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Argh! My story is finished!

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Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:11 pm
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bexy89 says...

I finished my story a couple of days ago, I spent all day yesterday and into the early hours of this morning re-reading, editing etc. I think it's pretty much done now. Obviously I'm going to get somone to proof-read it for me before I do anything with it in case there is something I've missed.

I've heard that it's sometimes best to put it aside for a month before you re-read again and do any last minute editing and before you start trying to look for a publisher and so I think I might do that.

Just wondering if anyone else had finished a novel recently (or ever I guess) and has some good advice, do's and don't's, that sort of thing. I think I pretty much know most of the stuff there is to know about finding an agent/publisher, the process etc (assuming someone wanted to publish my book that is) but I'm sure there are other little things that I don't know that might come in useful :)
"I'll be writing until I can't write anymore. It's a compulsion with me. I love writing." J.K.Rowling

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Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:09 pm
Rosendorn says...

How many drafts have you done for the story?

Novels need lots and lots of revision. You can consider looking for publishers now, to start researching, but don't begin queering them right away. Especially not at a first or even second/third draft. A quote I heard is, "I am not a great writer. I am a great rewriter." That is very true. Even the best writers I know edit, and it takes years to write without needing to do major editing.

Let your novel sit for 3+ months (long enough to basically forget the novel), then reread. Do not focus on odd sentences, missing periods, minor things. Sit and reread the novel in as few sittings as possible, keeping track of the following:

Things that, in general, don't make sense.

These are big things, and are what you need to tackle when you do your first round of editing. There is no point in polishing the grammar and dialogue if you have a plot hole the size of the Atlantic.

This article is all about editing novels. I'd suggest following the processes, because novels need a lot of revision.

This is a shorter article on editing you might want to look at.

Post the finished novel in Novel Workshop once you've edited it the first time (or, now, if you're impatient) and let the reviewers of YWS shred the story and improve it. We'll see stuff you probably haven't, and (possibly) give suggestions on how to fix it. At the least, we'll tell you what you need to work on.

In short, my advice:
1- Start researching publishers and agents, but don't query them yet.
2- Let the novel sit for 3+ months.
3- Do a full analysis of plot and character arcs, looking for plot holes, contradictions, ect.
4- Attempt to fix these as best you can.
5- Post it on YWS to get feedback.
6- Repeat at least steps 4 and 5 (possibly 2-5) until critics stop pointing major things out.
7- Start sending queries out.
8- Hope you don't get rejected, if you do, repeat steps 2-5 again.
9- Get accepted by an agent/publisher.

Hope this helps.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

Ink is blood. Paper is bandages. The wounded press books to their heart to know they're not alone.

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Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:51 pm
Twit says...

When presented with a YouTube url, I very rarely click on it to discover the pearls of YouTube wisdom that are being offered to me. That said, I'm offering you a YouTube link, and I implore you to follow it.


I'm more inclined to watch a YouTube video if it's embedded in the page, but embedding doesn't offer you the opportunity to start the video at a certain point--or if it does, that opportunity used by clever people, who have not yet invited me to join their club where they explain things like that.

Linky takes you to a video where John Green (If you haven't read Looking for Alaska, go read it now. Don't stop to finish reading this post that I put a lot of thought and finger-work into. Even my ego accepts its insignificance next to the beauteous wonder that is Looking for Alaska.) talks about NaNoWriMo, the license it gives you to suck, because No Great Book Can Be Written In A First Draft No Matter How Long It Takes You To Write It.
"TV makes sense. It has logic, structure, rules, and likeable leading men. In life, we have this."


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Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:32 am
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tgirly says...

I found letting it sit for a week was enough for me, because it was driving me bonkers not working on it, but I'm not done revising yet. So the time you let it sit is different for different people I guess. But you should let it sit, it's very important because I guess it's time to kind of detach yourself emotionally from your novel and start looking at it objectively, if that makes sense. Also, I'm finding the first link that roseyunicorn suggested is really helpful, though I haven't read the second one yet.
Good luck to you!
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