|Mamma Mia & Paladine Rest Their Paws.|
Have you typed “The End” on a novel? Congratulations! Most first novels aren’t finished–they’re abandoned. But what now?
Writing Tip for Today: A first draft is something to celebrate but it’s still a first draft. As you complete that draft, you are TOO CLOSE to the story and the writing to be an objective editor. Best advice? PUT IT ASIDE.
- Rest. If yours is a first novel, I recommend letting it rest a month or more. Some call this manuscript gestation. As the mob might say, “Fuggedaboutit.” Meanwhile, get busy on another writing project. Write fast and every day if you can.
- Read. At the end of the rest period, read your work straight through. Take simple notes on problem areas or other corrections, but NO EDITING. You want to gauge the story strength at this point.
- Revise. After the read-through, try to fix STORY PROBLEMS before you fix word choices or smooth out sentences. A storyboard can be useful for identifying plot holes or redundancies. Revision will probably take longer than your drafting, so do it in LAYERS. WORKSHOP your story if you can, to help maintain objectivity. Remember: Write fast, but edit slow.