DriveDrive because writing a novel is a long haul. You don't just pour it all down on paper and ship it off your desk. A good writer knows that there is a lot more to writing a book than that first draft.
- Getting it written in the first step. Don't stop, get it all down from beginning to end.
- Next comes the rewrite. Going over it page by page to check for plot gaps, grammar, typos, and general mistakes. Hey, if you killed a character in chapter 5 you better not resurrect him in chapter 8. People will notice, you'll be called out on it, and your reader will probably not read your next book or recommend you to friends.
- After your rewrite put that book on the shelf for a few weeks to clear your head. Come back and read through again. Make any edits you need to and be honest with yourself.
- Then go find someone to read it that will give you an honest opinion. I tell my beta readers to "rip it apart."
- Take their comments with a grain of salt. Consider them all carefully and either edit again or move on. Just put your ego in the back seat for this part. It can be painful.
Patience comes in about the time you will have to spend on getting your novel polished. Skipping steps will impact the quality of the finished product. Take your time to get it right.
- Writing a book isn't a sprint, it's more like a marathon. Take it slow and pace yourself.
- Editing takes time.
- Putting your book on a shelf for a week or more can be a killer. You're going to want to go back and play with it so you just get that thing done. Don't do that. Let the story leave your head a bit so you can actually read the thing without thinking about what you know is there.
- Beta readers? I've had quick ones and I've had those that take weeks. Be patient, don't harass them. They have lives and families and probably work so your book might have to be fit in between all that other stuff. While you're waiting, start you next book. Don't waste time obsessing on your beta.
- Remember to breathe.