Monday, June 7, 2010

Yay, I'm done! Wave a flag! Now what?

I finished my current WIP last night, huzzah! It was about 7K words shorter than I originally intended, but I wasn't about to fluff up the text unnecessarily. The story stopped when it should have, and I already had two or three major things in mind for revisions based on early feedback from my alpha beta reader (or beta beta reader?). So as soon as I was done I did a little victory dance, then dove right back into edits.

Which got me thinking: what do you do when you've finished draft one? Do you dive back in as I did, or do you usually need a break? And what about beta readers? And how do you go about the revision process? Do you make one broad sweep to capture everything, or do you make several passes with very specific changes in mind?

What's your revision process?

11 comments:

MBW aka Olleymae said...

I love to take a week off and cram as many books into my brain as possible. Then I feel like I get a fresh perspective on my work. Plus I like reading. lol.

Congrats on wrapping up your draft!!!!

laurel said...

DO NOT revise yet. Let that baby sit for a week at least. Go research another story. Critique someone else's ms. But by all means step away. You'll be able to see it more clear-eyed if you come back to it with a little distance.

JEM said...

Hmm, methinks both of you have a good idea. A week of prescribed manuscript vacation, just what the doctors ordered. I smell a Shiver/Uglies reading fest coming on. They've been tempting me from the shelves for months now. Thanks for the great advice!

Tahereh said...

yay congrats!!!

and i love Molly's idea -- it's something i've never tried before, but it sounds like it could really work!!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Yay you!! Celebrate!!

And take a break. At least a week, preferably two weeks away from your manuscript will give you fresh eyes to start the edits. Sometimes you get so used to seeing things a certain way that you don't realize they need to be changed. Time away will give you better perspective.

Good luck!!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Woo-hoo! what a GREAT feeling!

I always wait. A week-at the very least. Relax and read a book. Get your mind off of it so you can go into it with fresh eyes.
Just my humble opinion, though. :)

Lydia Kang said...

I wish I could say I have a formal revision process, but I don't! I usually give it a few days, and go through to revise. At some point, I find major revisions are in order, and then I'm busy for another few months with that. Then I take a breather and let the beta's at it. But many times I've yanked it back from betas because I've realized there are more changes to be had! So really, you shouldn't be asking me. I'm all over the place.

Renae said...

I don't have a formal revision process, but like the others have said I take a break then go back through and revise. After that I send it to my first beta, then go through the entire thing again. Then send it to my other betas. Long process I know, but I get a little OCD. Great blog BTW, I following!

Christina Lee said...

congrats- I've done it both ways. It does help to leave it for awhile, and eventually you will b/c you wil be giving it several passes (and will become sick to death of it soon)! good luck!

Lola Sharp said...

I don't let my beta's or CP's have at it until I do at least a round or two of revisions and line edits. I want to give them as clean a copy as possible.

When I am done with my first draft, I usually read and chill for a week or two. If I need longer, than I may start another project...at least jt some notes down about it.
Then, with fresh eyes, I have at it. It usually takes me about 3 months to write the first draft, and another 6-9 months to do the subsequent drafts...THEN I'll give it to my CPS/betas to mark up. I'm just getting to this phase with my 2 novels...I have yet to query anything. I won't query before it's my best effort, polished to a high shine.

(which is my advice...do not query before it's ready. So many people query too soon. Just like Idol try outs, that you mentioned.)

CONGRATS on finishing your first draft!!! That's more than most people EVER do. :) I hope you're feeling proud. *throws confetti* *shakes her pom poms*

Love,
Lola

CitiZEN said...

Congrats! I step away from my work. I get the best perspective by focusing my mind on something else. It feels good, and I always have a clearer vision when I return to my work. Good luck!