1. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    How long do you wait?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Garball, Apr 25, 2013.

    I have read that many authors take several weeks off before beginning the first rewrite of their manuscript, but I am itching to start now (the day after finishing the first draft).

    Do you recommend taking a break from your story; how long and why?
     
  2. Suffering-is-Beauty
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    Suffering-is-Beauty Member

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    I take a break when I need to get away from the story, otherwise there is no reason to wait if your itching to start. I don't think it makes a bit of difference if you decide to wait or not, and sometimes I edit two or three times without a break. nothing more than personal preference.
     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    give it a week or two at least.

    At the moment you love it, think its the next best thing. Go have swim in the ocean, go mountain climbing, roller skating, disassociate yourself, come back when you are a mere customer, see if you see it in a different light, as if you've just paid 25 hard earned dollars, euro, pounds for it, then attack it!
     
  4. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    The amount of time is different for everyone. As for why, it is because it lets you look at your work with "fresh eyes."
     
  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I edit as I go. Every chapter is edited three times before a completed manuscript is called "first draft". There are no hard and fast rules because everyone has individual preferences. The only thing is, if you are like me, eager to edit, keep in mind that if you give yourself some distance, you might actually like what you wrote more, and also it is better for spotting small mistakes.
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you're itching to start now, it must be because you already know certain things you want to change. Go ahead and address those. If you think it's fine as it is, put it aside for a few weeks (you'll have to figure out how long by your own experience) then look at it again. If you're anything like just about every other writer in the world, you'll see many more things you want to change.
     
  7. Quille
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    Quille Senior Member

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    Waiting for 'fresh eyes' works for me, I have a marked up printout on my desk to prove it. :)

    But if you really want to jump in, you might try writing in a different location. I was on the subway one day, on my way to see a beta-reader and took a look at my 'finished' story. By the time I arrived, the ms was so marked up I couldn't hand it over. This was after I'd left it for several weeks, edited it again and read it aloud. Something about being in a different place let me see things I'd missed earlier.
     
  8. andPartwayBack
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    andPartwayBack New Member

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    Obviously there is no rule or standard which says you have to do one specific thing, but I've personally always had the best results when I've taken a month off. I'll finish a draft, then take a month off and not even think about my book. Play with my son, get caught up on my favorite shows, think about the next thing I'm going to write, but let my draft completely fall to the wayside and then I'll come back with what seems like a fresh set of eyes. I've just found that makes me more productive. Could work for you, could just be me.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, i recommend a break... how long is up to what works best for you... there's no 'best' or 'right' amount of time...
     
  10. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I took a year and half away from my current WIP before I began writing the second draft. I tried to go back sooner, but it never "felt right". I needed a long time away from the first draft (that I'd spent nine months on) to be able to properly detach myself from the cast and the story.

    When I did begin work on the second draft I ended up cutting my favourite scene and scrapping two-thirds of the cast. I don't think I could have done that if I had started editing straight away.
     
  11. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Everyone is different and everyone has their own way of doing things. I don't think there's any right or wrong answer to this question.
     
  12. Mithrandir
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    Mithrandir Contributing Member

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    There's almost always a right or wrong answer, but in this case, we simply don't have the needed information to figure it out. Even if it was different for every person, every person would still have a right or wrong answer. Even if the person changed over time, there'd always be a right answer at that moment.

    Lack of needed data does not = non-existent. Answers that can't be seen are not always non-existent.

    /end off-topic rant:D
     
  13. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    What you are saying implies there is a correct answer that is specific to each person but only if we had the correct data in regard to that individual. Which is essentially what I said. I never stated there was no answer at all. Just that everyone has their own way of doing things that works for them. There isn't a set in stone manual for all things regarding any art form. Art is about breaking the rules. If you want extreme linear thinking and legalism become a mathematician. I just didn't see the point in your commentary.

    Would you prefer me to rephrase and say there is a right answer for each person that is individual to that person?
     

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