I’ve been working on a Young Adult novel about father and son. This story was written in less than three months. This was a big deal for me. I had no idea I could churn so many words in one day. My first real attempt at being an author had arrived, but there’s a catch.
You see, getting the story down is the first step to writing, you still have to go back a couple of days later and revise the novel by reading the whole thing with fresh eyes, changing bits here and there. After, you set it aside again and think about how the plot is and check the consistency of the characters, scenes, and words.
I found it helpful to print out a copy of the whole manuscript and make those necessary changes on the actual pages where my brain could see the mistakes. Then, I added those revisions, making sure to save the previous renditions, onto the computer.
Wait, there’s more to this writing a novel bit: I set the manuscript aside (yes, again) and have now begun the process of editing the novel. This is the hardest part because you are looking at grammar, sentence structure, style, word choice, places to cut and add, etc. but it’s all worth the work.
I’ve gotten through nine chapters and I like the transformation even more, but there’s another catch.
I started writing another novel during the time I set the manuscript aside. The question was: Should I stop the editing process and continue the new story? or Stop the creative process on the new story and proceed the editing?
It was a tough decision, and maybe you find yourself there too. If you’ve got a deadline, proceed with the edits, but if you don’t, maybe you can do like I did and stop editing. The manuscript is done, finished, complete. The edits will go smoother after you set the manuscript aside anyway and had taken the time to focus on those preliminary revisions.
As for me, I felt that the new story deserved to be told and finished. Yes, it’s taking me longer to write this second novel. It’s a Young Adult Fantasy story in which the story is told by two main characters: a dragon and a boy. But I feel my future readers will thank me for taking the time to write a good novel.
My goal is not to write novels and jump into publishing them the minute they’re done. My goal is to write stories in which readers will enjoy because I took the time to share the best story I could dish out as the author I aspire to be.
So if you find yourself with many projects, ask yourself: what’s important in the long run, the story or the finish line?