I've finished my current WIP. First of all "Yeah - it's done". Second, what do I do now?

I normally the put the SFD away for a month to percolate before starting the rewrite. I find this helps me attack the rewrite with fresh eyes. 

What do you guys do?

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I do rewrites as I go, 2 or 3 chapters at a time.  When I finish, I turn around immediately for an overall revision.  By this time, I have notes of what needs to be done. After that, I proof-read and let it go.

You could, of course, start the next one and work on it for a while, then go back to revise the other. 

Tee hee - that's precisely what I have don I.J.

My next project is a return to my crime fiction roots. But I've gone back nearly forty years to 1975 when my main protagonist, DCI Jones, was a bright young Constable, full of the joys of youth.

Back-tracking on my main character It's really tricky. I'm trying to keep the same 'feel' but revealing a back-story most of my readers will have 'filled-in' for themselves is a balancing act.  I'm giving him some love-interest. Perhaps crossing that genre divide from Crime Thriller into Romantic Suspense. 

Wish me luck.

Oh, I love it when protagonists age and change. Their personalities are so much more interesting that way.  Static charcters are dull. 

I don't know the whole story until I finish the first draft, so my next step is often a chapter by chapter outline for the second draft. I need to create scenes I've missed.

The second draft is usually bad, too, generally because I've refused to throw out the first-draft darlings, maybe even written stupid stuff to keep them in. I never have anything to show anybody until at least three complete drafts.

Tee hee - like it.

I usually go back and do a second draft right away, for reasons of continuity. In that way I'm much like Jack, except that I work from an outline from the start. That doesn't mean it doesn't change quite a bit as the first draft gets written.

Once I'm relatively satisfied I have a book and not a series of chapters, I let it sit for several weeks so I can come to it fresh when the serious editing starts.

I.J. - A reader once complained to me that my 58 y.o. leading man (a police detective) didn't develop much during a novel - which took place over the space of a fortnight. How much development did he want?

I'm sort of writing my Casebook series in reverse order. 

Jack - I write like that. My latest WIP, the horror story started as just a title. The story and characters developed from there - hence the back filling after the end of the SFD.

Dana - I tried writing a full outline once, didn't last more than half a page before the story diverged. I've heard it's called being a 'pantser'. 

To each, his own. 

Re character: in a fortnight, you don't really expect any changes unless something happened to him that was profoundly upsetting.

Quite so. And even then it would take some time to sink in and reform a character formed over half a century. Right?

He might have a passing mood swing or two, but character development would take longer, I reckon. 

Well, no.  I think you would get a very dramatic reaction.  But that may in time be modified somewhat.


Truth be told, I'm currently writing a love scene for a guy my readers have only known as a 58 y.o. -  not sure it'll make the final draft. We'll see.

I'm trying to show how he became the morose character I've painted as an older man, when he started off as optimistic as most kids. t'll have to be something rather dramatic, but I don't want to have the love interest die on him - too cliched. 


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