The book is all down in one glorious first draft and I’m really excited/passionate about it. Now it’s time to take this draft and turn my good story into a great story that’ll satisfy readers.
Here is an outline of the steps I’ll be taking to improve my book:
manuscript to-do list aka shit that must get done
- Edit/revise novel. – Read book out loud to myself and fix any grammatical errors I stumble across. Highlight any areas that might need developmental tweaks and come back to them once grammar is corrected.
- Send revised version to critique partners. – I have two amazing critique partners who’ve been great sounding boards for me during the writing process. I’m excited for them to read the cleaned up completed draft.
- Revise/edit based on critique partner feedback. – Go through CP notes, apply the changes that I feel work for the novel.
- Send novel to first readers. – These are my friends and family. People who love me and will most likely be a little biased, but who are willing to have a look at my manuscript/give me their feedback.
- Panic. – I haven’t even sent it to them and I’m already freaking out. I can’t hide form these people, they’re in my life on a daily basis! What if they think I’m a shit writer? AHHH!
- Revise/edit based on firs-reader feedback. – See what the friends/family think of the manuscript and if there is a lot of similar feedback, make the necessary changes.
- Send novel out to beta readers. – These are the strangers recruited to read the book and give constructive feedback. The fact they’re strangers means they’ll be less likely to spare my feelings when giving critique. These betas will be representative of my potential audience and must be fans of the genre as well as read widely in it.
- Panic. – Oh god, the only thing worse than having friends and family read my book is having strangers read it. *hyperventilates*
- Revise/edit based on beta reader feedback. – I’ll be doing at least two rounds of beta feedback (maybe three) so it is vital I compare their comments and look for trends.
- Write final version. – Make any last developmental edits to the story and put it aside.
- Outline book two. – My fantasy manuscript has series potential. I want to have the outline of the second book complete before I look into publication for the first one.
I have no idea how long this process is going to take, but I’m eager to get started on the journey!