You've gathered all of the main ingredients of your main dish (novel) and scattered them on the counter.
You've prepped, chopped, grated, stirred, sauteed, boiled, and now, switched the heat to low.
The recipe recommends you let the mixture simmer.
(If writing a novel was like following a recipe,
we'd all create #1 bestsellers!)
Unfortunately, writing a novel is not that easy.
So, how long does a writer let their 1st rough draft simmer?
One thing I know for sure, is it's best to put it away for "a while". But, what is "a while," and how long should a writer wait to open the draft and begin revising? I love using Google, and I'm known to literally type in my question and hit, search. Here's what I typed:
Length of time to let a novel rest before second drafting
Below, is a chunk of information I stumbled upon (on the first page of my search) when I Googled the above question. Imagine how mortified I was to read this:
- Almost every writer does revision wrong, by starting on page one, line one, and "fixing" the story one sentence at a time.
- Almost every revision kills most of what's good in a novel without fixing what's bad.
- Almost every first draft never makes it to second draft.
- And almost every first novelist abandons that first novel forever, tucking it (and the opportunity to learn the most amazing part of writing fiction---how to turn first draft-dross into final-draft gold) in a box under the bed.
Right along with his dreams of writing something worth publishing.
UGH! Is that scary or what?
George Orwell says this about a 1st rough draft: " Of course the rough draft is always a ghastly mess bearing little relation to the finished result, but all the same it is the main part of the job."
I found this piece of advice on http://hubpages.com/hub/Writing-a-Novel
First, make sure you know how and where you work best. If you like going to a coffee shop or would rather stay at home and sit at your desk, do that. Next, just read through the novel and correct grammar and the little things you can mark up on the page. Second delve in deeper and have a notebook where you keep notes on plot points that get lost, characters who’ s name changes, or situations/ideas that need more explanation. Those are things that you may need to add a new scene in for.
I confess, it's been two months since I typed my last period on the first draft of my YA novel. I'm sending it in large chucks to a few readers. I tried getting myself involved with a couple of other projects, but I'm itching to get back to Josey and her adventures.
Let me hear from y'all. How long do you put your first draft on the back burner to simmer before bringing the pot back to a rapid boil?