So you finished writing the first draft of your book. Congrats! A fraction of the population ever seriously attempts to write a book and an even tinier fraction of those who start writing a book finish their rough drafts. Kudos to you for being so freaking awesome!
When the champagne is gone, and your exhilaration wanes, you may wonder what the next step is in becoming a published author. Surely there is a step between finishing a rough draft and picking out cover art, but this is your first novel and you're not really sure what that step may be.
Relax, I've got you covered. The answer is revision. Quite honestly, this step is what makes or breaks a book. A poorly revised manuscript is essentially doomed because literary agents will not take it seriously.
If you choose not to follow the traditional publishing route and self-publish, reader reviews will become incredibly important. Poorly revised books often get reviews that lament typos and plot holes. I don't like to read books with such issues and have yet to meet a reader who did.
It's okay if your first draft is a hot mess. It's supposed to be. However, the draft you send out to agents or self-publish should be a polished, structurally sound manuscript. Getting from hot mess to pristine prose takes editing, and quite often a second pair of eyes that aren't as familiar with the story.
If you would like to learn more about how to revise your novel or would like some information about hiring outside editors to help you clean up your first draft, come out to the Revise and Submit Seminar in Downtown Orlando tomorrow night. Be sure to say hi to my writing partner, Jaimie M. Engle. She will be teaching editing strategies she developed to help her complete her writing projects, to include one currently being shopped to the Big 5 by her agent.
Revision doesn't have to be scary or tedious, but it will be if you let it. Don't let all of your hard work go to waste. Come out and learn some strategies to help you get one step closer to completing your first book.
Info you need to know:
When: December 2, 2014
Where: Albertson Room of the Orlando Public Library
101 E. Central St. Downtown Orlando, Florida
When: 6:30 p.m. (7-ish for you late by nature types)
If you aren't able to join us at the seminar, check out Jaimie M. Engle's website: A Writer For Life where she shares some of her best editing tips.
You can also learn more about the seminar and how local authors like Jaimie M. Engle impact our community by following Florida Book News.