Author Toolbox Blog Hop, first draft

First Draft: Leave It Be

This #authortoolboxbloghop coincides with the final episode of my First Draft series. This final instalment is all about what to do with your first draft when you write those monumental words… The End.

My advice is to leave it be. By that, I mean to put it away out of sight and forget about it (well, almost).

Some writers head straight into the editing process, but this doesn’t work for me. I have compiled some reasons why leaving your manuscript to brew for a little can be so beneficial.

A Well Earned Break

Writing is hard. If it wasn’t, everyone would be doing it. When I have finished an entire first draft, I know I have earned a breather.

Besides, writing the last part of your manuscript can feel like being on a runaway train; getting absorbed by the ending and ploughing ahead with momentum. We could all do with getting back to reality with family, friends, and our own thoughts.

Fresh Perspective

Coming back to your manuscript with fresh eyes is a brilliant thing. It helps with editing (knowing what the sentence should say and what it actually says are two different things), and you can critique yourself easier when you have detached yourself a little from your work.

A Chance to Start Something New

I don’t mean to dive head first into another story (unless that is your process, of course). I simply mean that it is useful to start thinking/note taking about a new story. A little bit of distraction is good for me. I feel like a month or so of a new story seems to help when I go back to my old one. It also breaks the monotomy.

You can check out the other #authortoolboxbloghop participants and their posts here.

Content belongs to K.J Chapman

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21 thoughts on “First Draft: Leave It Be”

  1. I feel like I’ll be taking a month long break to celebrate when I finish my draft πŸ™‚ It’s been such a long process! Fresh perspective is important too: If you’ve been thinking about characters and plot for a long time you tend to be sick of them and need a break!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The leave it be part is hard for me. I dislike the editing process so much I rather just get it over with, but I’m trying to change. LOL I do take a breather, celebrate finishing with a drink and ship it off to my first round of beta readers. Having in their hands allows me the time to step away since I’m a terrible self-editor.

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  3. I can see it being a struggle to just Let It Be, but it’s sound advice! Stepping away from that first draft definitely gives you time to see things more clearly when you do get back to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

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  4. I have unfortunately made the error once before of rushing into edits, so I wish I had read this piece back then. It could have saved me a lot of trouble because I could have taken some time to let my thoughts on it ruminate more!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is really terrific advice. Now, it’s a matter of me taking it! JK–I do generally need a break after The End. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚ (Oh, and sorry for commenting so late. It’s been late nights in airports for me the last two days.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The more I write, the more I understand this concept. I wish I would have done this with my first book instead of writing and rewriting countless drafts. So much learned. Thank you for sharing, what great advice!

    Liked by 1 person

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