Today, I completed the read-through of my new novel. I'm very proud at this moment. It may be the effect of the special energy concoction I twitted about...
I needed a boost and this one did it. I was able to complete the non-editing read-through of my first draft. I found some holes, some gaps, and some not so impressive areas. But that's what the 2nd draft is for, right?
All in all, I am very happy. I got goosebumps at the end of the story. That has to be good, particularly since I knew how it ended :)
When I finished my first draft, I set aside my manuscript for two weeks. I was very good about it. Not once did I read it. I was tempted. Big time. Here's another one of my paranoid tweets:
I waited two weeks. My hero, Stephen King, in his book on the craft of writing (On Writing) recommends a minimum of two weeks, ideally a month.
My other hero, James Scott Bell, also recommends the same thing in his fantastic books.
So I did, and it was the best thing I could have done. The time created distance and objectivity. In fact I had forgotten a lot of the details. Even the name of the bad guy had escaped me. I was able to read it like a "near" first time reader.
On my first novel, ACES, the two weeks was painful. With this one, I was able to handle it. During the two weeks I read books that I need to read, worked on my blog, got sick, and worked on strategy documents for my day job. And because I worked on other things, I was able to get a lot more value from the process.
Tell me, what's your process between your first draft and when you read the entire manuscript again?
How long do you wait?
What do you do to fill that space?