Friday, January 9, 2015

You've Written Your First Novel - Now What?

I received some wonderful news yesterday - my friend, Jodi, finished her first manuscript! I'm so happy for her, and I can't wait to read it, but I don't think she knows what to do next. At least, I didn't know.

Although once the euphoria wore off, I started asking that very same question - okay, now what?!

Well now the hard work begins.

But first - set the manuscript down for 2 weeks. Yes, that's right - walk away. Put it out of your mind and celebrate this wonderful accomplishment. You deserve it. Years of hard work are poured into those pages. 

Between writing classes, critique groups, sitting on my couch for hours going over each word, (that's for Jodi only) and scrambling for time to jump on the computer for one more chapter, it's time to relax. 

Take yourself out for dinner. Go hang out with your friends. Think back to what you went through to accomplish such a feat, and maybe even get a massage.

Okay, so you've done all that and it's time to clean up your baby, (manuscript). What should you do first? Well, you start at page one and go over each and every word, paragraph, and scene, again. And again.

You set aside time each week to meet with your critique partner. You talk about each scene with your partner, and either add to your story, or take away what's not needed.

You will find yourself working tirelessly on each chapter, trying to make it tight, clean, and a novel that you will be proud of to send to an agent or self-publish. 

Our time is just getting started, my friend, but I'm here for you and between you, Sue, and those of us in our group, it's going to be perfect!

Congratulations Jodi!

Love, Lisa

PS. Jodi's the brunette in the pics!

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