It's October and I finally finished my summer novel. It feels like a weight's been lifted off my shoulders. I know the work is only beginning, but for right now I'm thrilled to bits. My characters, setting, plot, subplots, and the solution has all been worked out.
More relief when I print every last page, put it in a folder, and file it away until at least two months have passed. I can do what I want, I can laze around, or start something new. Since the next few months are filled with holiday plans and activities, I know it will sit and collect dust until the end of January.
When that time comes I think the most interesting part of writing begins. I sit back with a pencil in hand and grade it like a teacher. If I have spent enough time away from it, I see and understand things from a new point of view. Usually, this is where I find errors, and more importantly, plot point holes that I could have sworn were in the manuscript but resided only in my head.
Once that is finished, back to the computer to make the changes. I always hope that I did such a good job that it's now perfect, but I've never had that kind of luck. There always seems to be a whole new crop of annoying little problems with each reading, until I think I can't find anymore. Then a critique partner or group finds the rest and helps make it even better.
What do you do when your rough draft is finally finished?