until you feel it's the best it can be. Giving it to a beta reader, who will provide feedback which is truthful and constructive, can be helpful at this stage.
How the manuscript is submitted for publication will vary, depending if you are an aspiring writer or a seasoned author on a contract. Once the novel is accepted for publication with a traditional publisher, the waiting phase starts. It can take several months, even a year or more, before the manuscript is prepared for publication.
Preparing the manuscript for publication requires the author to work closely with a professional editor. There are several layers to editing, including character development, historical accuracy etc, but the basics of the process include the structure of the story, the grammar and the spelling.
As the launch date approaches, the book cover is designed and the acknowledgements, dedications and synopsis finalised. Finally Publication Day arrives and it is time to sit back and enjoy the celebrations!