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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Whether he succumbs to the lady and is happy, or succumbs and is painfully rejected/disillusioned, you have a good event for character development. Should be fun to write it.

I'm having to do the love scene from memory - I'm past it now. ;)

Whether she jilts him or dies is to be decided, but I am writing a crime thriller so...

Well, good luck!  I'm embarking on a serial killer scenario, a new thing for me.

Tee hee, serial killer? I don't know why cornflakes arouse so much anger in people. I can take them or leave them. ;)

I've always been bothered by the idea of a character having to change in a story. It blocked me for a long time. I've now disagree with it being a requirement. Especially if you are writing a series character.

I mean does Jack Reacher change? Do Elvis Cole and Joe Pike change? No.

I think a better way to look at it is how is your series character affected by the events in your story. How doe he/she feel about what is going on around them? What does he/she do as a result of experiencing those things? Those are the things you need to show to the reader, not change but reaction.

If your character is not affected by the events in your story, then I think you have a problem. 

"If your character is not affected by the events in your story, then I think you have a problem." 

Couldn't agree more with that. Change is probably needed if your character is young - less important for a mature individual.

In any event, the story must be gripping. Otherwise all bets are...

I think it depends on the story. Certainly characters can change, those who thought they were weak grow strong, a person who's never been in love falls in love, etc. etc. I just hate hearing how its a rule. That a character MUST change or the story doesn't work. I don't buy that. Affected, yes. Changed. no, not necessarily.

Good luck

To true, David.

I improve my first draft as I go. I leave gaps and then as I progress and find out more to develop my original skeletal idea, I fill them in and tidy up the language a bit and take characters out if there are too many. I tend to get crowded out with interesting people and have to tell some of them to wait until the next book.

When I've done all this I put it away, then reread it in a while, do a second version of it and ask somebody to read it.

I've tried writing a rough first draft but I find if I have too much to do for the second draft, I get completely bogged down, can't see the wood for the trees and any other cliche you like for not ever getting it done due to terminal confusion.

Hi Alex,

Been there too. The SFD of my first completed novel (December 2012), ran to 120k words. I tried to cram what turned out to be two complete stories into one book and got hopelessly lost in the rewrite. 

I plan to return to that book this year and split the stories into crime mystery, and romantic suspense, respectively. There will be huge holes in each novel, but filling them in is the fun part. Sort of. 

:)

I generally work on one project at a time, and I put together a fairly detailed outline.

I have found what works best for me is to do my first draft completely through using my outline. Once I'm done, I re-read and re-write it a second time in its entirety, creating a second draft.

After that I print it out (about twenty-five pages at a time for a novel) and read it out loud and slowly and mark changes on the paper draft. Finally, I key those changes into the final draft. That means I've been through the thing four times.

Finally, I send it to my editor and move on to the next project.

When I get it back from the editor, I make the final corrections and its off to print

Good luck with the book and the series.

I like the sound of the reading out loud part. I normally reserve that for dialogue unless there's a particularly complicated piece of narration. I also print off a hard copy when I'm near the final draft. It's amazing how many errors you find when reading from paper. 

Thanks for the wishes and good luck with the sales. :)

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