Okay, so a few weeks ago, I blogged about my disgusting habit of throwing up the first draft. It's how I roll, pantser-style, yo.
Of course, you can imagine the mess my document is in by the time I get back to it. Hey, I just realized something! Maybe that's why I have like, eight novels on my hard drive that I've never looked at again. They're just too stinky, too much upchuckage. Or something.
But the ones I do get back to opening, oh man. They're beyond mess.
Here's how I go about cleaning up the puke:
1. Print the MS -- divide it into thirds.
2. Read and make notes on tiny post-its. This sounds fancy. It isn't.
3. NOTE: I don't line edit. I don't rewrite -- yet. I'm simply reading to see if things work. They usually aren't even close.
4. Take the first third. Put on the headphones. Pick up a red pen. Sometimes purple. Whatever.
5. Begin massive rewrite. Focus on A) character B) world and C) the writing. Plot points have been addressed on the tiny post-its.
6. When a tiny post-it comes into play, I turn into a decision-maker: Delete? Rework? If so, how? (Yeah, I'll admit that it's easier for me to delete and completely rewrite. My pages bleed purple on both sides when I'm finished. At least it's pretty.)
7. Begin the second part. Repeat steps 4 - 6. And again for the last third.
8. Transfer to the computer.
9. Beg people to read for me.
10. Repeat steps 2 - 8 based on CP feedback.
I can throw up a first draft in 6 weeks, give or take a week. But the clean-up process is much slower. Sometimes up to 4 months, and that's after I've let the vomit cure for a while.
How do you clean up your puke? Do you work on paper? What color is your pen? How long does this usually take you?