We’ve previously explored writing the draft. Today’s topic – space – is about the down time before you begin to revise.

To recap:

Catching the idea

Evaluating the idea

Growing the idea

First draft


Reading the draft

Revision and self editing

Critique group feedback

Rewriting or recreating

More revision

<<GO TO Critique group feedback, if needed>>

Final manuscript

Congratulations on completing your draft!

But…now what?

You’re probably feeling excited and wanting to jump right into your revision.


(Do not pass go. Do not touch those words. Really. DO NOT.)

There are a few things you need to do before getting back to your story and revising.

If you’ve not celebrated completing your draft, by all means—do it now. Do something special for yourself. Rejoice with others. Let the world know of your accomplishment!

Sit back and enjoy the feeling of having finished your draft. Relish those feelings. Tuck them away into your mind so you can access them any time you wish.

Plan. How will you go about your revision, after spending some time away from that project? Who will you get to review and give feedback? Think about how your revision might work.

Plan some more. If you work on multiple projects at one time, now is a great time to plan a brand new project. Maybe jot down some ideas, a character or two, and do some research. Maybe you also have a completed project and that needs a query letter so you can begin sending it out.

Read fiction. For pleasure! This helps to create space between you and the draft before you get busy revising. Give your brain a break. When you are ready to get back to your draft, you can see it through new eyes.

How much time “off” should you take before starting your revision? That’s up to you, but I would suggest a minimum of three or four weeks. Use this time to get re-energized.

When you wake up one morning and you know (your muse and intuition speaking to you) it’s time to start revising your draft, TODAY is the day to start.

Next time – the re-read of your draft and ways to RE-VISION your novel.

OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE UPDATE: I’ll be posting an update on where I’m at in a couple of days.

Question for today: What do you do after you’ve completed your first draft? Share your response!

Best Wishes,