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:
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.