I must like that last book I was working on because I found myself eager to get back to work on it. I like to let a manuscript rest at least two weeks after I finish a first draft so that I can look at it with fresh eyes and be less tied to the process of writing it. I didn’t quite make it two full weeks before I wanted to jump back in. I figure it’s been months since I wrote the beginning, so it’s been far more than two weeks on that part.
Right now, I’m trying to read it like a reader would and see how it works for me in the big picture. That’s hard to do because my impulse is to start editing. On the last book I wrote before this one, I got the idea to read the manuscript on my tablet, which makes it a lot harder to edit as I go (so I just don’t). But it still looks like a manuscript, so I read it that way. With this book, I got the bright idea to format the manuscript as an e-book so it’s just like reading any other book on my tablet. I still find things I want to fix, which is okay, since that’s the purpose of this exercise. When I find something that doesn’t work for me or that needs to be changed, I write it down in my notebook, but otherwise, I keep reading. I literally can’t make changes in the document I’m reading. It also helps to get away from my desk. I’m mostly reading this while sitting on the patio, exactly the way I’d read for pleasure. It’s interesting how reading this way changes my mindset about how I’m looking at the story.
I need to rework the beginning — I may not need most of the first chapter — and there are some decisions I made late in the book that mean I need to adjust some things early in the book, but I’m enjoying the story and like the characters. This is a good sign. I like being in this world. I don’t think I’m going to have to do major surgery on the next draft, just the beginning. It’ll be mostly about consistency and fine-tuning
After I have all my notes on what needs to be fixed I can get to work on fixing it. After that draft, I think I’m going to brainstorm and draft the second book in the series. I want to have two ready to go before I launch, and it makes sense to draft the second book before finalizing the first book. There may be things I need to change and set up, and there’s no point in finessing the words until the story is locked down.