When you take out that first draft and read it for the first time, the experience will be a total thrill.
Stephen King has said this before: reading your fiction after you haven’t looked at it in a long time is a completely exhilarating experience. Because enough time has passed that you can read it as a reader, not as a writer. Enough will be new to you that you can experience your book the same way a reader might.
Don’t do what I’ve done in the past. Not letting my manuscript rest at all and just going straight into the next draft with barely a breath taken.
You might think you’re being smart in doing this, that you’re saving time, but the irony is you’re actually wasting time, because your book will never receive the revision it needs.
Worse? The experience reading through your novel over and over will become a chore the more you do it. You will have memorized every little moment that there will be no more chances for surprises.
Not taking breaks will also take a toll on your mental health too, I’m telling you, so yes, please take breaks from your novel! Take long ones. A month if possible. Two months if you can manage. The longer the better really. The longer time you take the better the next revision will go.
But before you begin the second draft, take a few hours and read through your novel in one sitting.
This is a part of the process I didn’t start doing until recently, and let me tell you something — I absolutely love it.
Again, you might find this to be a waste of time. Actually reading your novel without revising along the way? Who has time for that, you might think.
Now, first of all, you should make the time for this because you will be able to…