Yesterday I finished the edit/second draft of my WIP (meeting my Sept. 1 deadline!) and today I feel a little lost. Writing that story has been my main focus for the last six months. It was the activity around which I structured my life. It’s not that I lack things to do; my list is longer than ever. In simple terms . . . I miss the creative process. I miss looking forward to where the story was going each day. I miss my characters.
I’m already thinking of things I need to add or fix. But I’m only making notes. I’m resisting the urge to go into the file. I have learned over the years that it’s important to let a novel sit and jell for a couple of weeks after the first major draft is completed. This is very difficult for me. I like to keep moving forward, and I’m anxious to find a publisher. But it’s critical to take a break and get some perspective on the story. When I come back to it, I’ll see flaws and gaps that I can’t see now. So for now, the manuscript is chillin’.
So today, I’m working through my list of things to do, brainstorming for my next novel, and cleaning. This is the “later” as referred to in my blog title.
Writers: Do you let your story chill? And for how long?
Definitely let it sit. You’re right. It gives you a different perspective. There have been times when I’ve gone back and, I swear, I didn’t remember writing a couple of things.
I didn’t let my 1st novel sit. As soon as I had written the end, I dove back into the beginning and started ‘kneading’ it. Eventually, I had overworked it to the point of being unreadable. Well written, but unreadable.
For the 2nd novel, I finally wised up and let it sit for about 2 months. When I went back, I made good, smart edits, and sold the book.
Tom Petty may be right, that ‘waiting is the hardest part’ but it’s absolutely necessary.
First of all, congrats!!! You met your deadline (and posted every day!) and that’s awesome. I think a chill period is absolutely necessary. It’s like giving the cake enough time to set before frosting it!
Usually mine will sit for a while and chill. But I have to be careful because that’s the time when starting a new project will completely sidetrack me from going back at all and it ends up in procrastination ‘cuz I’m so excited about the new one.
I’m not letting YOUR story chill at all! In fact, I’m reading it right now. Hehe.
Ah we’ve all been there – I compare it to that feeling we women get about two weeks before our due date. lol. But then, I think of books as babies anyway mmm.
Glad I found you!
Romance writer, Loring Parks, at Juicy Like An Apple