I gave my novel (with all kinds of problems) an ending by answering the question, “How would I end this story if I changed nothing (so far)?”
And about an hour later, BAM! — First draft!!
I have a finished first draft.
It’s a freaking mess, but it’s a first draft.
It rambles in places, and it has my own notes scattered throughout, and there’s no freaking way I’m letting anyone read it yet . . .
But it’s a FINISHED FIRST DRAFT!
And I just had to share that.
And now, I have a question for anyone reading this: How long do you usually let a first draft of one of your novels sit before you begin editing for the second draft?
A couple weeks? A month?
Or do you pick a day a month or so out and say, “That looks like a good day to start editing”?
Or maybe you take on a new project while the first draft is sitting all cozy in a drawer (or on your hard drive), and you tell yourself, “I’ll start editing my novel’s first draft once I’ve got the first draft of this novel/book written.”
That last one is kinda where I’m sitting. I’ve got a nonfiction book project I’ll be working on for the next few weeks, but I don’t want to get lost in “new idea land,” so I think I’ll set a deadline on my calendar to tell myself to get started on editing TLD.
I’d say it’ll give me something to look forward to, but the idea is really more to motivate me to get rolling on this new project. To not waste time. To write every day and get as much done as possible by that deadline.
And to remind me that finishing that first draft doesn’t mean I’m done with it. I’ll think of it as meeting my inner editor for coffee and maybe a doughnut — and editing a story I haven’t read for weeks.
Or an apple fritter. Apple fritters are good.
Please share what works for you when it comes to taking a break from your work and then beginning the editing process. I look forward to reading your comments! 🙂