The In-Between and other scary places.

First thanks again to all of you who stopped by on the blogfest last week. It was WWAAYYY fun but exhausting. I didn't go near my computer all weekend. Welcome to all the new followers.

Well as with the title I am approaching the In-Between. You know what I'm talking about. The spot between your first draft and revision. Yeah that messy bed hair, unbrushed teeth, no deodorant stage of your novel. You've gotten it up out of bed and it's semi awake. Now you need to get it ready to go out and face the world. But it needs it's coffee first. But just how long of a coffee break do you take?

7-ish months ago I started this crazy business of seriously writing in an online novel course. I would like to say my first draft is almost finished but since I'm so new I'm still working on my writer's compass. Sometime around Feb-Mar I plan on beginning the revision course and take this baby through to the next level.
Here's my hang up and questions.
How long do you wait between first draft and revision? I know some people dive right in and some people take a few weeks off and don't look back. I'm waiting for a few weeks just because I have outside things that need to be taken care of first. I know revision will be an ugly blood bath of epic proportions. I'll probably come out the other side bald, toothless and permanently stuck in a hunched-over-the keyboard position. But I can't wait!!
How do you approach the In-Between of first draft and revision? Do you jump right in or give your wip some breathing time? Do you stock up on wine or double your yoga classes?


  1. LA- First, do your happy dance and get Marty to take you out. Enjoy and revel in the feeling of accomplishment. If your brain is wired like mine, you'll be exhausted from the creative effort, but excited about the predicted blood bath. I know I am. I'm forcing a two week break on myself. Partially because I don't really want to get divorced (because the next three weeks are going to be brutal while I push to the end), and because I know from working in the creative field that sometimes time away helps me find a center and let's me look at the work without emotional attachments. That was a really long sentence. Feel it out, catch up on your other stories. You will know when you are ready. I seriously need to work on this brevity thing.

  2. With my first novel, I got stuck in the 'in-between' meaning that I never went back. Ugh. So bad! I'm about done with my second novel though and I'm nervous about this stage. Of course I'll let it sit and this time I WILL go back!

    By the way, I gave you an award on my blog today!

  3. I think giving your MS a little breathing room is smart. And I love the picture!

  4. It seems like every case is different, but taking a break is usually a good idea. I'm thankful for those outside things that force me to look away for a while.

    All the best with your course!

  5. Kari,
    I know what you mean. I'm mentally tired but wired at the same time. Of course you know how impatient I am which means I want to hurry hurry hurry to HTRYN course. Your brevity is wonderful!

    aaww that's so sweet of you. I'll post all about it on wed. Good luck with this second one and maybe you can always go back to the first one.

    Your right. Maybe give my muse some breathing room. I love google pictures and imagine I will have tons more on here.

  6. Elle,

    That's true. Every one does seem different. I think a small break enables you to see the forest AND the trees.

  7. I usually want to jump in right away, but I let it sit for a couple months. In the old days, it was because the summer was over and I had to go back to college. Now, I just get busy with paid projects and have no choice but to wait (as I'm doing now!). I think the further you distance yourself from the project, the better. You really have to get some space in order to be an objective editor. I think it's impossible to ever be truly objective. That's why I have my 1 truly dedicated objective editor--my mom. Hah! Although, she's my mom, so she is still probably subjective to some degree. But, you have to find that 1 tough critic who is really going to tell you when something about the scene/character/dialogue isn't right.

    So, what's the verdict. How long are you going to wait? :-)

  8. I haven't found the one truly objective crit partner yet but I'm still looking. I want to jump right in since I THINK I know all the crappy scenes that need change. But I'll wait for awhile. The course I'm going to take doesn't let you touch your MS for several weeks so I think I'll be ok on that. The problem will be not cheating. Not thinking of a new scene or character that I just know will make it better. Looks like I better make sure I'm finished and move on to another wip. ;)

  9. I'm going to qualify my answer with the admission that I haven't gotten to the end of my first draft yet. But, one thing I know for sure is you shouldn't let too much time pass before you get back to the story. First drafts are full of high energy -- and that energy dissipates if left on a back burner too long.

    But, how much that time is depends on each writer...I think.

    Thanks for putting my blogfest logo on your sidebar!! You rock!!!!

  10. Nicole,
    I bet your right. I think every writer probably has that perfect time for the In-Between. It's just figuring out what yours is that's the kicker. I tell my kids I rock all the time but they just roll their eyes. Now I'm going to show them your comment. ;)


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