If I squint, I can just see the end of this book I’ve been working on for such a long time. It’s there, misty and unformed, but close enough to touch — hopefully sometime in the next few weeks. After I’ve written those blessed last words — The End — I’ll take a week or so off, and then start in on … revisions.
Yep. “The End” doesn’t ever seem to mean the end. It just means the beginning of the next stage. I always find it helpful when other writers share their processes, so here’s what I’ll be doing:
1) This novel has multiple POVs, so I’ll pull each one out, make it a single document, and work on making that voice as strong and consistent as possible. (See more here.) Starting my revision this way has the added bonus of making the manuscript seem fresh and new to my eyes.
2) I’ll put the manuscript back together and face down the abyss with the help of Elana Johnson, who gives my go-to advice on revising here.
3) I’ve been sending the manuscript to my awesome first reader in chapters all year, and she’s been sending it back with comments. The proper response to anyone willing to help critique your manuscript is a big fat “Thank You!” but sometimes advice is hard to read. So I stick comments I might question in a separate folder and let them simmer there. I’ll do one last read through that folder, and be amazed at how much great advice she’s given me. That means another round of edits.
4) Time to send it out to my regular reader (if she’ll have me) plus a fresh pair of eyes.
That’s my summer vacation — what do you have planned?