The Benefits of Letting a Manuscript Sit

After spending two weeks in Saskatoon at St. Peter’s Abbey, I got back home to Vancouver with a pretty decent first draft of my next book, and that is a wonderful feeling.

However, experience has taught me that a first draft, although immensely satisfying is only the beginning of what will be a long process involving many edits. Editing doesn’t scare me; I enjoy doing it, but I’ve learned that, for me, in order to create a good second draft, I have to put the manuscript away for at least a week and then return to it with a fresh eye.

It’s been almost a full week now since my return and I’m forcing myself to hold off until Monday morning, although this is a challenge. I’m excited to get back to it, and every morning I sip my coffee while admiring those 200 or thereabouts printed pages that represent two weeks of undisturbed work time.

I am so tempted to read the words over, but I know that if I wait long enough, draft two will be much better, which means that by the third draft there will be far less work to do!

If you have finished up a first draft, try this method – put it away for a little while, mull it over in your mind, let the story set into your consciousness – this will save you time and energy in the longrun!

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