Writing a novel is a huge task to take on and even finishing the first draft is a massive achievement. If you aren’t there yet, don’t worry, you just need to keep going at it and you will get there eventually. We’ve put together a list of great tips to help you get your first draft together.
But the first draft is only the beginning and a lot of people don’t know what to do once they have finished it. If you have been putting the work in and you’ve finally made it to the end of your first draft, here’s what you should do next.
Step Away For A While
Even though you’re probably excited to get started on your next draft and start bringing your story to life, it’s best to step away for a while. By the time you have finished your novel, you’ll be exhausted with it and you’re way too close to it. You won’t notice any of the mistakes you’ve made and you won’t be able to think clearly about the changes you need to make to improve the novel. You will find that your second draft is so much better if you leave it for a month before you go back to it.
Start Researching Publishing Options
Your first draft is not ready to send out to publishers or agents yet, so don’t jump the gun. However, you do have the bones of a novel and after a few more drafts, it will be ready, so you should start researching publishing options and deciding what you want to do with your book. If you want to go down the traditional route, you need to start putting together a pitch for agents. However, you may decide that you want to self-publish. If this is the case, get a quote for hardcover printing and look for different places where you can publish digital copies online. You should also do some research into how to market your self-published books. You don’t have to do anything right now, but it’s good to do your research so you are prepared when you finish your final draft.
Get Somebody To Read It
This can be difficult, especially if you are a new writer, but you need somebody to read your work. There will always be things that you miss when you’re reading your own work and getting a fresh perspective will give you insights that help you improve the novel in a big way. You could start out with other friends or family, especially if they are also writers. You should look for some local writers groups too because you can get people to read your work and critiquing other people’s work is also a good way to hone your editing skills. If you are having trouble with certain aspects of your novel, you could hire a professional manuscript editor.
The most important thing to remember is that writing is a long process and the first draft is just the beginning. So, follow these steps and get ready to start work on your second draft.
Books on the Art of Writing a Novel
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