Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Momentous Moment

Awen Rays
After taking a week off from editing and writing (no it wasn’t a vacation, I still did my day job), I spent seven hours yesterday adding finishing touches to the manuscript. It’s so close to done. No, I haven’t turned it over to my first/alpha/beta readers yet. And yes, you’ve heard “I’m close” before. But that was wishful-thinking me. This is happy-reader me.

With one caveat.

According to the big boys, the two I listen to most when it comes to writing (because my personal process and preferences mirror theirs and I respect them as prolific, profound and prosperous writers), this is the point (before letting anyone else read it) I should stick the manuscript in a drawer and walk away from it for a month. A whole flipping month. Or in my case, let it sit on my laptop. Untouched. For a month.

Then, and not until then, I get to break it out, dust it off, brew a big pot of yerba mate or some other delectable tea and read it from cover to cover. If reader-me is satisfied, meaning there are no plot holes and things are tied up nicely at the end, I can consider turning it over to my beta readers. Otherwise, it’s back for another rewrite.

So. I just solved my own dilemma. I really, really want someone else to read it. Now. Not tomorrow. I want to see if I’m the only one who thinks this story is pretty special. My readers are standing by.
But I will wait. I will listen to Stephen King and Papa Hemingway. I’ll let it sit. And I’ll wait the requisite month before rereading it, God bless it.

But not until I fix one last little thing. Then somewhere around this time next month, mid-May, I’ll set aside a whole day to read the complete manuscript. I’m already looking forward to it.
Here’s to May!

~ Olivia J. Herrell
P.S. I’ll still be sticking to my twenty-four-hour-a-week writing schedule. Next up: finish Book Two!

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