This weekend I allowed myself to do something I haven’t done in at least six months: Relax. It felt really nice, and I should probably do it more often than I do. Still, books don’t revise themselves, so I thought I’d outline my “what’s left” list.
When I’m writing I’ll often find a that a new character or idea I haven’t yet given a name to will show up. In the old days I used to stop there until I figured out the name of the character/town/whatever, and then keep going. This really didn’t work very well1 as it would stop me in my tracks, so I started bracketing placeholders off so I could find them quickly later and just keep going. It’s how I end up with fairly major characters known only as “[Someone]“. 2
I have a 743 of these currently in the manuscript, although less than 200 are unique. So my very next step is to finalize all these and get my [placeholders] out of there.
Another Read Through
After that I’ll read through the manuscript once more to ensure I didn’t make any new typos or grammar bloopers during the Type-in. I’m hoping this is relatively quick.
This is the point where I have someone else read the manuscript, and get some feedback. I’ll admit I’m a bit skittish. After getting the feedback on my first novel I decided to “trunk” it.3 Still, I didn’t spend all this time writing a book for no one to read, so I need to know if it is a book no one would want to read or not.
- especially during NaNoWriMo [↩]
- To be fair [Someone] started off as a one scene wonder, but he stuck around and as a result “[Someone]” appears 99 times in the manuscript. [↩]
- put it aside and pretend it doesn’t exist for a while [↩]