Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Finished!

I finished my first draft yesterday. YAY!!!

It is the slowest first draft I've ever written. It took me seven months to write 30,000 words. I was a little disheartened by this until I started thinking about these seven months.

The first two months were November and December (Thanksgiving and Christmas!)

During three of the months I had terrible morning (all day) sickness and sitting at the computer for longer than fifteen minutes wasn't really an option.

Two of the months were spent working on a different project.

So really, it wasn't THAT slow.

I've been trying to decide if I should jump right into revisions or let this manuscript simmer and write another one. I think I'm leaning toward the simmering option. After seven months I'm really anxious to write something new! And I have the perfect summer project in mind.

When you finish a first draft do you start revisions right away or do you set it aside and work on something else for a while?

38 comments:

Anna said...

Yay, congrats! Isn't finishing a draft just the best feeling? I usually put the draft aside for a week or two and do something completely different. But sometimes the draft is calling to me so loudly that I dive back into revisions after just a few days. I guess it just depends on which project you're most drawn to. Good luck!

Thomas Taylor said...

Congratulations! I'd have a little break before revising, but not too long -- you don't want to forget anything.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I have no self control. I've never let something sit (maybe to my detriment?). You better let me see this sometime soon. ;)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Woo-hoo! By the time I actually finish, I'm too eager to revise and polish and see where it can go to start a new WIP. :-)

Christine Danek said...

Congrats! It feels so good when that first draft is done.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Yay! So excited for you. *tosses confetti* Um, so far I've only finished one book, and I was kind of revising all long the way (bad habit, I know) so I just kept at it. We'll see what happens with the next book.

Hope you're having a good week!

Stephanie said...

Congrats!!! I think it's helpful to step away. You can start writing something new and if/when you get stumped, switch back to the other. Good luck!!!!

MeganRebekah said...

Yay for the first draft! I can't wait to read it!!!

Jamie D. said...

Woohoo - congrats!! :-) I love that finished-draft feeling...

I let things simmer...sometimes for months while I'm working on something new. There's no way I'd be able to see what's wrong with a story right away after I finish it - I need space to gain a little objectivity back.

Sandy Shin said...

YAY. Congratulations on finishing the first draft. I've never finished a novel before (hopefully that will no longer be true soon), but I think I'd be terribly eager to revise, also.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Last time I started a new WIP pretty quickly. This time I'm torn between a new idea and revising an old one.

Big congrats to you for finishing!!! :)
When do I get to read it? I miss Big C.

Candyland said...

Congrats on first draft finish line! I tend to let it simmer for as long as it needs before I jump back in.

Keri said...

Congrats! I love the feeling of accomplishment when you complete a draft. First drafts especially are very rewarding to finish.

I think you should let it simmer for a month. That's usually enough time to get stuck into something new and allow your mind to wander away from your first draft long enough to be able to approach it with a fresher mind.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Congratulations! I tend to go back over a first draft right away to make the plot coherent and then I let it sit for six months.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Ack! Six weeks, not six months. That would be crazy!

Erica Chapman said...

Congrats!! Hmm, I let it simmer for a bit, but only a few weeks, at least that's what I did. I'm ready to write something new too ;o) Good luck!

Janna Qualman said...

Yay, congrats!

I usually can't leave it alone too long, but if time has passed (even unplanned time) things go better for edits.

Wen Prior said...

Congratulations! I bet you're thrilled :) I can never put mine away for long enough to let it sit, I just have to start revising right away. I guess everyone is different, though!

Good luck! It's such a great feeling getting that first draft out of the way.

DL Hammons said...

Yay!! That's awesome!!

I always wait at least a couple weeks before I dive into revisions. Actually, my mind makes me take a break! But when I do return, I'm reinvigorated.

Terri Tiffany said...

Congrats!!!! Let it simmer for sure so that when you return it is all fresh and exciting:)

Jen said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! That's fantastic!

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

Well, I think the general consensus is to wait and let it chill out in a drawer for awhile, but it sounds like we're all kids on Christmas when it comes to that strategy and can't wait to dive in!

Congrats on finishing the draft.

Sherrinda said...

Congratulations!!!! You are awesome! Now celebrate BIG!

Jessica Nelson said...

Woohoo! Congrats! I do some revisions/read-throughs, then I let it sit and then I do one more read-through. Then I let others read it (not my crit group)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

If something else is calling, go for it! You've completed the other, Yay! Let it rest, and when you go back to it, I'm sure you'll be refreshed and ready for any more work it demands.

storyqueen said...

Simmering is good. Usually it will be better than you remember it!

Shelley

kathrynjankowski said...

I find it helpful to let the story ferment.
Congrats on completing the draft!
;-)

Jessie Oliveros said...

I let mine simmer. My second draft is slow but my excuse is I had a baby. But my baby is getting older, and my second draft is still only very slowly getting longer.

Patti said...

Awesome job. I say simmer. I jumped right back into mine and I think I made it worse rather than better.

Jade said...

Congrats!!

I vote for simmer. A break will probably do you both the world of good!

Georgina said...

Congratulations! Although I've never finished a first draft of a novel, when I finish a first draft of any type of project,I usually set it aside for awhile and work on something else just to get some distance from it. I can get really attached to my work and can't see it objectively if I haven't stepped back a bit. - G

T. Anne said...

YAY! Huge congrats for finishing your first draft! I usually let it sit for a week then head into the editing cave. Have fu!

Talli Roland said...

That's awesome - congrats!

When I finish a draft I try to set it aside for a few weeks and then I dig in!

Sarah Skilton said...

Hooray for you!!

I definitely set the first draft aside. It's amazing how much easier it is to edit once you've had some time off and worked on something new for awhile. At least, for me.

Elle Strauss said...

Congrats on getting that first draft done! I know I'm supposed to set it aside, but I usually get back at it pretty quickly so I can pass it on to my crit partners. I consider that my simmering time and then use the feedback when I go back to it.

Marie Devers said...

Let it simmer.

Although, there's no reason it should just sit there. Maybe you should let your betas read it?

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Congrats on finishing what is one of the hardest parts of writing. The first draft.

I'm really bad for letting things sit. After finishing the first draft, I'm eager to jump in. Besides, I'll get bored working on it after a few drafts of editing, then I can work on something else. But until then, I let myself get swept up with the characters once more. :)

Dawn Simon said...

Congrats on finishing your first draft! That's huge!

I vote simmer, but I know that's easier said than done. I revised my last ms right away and improved it, but...after the whole thing sat for a month, I thought of a much better way to end it! I needed that time away.