Sunday, January 30, 2011

Momentum

I decided last Saturday that I was going to finish my first draft.

I sat down at the computer and wrote for three uninterrupted hours while my husband took care of the kids.

I didn't allow myself email, or twitter, or spider solitaire. I just wrote.

And 3500 words later I was done.

Sort of.

I have some characters, a setting, and a pretty good story, but there is still SO MUCH work to be done. I'm so excited to do it.

I know everyone says to wait a few months before revising. It makes sense to wait and get some distance from the story. It's good advice.

But even though I know the "right" thing to do is write something else and let this story simmer for a while, I just can't wait.

I'm excited about this project. I want to work on it. And, after my 2010 (aka the year of crappy writing), I feel like I need to keep this new found momentum going.

So, I'm jumping into revisions tomorrow. It might be the "wrong" way to do it, but I don't care.

How long do you wait before you start revising a first draft? Have you ever been so into a story you couldn't let it rest?

27 comments:

Sara B. Larson said...

I've been told that, too. But I usually don't wait. How exciting for you! Good luck with your revisions!

Joanne Fritz said...

YAY, Natalie! You're amazing. And so disciplined.

I'm writing my second novel while I let my first novel simmer. I'm thinking of giving it six months. But to be honest, that rough draft has already been revised once because I couldn't stand to leave it in that messy state.

If you're excited about it, I'd say go for it.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Congratulations! The first draft is always the hardest part for me- I love getting to the end.

And I really don't think there's a "right"- just whatever works for you this time around. Have fun!

Ted Cross said...

When I finish I jump right into revisions. I go through several drafts looking for different things each time. THEN I take some time off and do other things for awhile before returning for more edits.

Em-Musing said...

I say go with the flow. I don't think there's a write or wrong way.

Anne Gallagher said...

With everything I've learned over the last year the one thing that stuck is -- there's no right or wrong way to write. All advice should be taken with a grain of salt. Only you know what is the right way to write for you. If you feel good about revising right away then do it.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Ah, I'm just like you! I always keep working on it because I'm afraid to lose the momentum. Congrats on finishing the first draft and good luck!!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I have a draft I just finished last week and a new one I can't wait to get to. This time I plan on revising at the same time as writing a new one. I'm going to take both slow. I think I'll give myself a few more weeks before I revise and to research.

Way to power through.

~ Wendy

Thomas Taylor said...

Nah, why kill the momentum? I think you're doing the right thing. There's so much waiting involved in the publishing industry that there will always be an enforced holiday from the project somewhere down the line.

Lisa Aldin said...

Oh, GO FOR IT! I think it's fine to jump right into revisions. That space where you take a break is important but you can that at any time. After the first draft or the second. Doesn't matter when!

Patti said...

I don't think it's wrong to jump into revisions after the first draft because that's when things are fresh in your mind. I think it's good to let your book sit when you think it's almost done. Go for it.

Diane said...

Best hubby ever to let you have that time and him watch the kids. Glad you enjoyed yourself! :O)

Susan R. Mills said...

Good for you! I've had a hard time waiting before too. I think on the first round of revisions, it's not a bad idea to jump right in. For later rounds, though, that break is really important. At least for me it is.

Candice said...

I only wait until I get back my comments from betas. Revisions is where my writer's insanity really shows. It may take me a year to write a novel, but I will revise for 24hrs straight and rewrite it.

Bethany Mattingly said...

I usually wait about a month until I try to revise, then it's off to CPs and waiting again for a couple weeks/months until I get it back and begin revising again. I think each person has a wait time that is best for them. :)

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I don't think I've ever waited. ;)

Can't wait to read!

writergal24 said...

Congrats!
Usually I wait a few months before I start revising because it gives me a chance to step back, but I think you should go with whatever way works best for you! Good luck!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Congratulations! Doesn't feel good to have that draft out of the way? I don't think jumping into revisions is "wrong," especially if the front part of the book has been sitting while you wrangled the ending. Happy writing & revising!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

i jump right back in :)

Tabitha Bird said...

I say keep going! Why not? It's not like the revision police are going to pull you over and book you :)))

And that is so great that you finished your draft!!! Congrats.

Keisha Martin said...

Nothing ventured nothing will be gained good luck this is your year!!!=)

Lynda Young said...

I try to wait a month, but I have been so into the story that I kept going :)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Yay!!! I'm so excited to read it. I say hurry up and revise (that way I'll get it quicker). :)

I'm on page 157 of my revision as of last night. Slowly but surely...

Paul Greci said...

Sounds good, Natalie!! Go. Go. Go.

Charlotte Sannazzaro said...

I'm in exactly the same place as you - I finished on Monday! And I can't wait to get into the revisions either. I'm so excited about the book, I just want to get it into good shape for beta readers as soon as possible.

I wrote about how it feels to finish the draft on my blog: http://charlottesannazzaro.blogspot.com/2011/02/that-first-draft-feeling.html

DL Hammons said...

You're just a writing rebel!! Go for it if it feels natural to you. :)

Sarah Skilton said...

I know how you feel! I'm only 11,000 words into my current WIP, but already I can't wait to be done with the first draft so I can fix it up. I want to be at the revising stage already :) Still, I'm enjoying the process of coming up with ideas, and I think that's the point -- if you're enjoying the process and feel inspired to continue, go go go with the momentum. Think of this as draft 1.5. When it's time to take a break and step back, you'll know. Until then, keep up the awesome work.