1. GeorgiaB
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    GeorgiaB Member

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    Finished Rough Draft, Starting Novel #2?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GeorgiaB, Mar 13, 2012.

    Hi everyone,

    I finished the rough draft of my first novel two weeks ago, at 105,000 words. I'm not sure how I thought I'd feel about completing it, but I wouldn't say I have felt exhilarated or as if I've accomplished something big. I guess this is because I know it still needs an extraordinary amount of work. So mostly I'm antsy because I'm trying to keep my hands off of it for a good period of time before I come back to it with a fresh perspective.

    So, here's my question: I'm a little depressed not having a project to consume me. I'm trying to read a lot, and I've attempted some short stories, but really I want to start a second novel. Scenes and characters are forming in my head, and I can't stop them. I'm worried that this will have a negative effect on my completed rough draft, as if I will get involved in something new and lose interest, right when it is so fresh in my mind. Like I'm cheating on it or something. :) OR maybe it is a great thing to get started on another long-term project, so I can get an even greater distance from the first and when I come back to it, I'll be able to better revise it.

    What have been your experiences?

    Thanks a lot!

    Georgia
     
  2. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    First of all, congratulations for having finished your novel!! It's a great accomplishment! :)
    Second, I'm in the same boat as you right now, having finished my second novel just a few days ago and now I'm looking for something to do. But I can't seem to find the same enthusiasm for a new novel right now, my head is still with the other one. I think a good way of getting perspective is writing somethin new, but on the other hand, if too long time passes the risk is, like you're saying, that you'll lose the feel for the first one, so maybe go for something shorter, that will take you a couple of months to finish at the most and then you can go back to your rough draft with fresh eyes. If you feel you have lots of ideas and really want to get started on this new project I don't see any problem with that, only thing it might take a while before you can go back to the first one because if you're like me you don't want to leave it unfinished. it's all about how eager you are to get started with the revision/editing-phase.
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Congrats :) I find it works best if I work on another novel when I have finished a draft and keep two projects to alternate between. (Any more I start having too many and nothing gets finished)

    Basically I finish a rough draft, take a couple of days off to read, then start another rough draft. When I've finished the second one I go back, read first rough draft, take notes and then rewrite it from scratch. Then I go back to the first one, take notes, then rewrite it from scratch. This allows distance between me writing the draft and evaluating it.
     
  4. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Congrats! Merely finishing a manuscript is a skill on its own. How to you keep trudging through the story to get to the end. When you're ready to switch entirely to a new novel (not just bide time with the start of a new project), that is a skill you already have that you will want to hone. But now you're ready to work on a new skill: Revision.

    The editing/rewriting phase is the most important phase for you to grow as a writer. You have all these ideas down, but now you need to harness/refine/tweak them so that they create a well-crafted story. It challenges you to rethink EVERYTHING, to look at each scene, each paragraph, each sentence, each WORD and make sure it all is furthering your story. This is the phase that separates the noobs from the pros.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Congrats on finishing your first "first draft". As others have said, the heavy lifting is still ahead of you, but everyone takes that on in their own time. If you have an idea that you're itching to flesh out or even get started on writing in full, there's nothing wrong with that. Because once you decide you want to take on the editing job, you'll be ready to really tuck into it. Good luck.
     
  6. Rika
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    Rika New Member

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    I should also take my hat off to you (as it probably is said in English). I have several plots unfinished here and there and I haven't written even a word of some of them.
    New ideas just flood to my head sometimes.
    And they are ones that cannot be put in together just like that without editing them to sound worse than the originals.
    That's how they end up as their own stories. Waiting in a note book to be written.

    I and my friend have been working on a story for maybe two years now. I lost my patience with it a long time ago and haven't written it since. It might be time for me to take a look at it again or it'll lie in a box forever. I feel like a bad person :(

    My answer is that if you feel like it, then keep a break. But don't abandon it for too long. :)

    Good luck and greetings!
     
  7. GeorgiaB
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    GeorgiaB Member

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    Thanks for your responses. I guess my fear is that I might take on a new project and never want to look at the first one again. I have a ton of hobbies that I pursue passionately for a time and then move on to something else, which is not really a problem so much -- it's fun -- but I don't want to see my writing as a hobby, now that I'm actually giving it a good shot. It's been my dream to be a writer since I was a little girl, so I want to work on that first novel until I have it written to the best of my ability. To be honest, the rough draft process wasn't hugely challenging -- I actually enjoyed the whole thing, even though at times I was certainly stumbling through it and actually laughing at my utter inability to communicate what I wanted. Revision and then letting others read the thing -- that might prove to be more intimidating.

    I've decided to go ahead and pursue this second idea that I have for a story, work hard on that, and then, I hope, come back to the first with enthusiasm and a fresh eye.

    Thanks again!

    Georgia
     
  8. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    When you finish the rough draft is the perfect time to find a critique partner and start trading pages. Yeah, work on the new story but I wouldn't let the first one sit. Find someone who will read through and give you feedback, even if you're only trading five pages a week. There are too many times I've put a project aside and it stayed there entirely too long. Of course you may have better motivation skills than I do.
     
  9. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin Contributing Member

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    Most of the time, I have multiple projects going at the same time. In my opinion it's perfectly fine to start another draft while you let the finished draft percolate. I don't think you'll stop caring about your finished draft, but if you do, you might return to it when you hit a wall in your new draft. If that happens, it's nice to be able to switch between writing draft #2 and editing draft #1.
     
  10. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    If you're worried about not coming back to your finished draft, set a specific date and stick to it.

    I'm always working on multiple projects and have no problems switching between them, but when it comes to beginning revisions... oh boy, I will put that off so bad. So, I put a specific date, usually a few months away and force myself to listen to it. I usually go for around three months because that's enough time for me to forget everything but the basics I wanted in the story (I have horrible memory, sometimes it's such a good thing.)
     
  11. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    If it's a story worth telling, you'll never lose it.
     
  12. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    I start the second before editing the first. Gives me something new to work on.

    If your story is compelling & entertaining, you'll find you will want to go back to it regardless of what you're working on. Make yourself go back and read it on some set date, and if you start off bored as you're reading, you'll know there's a lot of work to be done, or some problem with the story you didn't realize before.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A little emotional distance will help your editing process. Starting another project and letting the first one cool off is probably a smart move.
     
  14. GeorgiaB
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    GeorgiaB Member

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    Thanks for your input! It's greatly appreciated. I marked a date on my calendar in June, telling myself it's time to revise! And currently I'm researching and brainstorming for a second novel right now. Hopefully I can keep it all straight. Apparently, some other idea is very pressing right now, so I don't have a choice but to get it on paper. I think it's pretty awesome that writing the first novel seemed to open the door for so much unrelated inspiration -- my thoughts are flooded with new ideas, even in my sleep!

    Thanks again,
    Georgia
     

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