So now that the first draft of the novel is done, I move on to revisions. I’m still working out what the best approach to this is for me personally. While Stars is my sixth drafted novel, it’s only the third I’ll have done revisions on, so I’m still kinda figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t.
For instance, do I dive right in, or wait? On Magestone I think I put it aside for a couple weeks, though it was long enough ago now I can’t remember exactly. For 619 I thought I should follow the recommended guidelines and set it aside for a month… or two – I ended up starting to write Secrets, and kept on saying as soon as the draft of Secrets was done I’d let it gel while I returned to 619. But then I was so excited about Secrets I never got back to 619. Still haven’t.
Secrets, on the other hand, I was so pleased about that as soon as I finished that first draft I went back and fixed up all the plot holes and stuff that I’d kept track of while I was drafting and sent it off to my critique partners. I was still learning to read my gut at the time so I probably wouldn’t have known, but in retrospect, if I knew then what I know now about my gut feelings on things I should have waited and addressed those issues I was picking up on instead of sending it off right away.
So that’s my plan for Stars. I don’t really want to wait long to get to it, for fear of losing my enthusiasm, but I also know I need a little bit of time to assess my gut feelings on things. I’ve loaded it onto my ereader, and today I’ll sit down and read it all in one go over a day or two, without making any changes (although obvious things I’ll make notes of in my writing notebook to address later). This will let me see the entire story much better, like an artist stepping back from her painting to see the full picture and assess how it all works as a whole. Then I’ll put it aside for a week, no more than two, while I mull it over and see if there’s anything I’m feeling uncertain about – usually a sure sign it needs changing, in my experience.
Next week I’ll start making all those changes and touch-ups, and then perhaps the week after that it’ll be off to my alpha readers!