Now, Later, Never: When to Make Big Changes to Your Novel

Here are some pros and cons to all three paths.

A novel is a long, long project.

A novel is also a living, breathing thing. There is no way, no matter how diligent you are with plotting and planning, to know exactly how the story will unfold until you’ve written it.

When that happens, you have three choices.

Edit Now

If you get 10,000 words in and decide, for example, that your Main Character should be married — if you’re an Edit Now person, you’d stop writing and go back through the first 10,000 words of your story to add in a spouse.

Edit Later

So, if your MC aquires a spouse as you’re moving into the second act, you’ll write from that point on as if the spouse has always been there, and then in revision add the spouse to the first act.

Don’t Make Big Changes at All

If your MC isn’t married at the start, they stay single all the way through — even if you’re pretty sure your story would benefit from giving them a spouse.

I’m an Edit Later girl.

Learn. Write. Repeat. Visit me at ninjawriters.org. Reach me at shauntagrimes@gmail.com. (My posts may contain affiliate links!)

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