Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Well, this morning I finally wrote those two words we all struggle and strive for :


Which in other words, means the beginning of revisions.  The first draft of KISSING FOR COFFEE is officially done- topping out at exactly 70k but it will be another month or so before I've finished edits, revisions and overall polishing.  I might have finished the first draft sooner if my husband hadn’t gotten me a kindle for my birthday.  (Thank you for all those wonderful birthday wishes btw!  Sorry I haven't been around this week- hubby ordered an updated internet box which left us with no internet for two days.  Total torture.)

The kindle is everything I’d hoped it’d be.  So easy to use!  I ordered and downloaded a couple Sookie Stackhouse novels in the blink of an eye wheras before I had to order them through pray they had the books in english, pay shipping, and wait two weeks before they arrived in the mail. 

For those of you who have a kindle, you know how different graphics pop up when you aren’t using it- kind of like a screen saver.   Some of the images are of famous authors, or paintings, or book covers.  They kind of remind me of those intricate etch-a-sketch portraits some artists are capable of.  Really neat.  Except when you wake up and Emily Dickenson is staring back at you.  Her picture creeps me out.
So I’m officially on summer vacation!  And now that the first draft of KISSING FOR COFFEE is completed, I’m going to let it marinate for awhile.  It’s a good idea to stay away from your work for a short time so you can come back to it with new perspective.  This is probably one of the most difficult steps of revision-  You want it done now!  You’re addicted to the story and the characters and aren’t ready to leave them!-  So you fiddle.  And fiddle.  Re-read it until nothing else jumps out at you.

 That doesn’t mean there isn’t more to revise.  It probably means you’ve read yourself blind to any other problems the manuscript may have.  Which is when it’s time to finally take a step away from it.  You might send it out to initial beta readers. Or let it sit alone for a few weeks and go back to it yourself first. 

But staying away from it is key.  To speed up the process I’ve been saving up some books on my nightstand. 
And then there’s my kindle.  And I’ve got a project I’m going to start beta-reading.  All of these are great ways to keep busy AND add to your editing-arsonal for when you go back to your manuscript.

What do you do during manuscript ‘down time’?  What are your plans for this summer?? (I’m staying home with the kids this summer – hubby just changed jobs so let me live vicariously through your plans please!:)


Laura Pauling said...

First, congrats on getting your first draft done! Awesome! And I do love my Kindle. I read both paper and ebooks though.

For down time, I do read a lot and focus my efforts on growing as a writer and I try to plot out my next work.

Jessica Bell said...

hahah! oh my gosh I thought the same thing when Emily popped up on mine! :o) Congrats on finishing the first draft!

Miranda Hardy said...

I read a lot during the down time. Sometimes, I'll even start a new project.

Old Kitty said...

CONGRATULATIONS on writing The End!!!!! Yay for finishing!! You deserve a fabulous rest and a great holiday from your wip!! Enjoy your break!

I'm going to be very boring and say I have absolutely nothing grand to do this summer! Except to take things even more easy than I normally do during winter! LOL!!

Take care

Gina Ciocca said...

Wow, you really whip them out, don't you? Over the course of a year and a half, I've only completed one ms and have 3 in a half-written state of shambles. GO KATIE!!

And that Emily Dickens photo reminds me of the Skeleton Key or that freaky movie with Nicole Kidman with the pictures of dead people *shudders*

Unknown said...

That picture totally gives me the heebie jeebies!!!! However I must say that I don't use it near as often as I'd like to. I just don't feel it... Boo.

Congrats on getting one though! Yay for getting internet back too!

Kristine Asselin said...

Congrats on THE END! And I totally laugh when people say they are letting their books "marinate" -- but it's so true! Good luck with revisions.

Shelly said...

I ususally work on another writing project while I let the finished one crockpot.

Summer plans: Go to work and lop air. Clean house. Cook meals. Do the laundry. Read new authors. And repeat. Going overseas in September.

Cherie Reich said...

Congratulations on finishing the first draft!

I tend to work on other stories when I'm not working on a manuscript.

As for plans for the summer, it's more of the same: work, editing, writing, and reading. I am looking forward to seeing Harry Potter, though, next week, even though it's the end.

Tracy said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

Whoa, she is scary. I have a Nook, but it's the same basica principle and I LOVE it. Only downside is, I don't have to swing by the store in order to spend too much money on books. *sigh*

Gah, keeping away is tough. I agree you need the break, but in the crazy schedule that is publishing these days, even as a published author, you may not get a whole lot of time to let things marinate. :o(

Matthew MacNish said...

I haven't had any MS down time lately, because I basically set myself up for a lot of work when I wrote such a long first draft.

Oh well, at least it gives me something to do.

And I'm reading my first book on my Kindle right now! It's very cool, but not quite the same as a real book.

My favorite thing is all the free public domain classic books. I already have like 30 books on mine and I didn't pay a thing!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Yeah, I'd have to say that the Emily Dickinson drawing creeps me out, too. Poor lady! I can totally see her locked away in her house, scribbling poetry.

You KNOW I have a hard time stepping away from my work and letting it rest. Right now I am trying to be more active on blogs/Twitter/etc, read more on my Kindle, beta read a manuscript I just got last night, and plan the make-over of the children's playroom. And maybe ease myself back into another manuscript I started a couple months back.

Congrats on finishing KISSING. Waiting anxiously to hear about revisions!

Anne Gallagher said...

Congrats on finishing. That's so exciting. And the premise of the book is fab! I can't wait to read it.

You know what I'm doing for summer vacay so...nothing to live vicariously through there.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Yay, congrats on finishing! That's always fun.

No big plans this summer. Maybe go the beach once or twice. Other than that, I hope to get my two finished stories ready to query agents hardcore before school resumes. *crosses fingers*

mshatch said...

congrats on finishing! I think it's a good idea to put it away for a bit, too. It gives me perspective and enough time to forget stuff so when I pick it up again I'll be more likely to catch the bad parts.

Jess said...

Woo-hoo! Congrats on finishing the draft! And now the face of poor, creepy Emily will be in my head all day.

Kristie Cook said...

Yay for finishing! Enjoy your reading break. Looks like you have some good ones on your reading pile.

Johanna Garth said...

Congratulations to you! So glad you are going to have some time to rest and relax before diving back into the editing process. Can't wait to hear your book recommendations with all the unfettered reading you'll be doing on your Kindle!

Hart Johnson said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I like to do a WriMo in-between--break neck speed on a DIFFERENT writing project... I definitely rotate projects. I find I do the best eith editing if I actually sit away from it for at least 3 months (though after 6 I get rusty). I think beta reading for someone else is ALSO an excellent way to prep--it gets you in a frame of mind to see the problems when the problems aren't YOURS, and then you come back to yours with fresh eyes. I just started editing, after doing a WriMo in June... I have two projects I will alter editing on the rest of the summer (working on the second while peers have the first)

Sarah Tokeley said...

Congratulations on finishing the first draft!

I've only finished one so it's not a habit yet but i started something else and crammed in a ton of reading!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Congrats! I love typing those words :)

The kids and I are being lazy while hubby works hard. I love summer!

Jennifer said...

Congrats on finishing! I have the NOOK app on my iPad. I have spent so much more money on books because of how easy it is to order and the instant access is perfect for my impatience. We have no big plans this summer just taking little trips here and there. We do have a big Harry Potter movie premiere weekend planned for next week.

April Plummer said...

That's awesome that you're finished! Such a good feeling! Ride that writers high!!! Congrats!

No internet for 2 days?!? OMG, as much as my husband shuns technology, we'd both die! haha

I do not have a Kindle and don't think I ever will, but that doesn't mean I look down at ya'll who have one.

Glad you had a happy bday!

My manuscript downtime...I don't exactly give myself one, but I end up with them b/c of life. So I guess you could say I immerse myself in life - family, books, friends and whatever's going on at any given moment which right now is so much it's pulling me away from my writing. Ah well. Se la vi!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Reading is ALWAYS a good idea after a first draft is finished - it helps get your own voice out of your head. :) Great post!

Lindsay said...

Congrats on getting the first draft done!

As for writing, I don't tend to have downtime. My MS marinates with my CPs, then I edit it. After that I'm usually thinking about a new idea as soon as I've finished the previous one. I do give myself some non-writing time though (where I read and plan/think about the new WIP) to get the new MC's voice.

Unknown said...

Congratulations on finishing your first draft! It's always an awesome feeling to type out those two words.

When I finished the first draft of my current WIP last November (my 2010 NaNoNovel) I stepped away for over a month. I had family come in to visit and then Christmas, so I kept busy. Now, after trying to edit it, I'm completely re-writing it. Ha. Some break after the first draft!

Unknown said...

Emily Dickinson there reminds me of the painting in Ghostbusters 2.

When I finish a first draft, I try to find people to read it. Then I remind them, "Hey, remember how you said you'd read my novel and give me feedback?" Then I offer ice cream to the first person to actually finish it.

Then I eat the ice cream myself because it's been three weeks good god how long does it take you to finish one book mmm ice cream.

And then I read, because I tend not to read much while I'm writing, and I end up with huge backlogs.

Congrats to you!

Ainsley Shay said...

I'm very jealous - "I don't think my brain knows what "down time" is! It's constantly thinking of new scenes and novel ideas. Although, I try to fit in reading whenever I can.

Enjoy your summer and your Kindle!

Congratulations on typing "The End"!

Sarah said...

Huge congratulations on finishing your first draft! And--you don't want to know my summer plans. Apart from writing a new book ... I am planning absolutely nothing fun.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Woo Hoo! Congratulations on finishing. Oh, and Happy Birthday too. Hope you get some relaxing down time before diving into those revisions. Savor being done.

Laura Maylene said...


During my manuscript downtime, I usually work on other projects -- essays, short stories, etc. Or, you know, watch the entire series of My So-Called Life. What? Who said that?

I am gearing up to complete what I hope might be the final revisions of my novel, which I've been working on few a few years now. So that will keep me busy until at least September. I envy your manuscript downtime...I always love that satisfied feeling of knowing you wrote the first draft and so CAN'T continue to work on it for at least a little while to let it settle. Jealous.

Tamara Narayan said...

I'm spending the summer at home too. I hope to get to the end of my first draft while the kiddies are at camp. I just got a Nook and need to learn how to check out ebooks from my local library.

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS on finishng the first draft.

Stephanie Hayes said...

THANK YOU. I'm personally creeped out by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I'll set the thing down for a second, come back, and she's STARING at me. So disconcerting.


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