Godiva, Anyone?

I finished my WIP! Last night was a scramble and though I wrote the end scene, this draft is pretty rough in terms of plot. I'm going to need to go back and beef up the external goal and external conflict of the story.

In the meantime, there are some really cute Easter chocolates on the Godiva website. I went ahead and everyone who commented on my previous post because you all are wonderfully sweet and supportive. Finishing would take a lot longer if I didn't verbally create a deadline.

The winner of Springtime Godiva is Karen Amanda Hooper! Congrats Karen. :-)

Now that the manuscript's rough draft is done, I know I have a lot of polishing ahead of me. What's your process after you complete the rough draft?


Um, YUM :-) Congrats Karen!

After completing a rough draft (the one time so far that I've done it, lol) I did a quick chapter by chapter edit to catch whatever I could to make it cleaner/fill any plotholes. Then I sat on it. For like almost a month. IT SUCKED. But was so worth it when I went through and reread it with a fresh pair of eyes!
Robyn Campbell said…
Congrats Jess. That is really something to celebrate.

I just go back and read the entire MS. And then chapter by chapter, I begin the GRUELING process of revision. UGH But it sure is worth it when that baby is finished.

I'm on a diet. :( But maybe by Easter, I'll have lost all my weight and ready to pack on the pounds with chocolate. ;)
Rita Gerlach said…
Congratulations, Jessica. I am so proud of you. It's an awesome thing to complete the first draft of a story.

After completing a manuscript, I go back to the beginning and start reading through it. I tighten up the writing by eliminating unnecessary words, pick up the pace by cutting tag lines (he said / she said).

Those are just a few things. Here's a tip. In order to be sure you are staying within the pov of one character in a scene, read that scene aloud in first person. In other words something like:

She opened the window and searched the road below. He had been gone too long, and a worrisome feeling tugged at her stomach.

Read as:

I opened the window and searched the road below. He had been gone too long, and a worrisome feeling tugged at my stomach.
anita said…
Congrats Jessie and Karen!

Jessie, way to go, girl! Make sure you buy some of that yummy chocolate for yourself, too. Okay?

And breathe a sigh of relief. Becuase the hardest part is behind you. :-) I'll take revisions any day over the actual birth of a story.
Unknown said…

It's always exciting to finish a rough draft. I usually let the manuscript sit for a couple of weeks before starting the revision process. The break gives me a chance to step away from my creation and look at it with fresh eyes. I'm at the point of rewriting my novel right now. It's a fun and arduous road, but well worth the sweat and tears!
All I wanted to do after I finished my 3rd one was get my hands on it to start sculpting, but I followed the advice of trusted friends/writers and took two weeks away from it. I'm thankful I did. If you don't have that time, I'd read it through and make some notes, but don't do any major hacking the first go through. Read it as you would any other book and see what jumps out at you as really needing to be fixed and take a ton of notes.

~ Wendy
Danyelle L. said…
Yay for finishing, Jessica! I hope you got some chocolate for yourself to celebrate. :D

Revising and polishing, that's what happens after. Sometimes for a very long time. >.<
Gotta love Godiva!

Let's see...usually my rough draft is SO rough that the next draft is almost a complete rewrite to make the ms seaworthy.
Jody Hedlund said…
Awesome!! I so happy for you! I just told my kids this morning we're going to celebrate when I finish my WIP (which is still a few months off!). There's just something about completing a book that begs celebration, right?! :-)
Angie Muresan said…
Congratulations!!! You are inspiring, Jessica.
By the way, if for some reason Karen does not want that Godiva, I will take it.
Jennifer Shirk said…
Fantastic news!!!

Now, let it sit for a week or two.

In the meantime, clean your house and read a few books for pleasure. (And have some more chocolate)

That's what I do, anyway. :)
Tamika: said…
Congratulations Jessica! I'm elated for you hun! You deserve a chocolate feast!

I'll be asking the same question after the 31st.
BK Mattingly said…
After finishing a draft, I let it sit for a couple weeks. Then, I do a rough edit and let it sit again, but this time for a couple months. Finally, I read it again and make the last changes before sending it off to my critique group.
Erica Vetsch said…
Congrats on finishing your ms! Yay! and Partay!

My routine? I always tell myself to wait a little and let the ms stew, but I tend to be impatient, so I jump right in and start editing. Then I send it to crit partners who find all the stuff I miss. :)
Yay for you, Jess! And congrats to Karen on winning the chocolate.

After finishing the first draft, I'm drained. Editing is a worse drain, so I give myself a couple of weeks before returning to the manuscript.

At the moment, my writing is stalled by life events. It's time to get moving again.

Susan :)
Sarah Forgrave said…
Woohoo!!! Congratulations and enjoy your chocolate! :-) My mouth is seriously watering right now just thinking about chocolate. lol
Lisa Jordan said…
Congrats on finishing your rough draft. You have the story down, which, in my opinion, is the hard part.

After I finish a rough draft, I go through each chapter and make sure it begins with a hook, has a strong storyworld, the characters' GMC for that scene make sense, the emotion is shown not named, and that it ends with a hook....you don't want the reader to put down your book, after all. :-)
Julie Dao said…
Yummy!!! I LOVE Godiva chocolate! Congrats to Karen, hope you both enjoy your sweets! :)
I LOVE reading all your comments and wish I could respond to them individually. I'm pressed for time though and want to make it over to your blogs this evening. :-)
Great advice everyone! That's probably what I'll do: reat, eat chocolate, and let the story rest for a bit.
See you all later tonight!
Lisa, EXCELLENT advice. I'm going to do that, thanks!!!
Natalie said…
Good for you! Finishing is such a great feeling. And congrats to Karen! She'll be thrilled.
Diane said…
That's a mighty yummy looking bunny there. Godiva is the best. Great job on finishing your WIP. :O)
ali cross said…
Congratulations! That feels so good, doesn't it? Umm, what do I do? Cry, wail, pull out some hair? ♥
patti said…
I love Sara's suggestion of sitting on it! Another thing I do is send it to one of my crit loves. We have decided we like to read the work in one big chunk at the end as we can check for flow, sense, etc.

Sigh. Then they have MORE suggestions!!!

I am soooo proud of you!
Unknown said…
We can celebrate our victory together. I finished my first draft last night too. *throws chocolate confetti in the air*
The last half is crap, but at least it gives me a solid shell to stuff with yummy flavoring and add pretty icing to.
(Had to do a candy analogy.)
Congrats! And thank you thank you thank you.
WOOHOOOOO!!!!! What a great feeling!!! Congrats!
Elana Johnson said…
Yum! Congrats Karen!

And I usually let the MS sit for a while. Mostly because I'm so sick of it, but also so I can rip it apart with fresh eyes the next time I come to it. Good luck! And congrats on finishing!
Big fat chocolate-covered congratulations on completing your draft! That's huge.

As for me, I normally let it sit for about 48 hours, and then I go back at it like a brand new project.
Nancy J. Parra said…
YAY! Congrats and virtual chocolate for completing the wip!! I agree- let it sit for a few days before you hit the revisions. It's always good for a story to perk in the computer.

Meg said…
Congrats on finishing your rough draft!

I let my first novel sit for a month. That was way too long.

Let it sit for a day then take a peek at it? If it's overwhelming, let it sit longer. Then dive in with whatever revising/editing method you decide to give a try.

I have yet to find the 'prefect' editing/revision method for me. It may exist.

Congrats again and good luck!
Kara said…
Way to go on finishing your WIP! That is exciting:)
Thanks ladies! I LOVE finishing rough drafts. Revisions are so much easier for me. I generally go through after I finish and try to fix stuff (or send to crit group), then I let it sit for awhile and do a final read-through before sending to betas.
You guys are all awesome and give great advice! Thank you. :-)
denise petrovich said…
congratulations honey!!!! I am so happy for you. Love Mom
Dawn Simon said…
Congratulations! It's huge when you finish the first draft! The clay is on the wheel, and now you get to shape it.
Karen Lange said…
Congrats on your WIP! That's exciting:) And congrats to Karen, the chocolate winner!
Anonymous said…

Good goin', Jessica!

I'm with you. My rough draft is, well, pretty durn rough.
Erika Robuck said…
Wow! Congratulations!! Getting the through the first draft is HUGE!!
Erika Robuck said…
Oh, forgot to add my process...

I put it on the shelf, let it simmer for a couple of weeks, and try to empty it from my mind so that when I return, it's fresh.
Linda Kage said…
Congrats to Karen for winning the godiva!! And congrats to Jessica for finishing your WIP. It doesn't matter how rough it is right now; it has a beginning, middle and end, so you've completed step one! WOW.
Nancy said…
Congratulations on finishing your WIP. When I finish a first draft, I let it stew for awhile, sometimes a long while, then I go and fix it up.
Project Journal said…
Great job finishing your WIP!!!! YAY!!! That's really exciting : )

Congrats Karen for winning the chocolate....not that I need it, but chocolate. Come on! What's not to love!? *wink*

Congrats Jessica,
Unknown said…
Congrats on finishing your WIP, Jessica!! I hope you ordered yourself a few of those adorable Godiva bunnies, too! God bless you!
That bunny looks really good and CONGRATULATIONS on getting that first draft done. I say, take a break and enjoy one of those chocolate treats yourself before delving into the editing.
Patti said…
I leave it alone for a while just to get some distance. I need to be able to cut sentences without feeling attached.
Anissa said…
Congratulations! I wish I knew what my entire revision process looked like. Unfortunately I'm still neck deep in it. I'll let you know once I wade out. Have fun!
Thanks guys. You know, if you order more than three things you get some free stuff. *wink*

Anissa, I look forward to reading about your process someday on your blog. :-)
Jennifer said…
Godiva? *Drools.* Good stuff, good stuff. :D

Congrats on finishing! I love that feeling that comes with wrapping something up. :)
Genny said…
Congrats to you! After I finish a draft, I put it away for a while, so I can get distance from the story and look at it with fresh eyes when I go to revise it. :)
Hahaaa Genna! I drool too. LOL

Thanks Genny. That seems to be the unanimous advice!
Terri Tiffany said…
YAY! It was great to read that you finished the rough draft! I love that part! Now you can put it aside awhile and do something else:)
Emily Conrad said…
Congrats on finishing! I'm with Terri - putting aside a newly finished draft for a while before beginning revisions helps me see it better. And at this point, revising seems to come so much more easily to me than first drafts. I hope the writing continues to go well for you. :)
Stephanie Faris said…
Yummy! Congrats on finishing your WIP. I'm about 15 pages away and reading blogs is my way of procrastinating!
Keli Gwyn said…
Congrats, Jessie! Enjoy the thrill of reaching The End.
Deb Shucka said…
Big congratulations! What a great accomplishment. Just goes to show the power of chocolate in one more instance. The first thing I do after a draft is finished is to go do something - walk, clean house, shop - anything but write. Then when my psychic dust has settled, I read and start moving and chopping and expanding.

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