How to Write a Novel – Pt 7: The End is the Beginning

My drink of choice is Raspberry Coke.

Did you get it all out?  Have you finished that first draft?  Toast yourself with your drink of choice and let’s say it together: Cheers!  Put that first draft away, at least for a few days, but I’d say a week and give it a chance to rest.  In the meantime, do whatever.  Go on vacation, play video games, read books, revisit your social life, etc.

Okay, now that you’ve enjoyed yourself and patted yourself on the back repeatedly for getting it done, here comes the hard truth: your first draft is only the beginning.

One of the first lessons of being a writer is learning that your work is never finished.  Even when it’s published there will be things you wished you changed.  At some point you have to let it go and be finished.  But now is the time to make sure what you let go is the best you can make it.

The reason you put the novel away for a few days is for the chance to let it get cold.  When you’ve had a few days away from your baby and the crystal clear vision of your story has dimmed a little, you’re more likely to see what you’ve done with actual clarity.

I plan to get into the details in an upcoming polishing the novel series in early October.  This month will be mostly occupied by my vacation in:

Hawaii beach

That’s right, I’m heading out next week.  I know, I know, it’s a rough life, but somebody has to live it.  On the docket is snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, boogie boarding/surfing, and whatever else me, the BFF and our friends can cram in.  I intend to blog from there whenever possible.  We usually pack it in tight and I’ll only have my portable keyboard and phone, but I promise to share delightful pictures of fantastic Hawaiian wonders and maybe sum up with scribbles and videos after we’ve returned home.

I’m going to try working on my novel while I’m there, though I suspect most of the work will be done on plane rides and not on the beach.

We’re going to the Big Island and Kauai, so if you’ve been to either two, recommendations are welcomed below.

And of course I’d love to hear what you thought of the How to Write a Novel series overall.  Anything you would like to see more of in future series?  Any topics you’d like covered in the future?  Let me know below.

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6 thoughts on “How to Write a Novel – Pt 7: The End is the Beginning

  1. Hawaii?! Lucky!

    Have fun. I’ve been to both of those islands and they each have their own set of Fun Things to Do.

    The Big Island is, well, big. Must-see things that I can remember include the Volcanoes National Park and Punaluu Beach (black sand).

    Kauai is pretty much the opposite. It won’t take you long to travel end-to-end on that island. But lots of neat hikes and kayak trips you can take.

  2. Yay for vacations! My advice, enjoy it and forget about the blog and your manuscript. At least until you get back. The time away may do you some good. Are you going to give hula dancing a go? You just wouldn’t be a tourist if you didn’t. 😉 Snorkeling in Hawaii sounds like so much fun. Bet it’s beautiful too. Thanks, now I’m slightly jealous. Very curious about the cuisine as well.

    Hmm…future topics? How about goals versus dreams (when it comes to writing)? You could also do something for the Hawaiian vacation. There’s the big controversy with people writing fake reviews too. Expectations versus reality when it comes to traditional publishing. I could go on and on.

    You know how I feel about this series, and I’m looking forward to the next. Great job.

    • Thanks. I think working on the manuscript to pass the time on the airplane won’t hurt though. It is a long stinking ride. Like I said, I’ll try blogging, but no promises. I’ll likely get caught up in the adventure of vacationing. 😀

      And thanks for the suggestions for posts!

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