What to do After Finishing a First Draft

AllAboutWritingWhattoDo

On 27th July 2017, Rune Mage was finished at 199k words after NaNoWriMo 2016 and two lots of Camp NaNoWriMo 2017.

Then I hit a wall. What now?

I had several plot bunnies boiling for the past few months and was too happy to jump straight into a different project, but I knew this was always my pattern ever since I started writing. Once I finished a story, it would be stowed away forever, not to be touched for years. Since I discovered Wattpad, I would get occasional commenters picking up on old plot holes, spelling/grammar errors, and general areas that could be better improved. I made a point of reading through the whole of Rune Mage again, now that I knew the ending, and added in red herrings, foreshadowing, and refined the lore now I learnt the true extent and limitations of the magic.

And, you know what? It was worth it. There were areas that didn’t add up to the ending (it had been eight months since the beginning, after all), characters who became more solid as the time went on, so conversations didn’t match up to their true nature from the beginning, and a few red herrings spiced things up.

It was also cringeworthy picking up on my typos or see where I’d been distracted and mis-typed, but nevermind.

Rune Mage is now edited at the time of writing this. I spent a whole month reading back and reliving the story, and tidying up after myself. I have a bad habit of being exceedingly under-critical of my own work, so I have a good feeling it’ll be at least a year if not more I want to rewrite.

What do you do after finishing a first draft?

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