Monday, September 3, 2012

From Draft 1 To Draft 2--How Long Do You Wait?

So. Last Friday, Katrina posted about absence. Not only did I love her post for what it was (super helpful for my writing), but it got me thinking about another kind absence. You see, a few weeks ago, I finished the first draft of my WIP. 

*throws confetti* 

*dances the Samba* 

My initial plan was to set it aside for a month, but with my comp exams drawing nearer and nearer, I settled for two months instead. Hopefully, two months of space from my WIP will help me spot its flaws easier when I come back to it.  *crosses fingers*

But I know not everyone goes about their post-first draft space the same way. Which leads me to the following question:

How long do you usually wait between finishing Draft 1 and starting Draft 2? Does it vary from project to project?


Oh, and since I'm currently battling the flu + asthma demon from Hades, I wish y'all a happier Monday than mine!! :)


  1. I actually waited almost exactly a month between drafts for my last manuscript, because I was going on a trip and wanted to crank that bad boy out before I left. I thought it was the perfect amount of time, but I might leave a little more of a gap between drafts for my current WIP. I think it does depends on the project and how much more work you think it needs.

  2. I always wait a month between finishing the first draf and beginning my edits, but the longer you can wait, the more distance you create, which in turn makes editing (a little) easier.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  3. I can't move forward unless I orient myself by editing work from the day before -- slow going, but that's my method. I jumped right into the second draft, but gave the third a month to rest. Don't ask me how many drafts it took to finally get requests from agents... (okay, I'll share: 8).

    I hope you feel better soon!

  4. The last one I waited about five weeks. It took me a week or so to stop thinking about it, then I had two weeks or so where I didn't think about it at all, then it started creeping back into my mind. I've been away from my current project for...3 weeks and counting. I'm not sure how long I'll leave it, maybe another week, maybe two or three. It's always hard for me to re-read.

  5. The first time I ever did a second draft, I only waited a few days. This last time, I waited several months, and sent it out for a proper critique first. It made a HUGE difference, and the revisions made a much bigger difference to the story when I had a little distance from the original. :)

  6. My second draft is started immediately after finishing the first. By then, I've already amassed a ton of notes to myself and since the story is still fresh in my mind, I will go back and fix all of it. Then I let the betas have it and I wait a month or so before reading feedback and diving into draft three.

  7. I usually go with the flow for that one. At least three weeks, but maybe longer depending on how I'm feeling about the manuscript. You need to be fresh. So if I've spent a lot of time thinking about it constantly, planning, writing a query ect, that time doesn't really count in my book.

    So, like I said, at least three weeks. Maybe longer if I'm not feeling it, or if I don't think it really gave myself the break I need to really be fresh.

  8. It's interesting to see other's responses to this because I've been wondering it myself.
    I'm nearing the end of a first draft (but this is my first "real" novel also). So, initially I thought I'd go with a month long absence (as I've read in so many places that that seems to be the norm). BUT, like a couple of people above, I almost want to just finish this first draft and jump into the second draft...THEN let it sit, then go back and revise it once more, then find CP's for it.
    I'm not sure. I don't really want to edit the first draft so soon, but I wrote it off the fingers so to speak, so I know a lot of things already that must be changed or cut or inserted, why wait really. Maybe once I do that, then its the second draft that really can afford to be left alone.

    To make it more confusing though is that I'm not sure if this is even a project that I'd ever consider querying. I'm basically completing it and revising it fully , etc for that experience and growth. I feel I need more practice under my fingers before I am in the same league as people like you :)

  9. I've only written one novel, but I waited about a month before starting revisions. It's now been about three months since i last looked at it, and was thinking I'd read through it to see if I still thought it was as good as it can be. I'm kind of afraid to go back and check!

  10. My current wip I had taken off about a year while I completed another manuscript. I completed the first draft during NaNoWriMo. Now that was a long time to let it sit. Sometimes I get antsy-pantsy that it takes me so long to complete manuscripts, but I suppose that's what happens when you also have a full-time job.

  11. Get better soon!! I usually want to dive right in when I finish the first draft, but can make myself wait for about two weeks. If I wait longer, the chance that I might not come back to it increases. It's too tempting at that point to write another SNI that's popped into my head! me<--short attention span.

    Currently revising something I wrote two years ago (of which you were my first CP).


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