Stupid Question: How long do you wait till you start the edits of your first draft?

Just curious!
I finished my novel July 24 of this year. Anyway, I am curious to know how long do you personally wait to start edits for your first draft. Does it take you weeks or a few months or a few days?

I need your personal opinion on this one.

What are your thoughts?


It’s variable. Ideally it’s once the first taste of the story has faded so that I’m looking at it with eyes not caught up in the original build. Some stories, that can take a good year to do.

For others under a time constraint, it’s a matter of forcing myself to look at it in a different way.

For example, the two I did for ONC, they were edited directly after the first draft. So they are both complete, in a basically finalized mode within a month’s time. But it’s only now that I’m thinking back that I managed to mentally put aside a lot of the details of both. So, I think a safe “fresh edit” is about 2-3 months for me–and I didn’t take that time. The final edit on To Make a Kinder Children’s Tale was done just behind those two about 2-3 years after writing it.

Now, all of that was done with extremely minimal feedback, which at the best means it’s not been edited for an audience…although one did get some feedback of someone who disliked it: which is actually useful, at times.


I usually wait minimum 3 months, but can wait up to a year. The smallest wait time I’ve had is 2 months, and thats only because I wanted to add it onto Radish after approval. It needs another run through but I was happy with the 2nd draft XD


I usually start something new and then anytime I want to work on something else or don’t want to work on the one I’m writing I do the edits.


It depends on where the feedback is sitting. Normally, I want at least 1 serious beta reader to have finished the book completely, 2 or 3 is even better. Plus, when another book(S) are finished or if there is ONC going on.

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I usually start editing immediately since I’ve forgotten the beginning by the time I get to the end anyhow. (♯^.^ღ)


Depends what type of edit you mean. If there’s a scene or two you neglected to write into the initial manuscript, you can go in and write it/them pretty much asap. I’d even say something similar if you wanna rewrite any scenes.
If you’re talking about nitty-gritty revisions, though, I’d wait six months to a year if it’s something you’re serious about. Work on other projects in the meantime and read books to cleanse your palate and remind you what prose and pacing look like in edited pieces.

If it’s something you’re just putting out for fun, though, use your own discretion. It’s usually more fun to do your edits while you still have the momentum of finishing a manuscript.


Depends on my mood, really. Sometimes straight away, sometimes a few days/weeks/months later :thinking: