After years (it’s been 3?) of writing and re-writing and re-writing again, I have finally finished my first(ish) draft of All the Lies You Cannot Know. I’m not going to lie. It feels weird and good and not real all at the same time. So now the question looms over me—now what? Where do you go from here? (ok, that’s two questions).
Well, getting it off to beta readers and start querying agents is kinda the next couple of steps, but there are a five things I’m doing (and you should too) before doing those two very important things.
(1) Eat chocolate. Celebrate. You have done it. It is finished (finally)!
(2) Take a break. This thing has been in my head for over three years. I have been playing with these words and re-working these words and deleting these words. Yes, the story is still in my head, but for one blessed minute the characters are some what quiet (give it another two weeks or so and my novella characters and book two characters will be itching to get out). I’ve been on break for about two weeks and while it has felt really good, I’m ready to get back to work!
(3) Print the manuscript off. If you can get it printed and bound from somewhere like Staples—all the better. There’s something magical about holding your words in your hand, even if it is just Staples bound. I don’t think it actually hit me that I have a real book—one of good length—until I got it printed out. I mean the thing looks like a real book! If you can’t make it to a print shop, just print off from your computer and put into a notebook. You’re going to need this step for the next step.
(4) Re-read it. Fix stuff you want fixing. Read it out loud if possible. You’ll find more that needs fixing.
(5) Hire a editor. In all my word-love, I may be not so great at finding my own mistakes. I am super blessed to have a grammar expert for a best friend, and she looks over my manuscript and makes it look all nice and pretty.
So there you have it. Five things that I’m working on before jumping into the beta teams and all the querying of agents.
What do you do when you finish your manuscript?