Indie Life – Why I revise right away.

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Indie Life


Why I revise right away.

I realize that revising a finished first draft right away completely goes against the current advice to let your manuscript sit for a month, but that’s not best for me for several reasons.

I write my first drafts in Scrivener and there’s the sidebar where I can type in notes. As I’m writing and realize earlier plot points or chapters need to change, I’ll go to that chapter and on the notes part, I’ll type in what or how I need to rewrite.

When I type The End for the first draft and celebrate with hot cocoa and cookies, I know what needs to happen as far as the basic plot. And when I finally read the whole story on my ereader, I want to know that at that point, it’s the story I want to tell. So usually I go back and make those changes right away, while I’m still in the story and I’m still in the heads of the characters.

Now, after that initial rewrite, which is sometimes a lot and sometimes not, then I like to wait a week or so or longer before I do a read through.

So there you go, the reasons I don’t put my manuscript away for a month, at least not right away.

What do you do after you type The End on your first draft?

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12 Responses to Indie Life – Why I revise right away.

  1. Dianne Salerni December 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I am the same way, Laura! My first draft is very exploratory, and I often don’t grasp the true heart of the story until I’ve typed The End on Draft 1. I immediately start Draft 2 — sometimes on the same day.

    Sorry — that advice to wait a month is for people who don’t know what their story needs for improvement. I always know at the end of Draft 1.

    Now between Drafts 2 and 3 — or Drafts 3 and 4 — yes, I wait and send out to beta readers.

  2. Laura December 11, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Oh, good. I’m glad I’m not the only one. It really doesn’t make sense to wait if you know what needs to be done!

  3. Natalie Aguirre December 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Been a long time since I’ve been there. But on my first one, I did let it sit. The fresh eyes helped. For my new one, I’ll have to see. It makes sense to edit right away if you know what needs to be done.

  4. Heather Sunseri December 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Don’t you love, LOVE Scrivener? I’m a huge fan of that software, and I’m still learning everything I can do with it.

    Right now, I’m using the “note cards” to come up with possible scenes in the 3rd of a series. Then, I move them around as if I have a physical board in front of me. It’s kind of my way of outlining and exploring the story.

    I tend to revise immediately, too. Then I do a full read on paper after a week or so breather from the story..

  5. Stina Lindenblatt December 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    OMG Our process is identical (including Scrivener). The only thing that does change is the distance. Something I give the ms distance and sometimes I don’t. It depends if I have something else that has to be done first (like edits on deadline).

  6. Alex J. Cavanaugh December 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    I go back and revise right away. Mostly because by the time I reach the end, I’ve forgotten the beginning, so it’s all new to me again.

    • Laura December 12, 2013 at 12:11 am #

      Phew! Glad I’m not the only one!!!

  7. Laura Marcella December 11, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    I like to wait! I need a fresh perspective in order to dive into first draft revisions. It’s so overwhelming at first, but waiting a few weeks gives me time to breath to get ready to fix it.

    I love Scrivener for sure!!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

    • Laura December 12, 2013 at 12:12 am #

      Yes, and I definitely need that too, just a little later in the process. 🙂

  8. James Pailly December 11, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    I actually stop and revise even before I finish the first draft. If I don’t have a previous scene the way I want it, I feel like I’m not standing on stable ground as I move on to the next thing.

  9. Samantha Verant December 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    Oh, boy. I’m trying to stop editing as I write! That first draft needs to come out! Anyway, when I’m finally finished with a first draft– I do let it sit for a week, mostly because I need a break. Then I get right back into it. Charge!

  10. Rachel Morgan December 17, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    I tried a Scrivener free trial a few years ago. I’m thinking I may need to give it a proper go now!

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