So after finishing the first draft of the WIP, the next step is reading it. See what I've got, see if the tone is consistent, if the characters have come alive and whether there are any huge plot holes.
Some people recommend letting the first draft sit for a while before you start reading it. They say give it a week or two or twelve, until you can come back to it with fresh eyes. I agree with that advice 100%. I believe you do need distance to evaluate the work subjectively. So did I follow that advice, did I let my baby sit there and whine for my attention for a whole week.
It didn't even sit there for a full day. I read it for the first time less than twenty hours after I finished it. I read it for the second time about 12 hours later. I found it rather surprising, actually. And very satisfying. For one thing it was much, MUCH better than I was expecting. The writing wasn't nearly as horribly, eye-meltingly bad as I'd expected. And the storyline was there--no serious plot holes. But the best part was the characters, from the first paragraph they virtually leapt off the page. The pace and the tone were just about perfect...at least IMO... but the biggest surprise was the arrangement of POV scenes. While writing it, it felt like it was really heavy on the hero's POV. So I figured I'd be revamping some of his scenes into hers. But upon reading it, I found the balance in POVs was there too. In fact, there might be just a few more scenes in her POV--so I won't have to worry about doing any swapping.
I gave myself Saturday to mull over new ideas, and then I started revisions on Sunday. I was just too anxious; I didn't want to wait any longer. So far I love how it’s turning out. I love the dynamics of the characters; I love how they bounce off each other. But as I expected the revisions are going much slower than the first draft did.
I have, however, been meeting my daily goals. I got 2100 words revised on Sunday and then 1000 each day for Monday, Tuesday and today. Monday and Tuesday were tough, since work's been hellish and I'd only revised about half what I needed before I left for work. So when I got home those two days I still had from 400-500 words left to revise. But I survived, and I got the words, and no matter how long it took me to find the ones I wanted to keep--I did find them. This morning went much better. I got up at 4 am and was able to get my entire 1000 words revised before work. Then I got a few more at work and after work.
But best of all I finished the final scene in the first chapter. Tomorrow I'll do a final tweak and polish of this first chapter and then I'm calling it good and moving on.
That's what I have to learn next, when to call it good and let it go.
TGE (That's Good Enough) it’s my new motto.