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!


  1. Janna G. Noelle June 3, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    Sounds like a solid plan and pretty similar to one I’m following, except EEK! – you’re going to read aloud your first draft to yourself? Your first draft writing must be a lot cleaner than mine. I’d asphyxiate and die trying to speak my run-on sentences. Either way, it is exciting to move onto a different stage of the writing journey, isn’t it?

    Any hints on what your book is about? Or at least what kind of fantasy it is?

    • sam June 3, 2016 / 6:22 pm

      I’m one of those people who edit as I write. (I know people say not to do it, but each to their own!) At the end of every chapter I go back and re-read it/clean it up. So by the end of the entire book my manuscript is in pretty decent shape. Emphasis on the ‘pretty decent’ part, lol it still needs a LOT of work!

      A very non-spoiler, vague, general synopsis of my book would be to say it’s a story about people descendant from different gods who grant them the ability to manipulate various aspects of their natural world. It follows the story of a young woman, born of magic, who travels from our world to a realm to uncover family secrets long buried.

      Edits start soon and I’m literally counting down the days until I can begin. I’ve already got my binder and nail polish to match!

  2. SHE LIVES! June 3, 2016 / 8:41 pm

    Kudos to you reading your book aloud. You’re organized and amazing. You’ve definitely got this!

    • sam June 4, 2016 / 12:35 pm

      Thank you!

  3. story June 4, 2016 / 9:34 pm

    Love this! You’ve got a plan and you’ve got a book and that’s 90 percent of the battle!

    • sam June 5, 2016 / 11:25 am

      Lol, yes this is true. At least the actually writing of the book is done.

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