A question that has been on my mind as I dive through the first drafts of each book in my trilogy, The Storm Inside, is if I should take a break between each draft.
I took it upon myself to conduct an experience to answer this question. After I finished the first book, The Storm Inside, I leapt directly into The Fire Inside. But after writing The Fire Inside, I took a break that lasted about 2 weeks before starting The Leader Inside.
Which one worked best?
- Look at a case study for taking breaks between drafts
- Apply the lesson learned to your own writing
Transition One: No Break
As soon as I finished The Storm Inside, I jumped directly into The Fire Inside.
Things I instantly noticed:
- It felt forced
- It was difficult to continue my writing habits
- The characters didn’t feel right
During the whole book, I had a lot of trouble. Character personalities were mixed up, I constantly didn’t feel motivated to write (I did write, though) and it ended up being about 30k less than The Storm Inside. I kind of expected it to be shorter, just by looking at my outline, so that’s not the biggest point I’d ever make during this case study; however, I do believe that I could have achieved a larger word count if I’d felt more motivated to write. I’m pretty sure I skimped on some parts a bit just to get past them.
Transition Two: Break
When I finished The Fire Inside, my Easter break was just about over. I’d pounded out the end in my week-long break (about 14k) and I really did feel ready to have a break. For about 2 weeks, I stayed away from the stories, though I did work on outlining a character arc for my main character in The Triad of Caosdif on paper.
I finally came back to my writing in the middle of a school week.
Things I instantly noticed:
- I immensely enjoyed writing the story
- The characters were much easier to slip into (and keep their personalities apart), even after the change they were supposed to go through in book 2
- It was still difficult to pick up on my writing habits, but this time it was because my morning schedule changed slightly, and I still had to figure out how to get everything done in the morning and my writing
I will note that book 2 was supposed to be the darkest of the 3 books in the trilogy, so maybe my having a tough time with it had something to do with that (and my enjoyment of writing book 3 afterwards). I don’t know.¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Overall, from trying out both methods myself, I have found that taking a break can result in writing more words, and more easily as well.
I would definitely recommend taking breaks between each part of a project you do. (For example, between rewriting and editing)
Now it’s your turn!
The next time you finish something in your writing, make sure to take a break before you dive into the next part of your work. You’ve got this. 😃
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