I’ve Written A Rough Draft, Now What? syndicated from @JeanNicole19 #amediting

The following is syndicated from the website of JeanNicole Rivers and is posted here with permission.

So you finally got that book down on paper, a rough draft, but still the characters have been created and a basic series of events with a beginning, middle and end are in place (but boy is it rough). I know what you’re saying, “I am exhausted, my creativity is depleted, there are lots of holes in the plot, the character’s names change and I am don’t know if I even want to finish the manuscript.” Don’t panic, don’t give up, you are on the verge of greatness.

Here is what you do next.

1. Put the manuscript away for about two weeks and don’t think about it. We should all know this one by now, but sometimes we get so anxious to finish the project that we stop enjoying the process. Don’t truncate the process, it is therapeutic and necessary.

2. When you pull the manuscript out take some time to think about why you started your book in the first place.

3. Begin at the beginning. Just begin to read through your manuscript, you don’t have to have a plan.

4. As you read through the manuscript take plenty of notes right on the page.

5. Trust the characters that you have created regardless of how underdeveloped they are at this point, the more your write, the more developed your characters will become until they take over the story on their own and begin rewriting it for you.

6. Do something. Whatever you do, do something, just keep going.

The mission always seems toughest when you are halfway, but take one more step and you are closer to the end than to the beginning. At this point, you have completed the hard part, take your time and enjoy the process.