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MokoBunny
12-31-2011, 03:43 AM
Just curious how long my fellow AW writers tend to let their first drafts sit before going back and revising.

I like to work on another project and after I finish that I go back and revise my previous project, work on another project, then go back and revise my second previous project. So I tend to let it sit for about 4 months XD

Tis a never ending cycle of revisions lol :Headbang: :Hammer: :e2writer:

Maryn
12-31-2011, 04:59 AM
My rule of thumb is a month for every 20,000 words. I work on something else during that time, which stretches pretty long.

Of course, some people can dive right back in, but I see it very differently after some time away.

Maryn, not necessarily typical

Bartholomew
12-31-2011, 05:25 AM
I just dive in. I've found that my later opinions aren't always better than my present opinions.

Cyia
12-31-2011, 05:39 AM
Finish a chapter, revise a chapter.

Finish a book, turn around and edit the book.

Waiting's overrated.

Paul
12-31-2011, 05:41 AM
I just dive in. I've found that my later opinions aren't always better than my present opinions.
interesting.


i didnt think mine were either, until it was too late.


in an ideal world, 6 months, then another six months, then a year.


but in the real world, a week. :D

Paul, who is reckless beyond belief and is ripping off Maryn

thethinker42
12-31-2011, 06:24 AM
I just dive in. I've found that my later opinions aren't always better than my present opinions.

Ditto. I usually start editing the day after I finish a draft. (Though I do some editing as I go, too.)

MokoBunny
12-31-2011, 06:40 AM
This is so interesting. I find the longer I wait I get more ideas and different things I want to try.

kuwisdelu
12-31-2011, 07:26 AM
Finish a chapter, revise a chapter.

Finish a book, turn around and edit the book.

Waiting's overrated.

Same here.

It's like clay for me. The longer I wait, the more it sets, and the harder it gets for me to change anything.

That "distance" thing doesn't do it for me.

Jamesaritchie
12-31-2011, 08:57 AM
I usually wait until the next day. How long has it been since you read the first half of the book? Is that long enough?

When you start selling novels, waiting can be problematic, anyway. Publishers want the book when they want it, not when you're through waiting it out.

seun
12-31-2011, 03:28 PM
About a month. Gives me time to recharge my batteries, work on smaller pieces and time for the book to feel 'fresh' when I return to it.

Jehhillenberg
12-31-2011, 03:35 PM
About a week at the most. But typically, a day or two after the first draft's complete, and then I get to revising and editing.

heyjude
12-31-2011, 04:32 PM
I do a first-pass edit, then let it sit 4-6 weeks before picking it up again. It always amazes me, the things that pop out after ignoring it for that long.

gothicangel
12-31-2011, 04:39 PM
Between draft 1 and two, a month. I've just started editing again after a gap of two months [have written 40,000 have the next book in between] and I'm doing a Holly Lisle style edit.

I've actually taken some advice to edit the chapters out of order [do a raffle draw of chapter numbers.] It's fantastic. The first chapter I drew was 17, and it was terrible. The first few chapters and the end usually get that kind of attention, but by halfway you become blind. I'm going to do this technique from now on. :)

aadams73
12-31-2011, 05:16 PM
I don't wait. Usually there's not enough time for that, anyway, once you're under contract.

thethinker42
12-31-2011, 06:39 PM
When you start selling novels, waiting can be problematic, anyway. Publishers want the book when they want it, not when you're through waiting it out.


I don't wait. Usually there's not enough time for that, anyway, once you're under contract.

Agreed.

swvaughn
12-31-2011, 06:46 PM
I don't wait. Usually there's not enough time for that, anyway, once you're under contract.

Yeah, that. :D

I'm an impatient bugger anyway. Even when I started out writing, I could only make myself wait a few days at the most before I started reading through for "editing" (what I did back then shouldn't really be called editing -- it was more like polishing turds :tongue).

But I've learned to make it mostly right the first time through. Just because I'm impatient and can't be bothered to take another week or month after I finish a book to keep playing with it.

YMMV, etc. :D

ChaosTitan
12-31-2011, 06:51 PM
Anywhere from a day to a month, depending on the project. Sometimes I have more leeway to let a book sit before going back in, and sometimes I don't. Likewise, I may not always be able to jump directly into revisions on that particular book because something else needs my attention first.

LJD
12-31-2011, 08:10 PM
A couple weeks.

Or, if I'm alternating projects, it might be longer. A couple months.

Hiroko
01-01-2012, 03:36 AM
My first novel has been sporadic in terms of how long it's sat around.
I think the first time I went through it, I let it sit for a month. Every other time after that (at that point I had to focus my time on other things and projects) this sit-around shifted from a few months to a month or something like that. I just let my things sit around for at least 30 days before going through them again.

san_remo_ave
01-01-2012, 06:38 AM
I think there's benefit to letting your work sit, so you can get some mental distance from it. But since I don't edit until I'm done with a draft, I'm usually able to dive right in because it will have been months since I looked at the first scenes, etc.

thothguard51
01-01-2012, 07:16 AM
How Long Do You Let a Draft Sit?

Until all the foam is dispersed, but before it gets to room temperature...

scarletpeaches
01-01-2012, 06:16 PM
I don't. There's no point.

jjdebenedictis
01-01-2012, 11:52 PM
I wait a month, but it's imperative I work on something else in the meanwhile.

The point of doing that is I need to forget what I meant to say so I can see what I actually did say.

It's amazing how many missed words (as in, I forgot to type them) I find once I stop remembering what I intended to type.

The same holds true for description of the scene; it's so vivid in my head that I have to plug a different image into my head for a while before I begin to see all the places where the reader hasn't been given enough detail.

Wayne K
01-02-2012, 12:09 AM
Ten minutes

Srsly

ohthatmomagain
01-02-2012, 12:19 AM
I'm glad I'm not the only one that dives straight into edits :)

Mclesh
01-02-2012, 12:25 AM
I'm one of the divers too. Dive right in and keep editing until I'm happy. (After I've pulled most of my hair out.)

ebennet68
01-02-2012, 12:48 AM
I think that when you are first beginning to learn the craft there is more to benifit from letting a project sit. When I wrote the first draft of my WIP two years ago, I was an absolute beginner. I also thought it was the greatest novel ever written. I shudder to think of the horrors in that draft, lurking in a lonely folder in my computer. The more you write, the more you learn and the more you learn, the better you can make a piece. Perhaps more experienced writers may not need to wait so long in between the first draft and revision but it wasn't the case for me.

heyjude
01-02-2012, 12:55 AM
I think that when you are first beginning to learn the craft there is more to benifit from letting a project sit. When I wrote the first draft of my WIP two years ago, I was an absolute beginner. I also thought it was the greatest novel ever written. I shudder to think of the horrors in that draft, lurking in a lonely folder in my computer. The more you write, the more you learn and the more you learn, the better you can make a piece. Perhaps more experienced writers may not need to wait so long in between the first draft and revision but it wasn't the case for me.

:tongue I knew my first book was horrible from the get-go. I still edited it anyway, and it was hugely helpful to let it sit. Nine books later, I still get a ton of benefit from the wait. Still, everyone's different.

MysteryRiter
01-02-2012, 08:17 PM
I also thought it was the greatest novel ever written. I shudder to think of the horrors in that draft, lurking in a lonely folder in my computer.

Same here. :D I thought my first novel was amazing. Then I looked back at it after a few months of straight agent rejections... *shivers* It was not pretty...

TrixieLox
01-04-2012, 07:06 PM
I really believe it's good, at some stage in the revision process, to step away from your MS. Lots of books go through 3-4 drafts and sure, you might dive into the first coupla drafts one after the other, that's what I tend to do. But maybe on the final drafts (and maybe this is when your beta sees it anyway so you naturally get a break from it) it's definitely worth a month or more away from it IF you're not working to deadline.

And definitely for those writers out there who haven't quite snagged an agent or publisher (and want to), taking a few weeks away from your drafts might give you that breakthrough you need 'cos seriously, it can make a world of difference. This is borne out by the fact a LOT of successful published writers advise space away from drafts. This might be one of the reasons they're successfullypublished, ya know? Of course, this isn't always possible once under contract but if you haven't got that publishing deal yet, why not try it?

Irysangel
01-04-2012, 07:36 PM
I don't take time away from a draft. Strike while the iron is hot, and all that. I actually find it detrimental to my writing process to step away. When I'm fresh out of the first draft, my head is filled with the story and how to play with scenes, to flesh things out. I know exactly where I'm going. If I step back and let it sit for a few weeks/months, I lose all of that.

The more you write, the more you are going to find that just because a lot of people advocate doing things a certain way, it doesn't mean that that method is going to work for you. You have to decide what works for you and what doesn't, and keep doing that.

It's lovely for the people that can get fresh perspective after being away from a manuscript for weeks and months, but for some people, that's an exercise in frustration. Case in point - when I first started writing, I did this. I'd finish a draft and set it aside for six months and work on something else. Just like Stephen King told me to! Except when it came time to go back to that book, I'd lost all enthusiasm for it. There was always something shiny and new to work on, right? Several years later, I had a trunk full of first drafts and no polished works. It's a nasty habit you can get into, and one that's even harder to break when you start doing it. Now, I revise as soon as I'm done, and I make sure it's as finished as I can make it before I put it away.

And I still haven't gone back to all those first drafts.

Jamesaritchie
01-04-2012, 07:53 PM
I think that when you are first beginning to learn the craft there is more to benifit from letting a project sit. When I wrote the first draft of my WIP two years ago, I was an absolute beginner. I also thought it was the greatest novel ever written. I shudder to think of the horrors in that draft, lurking in a lonely folder in my computer. The more you write, the more you learn and the more you learn, the better you can make a piece. Perhaps more experienced writers may not need to wait so long in between the first draft and revision but it wasn't the case for me.


It's possible, and certainly true for some writers. I sold the first draft of my first novel because I had no choice. The agent needed it right then because the publisher needed a novel to fill a particular slot right then, so I had to write it in three weeks, get it to the agent, regardless of what shape it was in.

But it sold, and needed no revision at all, so it worked out fine. Which is probably why I never developed the habit of waiting.

I sometimes believe that new writers are the ones who shouldn't do multiple drafts, and who shouldn't wait. For new writers, I've found waiting may clear up typos and the like, but seldom makes a story or the characters any better.

They often rewrite and edit out the parts that make the novel good. It's a case of first instinct being write, and second guessing during the rewrite/editing phase being wrong.

J. Koyanagi
01-04-2012, 08:32 PM
I tend to let a novel sit while it's with beta readers, so about 4-6 weeks. But that's after one or two revisions and several editorial passes on my own.

Shadow_Ferret
01-04-2012, 10:46 PM
Long enough to save it and arrow back to the beginning.

elindsen
01-05-2012, 12:42 AM
Ditto. I usually start editing the day after I finish a draft. (Though I do some editing as I go, too.)
Thirding this. I'm kind of a slow writer, so by the time I finish at 15k novella, I can go back and start like it's fresh :)

Ellielle
01-05-2012, 02:03 AM
I feel like I'm in the minority here, but I wait 1 month+ before revising. I've found that if I go back right away, I miss all sorts of plot holes and messed up arcs etc. I've just written it, so it all makes perfect sense to me. I read what was in my head, not what's on the page. I forget about the story with time, and so then all the things that make no sense in the story are quite obvious when I read it again.

Of course, I'm no professional, and if I ever do get published, I probably will have to adopt a different strategy in order to meet deadlines.