I let my first draft novel marinate for six months #writers #writing


After NaNoWriMo I was advised to let my novel stew in its own juices for a period of time. Someone used the phrase ‘let it marinate’. So I leapt into culinary action. Before I launch into a list of the things I did whilst my draft novel was marinating in a pot, I just want to share with you what I used for the marinade:

  • Red wine
  • Onion
  • A sprig of thyme
  • Garlic
  • Herbs of Provence – sigh!

If anyone has a different recipe for marinating a first draft please share!


Here is a list of the things I did whilst the first draft of my novel was marinating for six months in a red pot:

1. Blogged everyday – my post archive now makes me feel tired just looking at it.

2. Wrote zillions of short stories about talking creatures / food items and killer waitresses

3. Moaned about my first draft a lot on my blog / to loved ones / any stranger who would listen.

4. Wrote my first draft off as a failure in my head

5. Wrote a song to Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Up’ Melody called ‘Send it Off’ – sigh!

6. Found Twitter in January and developed a healthy tweeting obsession.

7. Stuffed my face with cheese, chocolate and peanut butter cereal bars.

8. Reviewed other writer’s unpolished drafts and learnt a lot

9. Reviewed other writer’s books and did some reviews

10. Read zillions of books and blogs

11. Danced like crazy at every opportunity (quiet supermarket aisles, deserted streets, car parks)

12. Fell in love with a load of other new story ideas but then realised that I was going to have to confront the smelly thing in the red pot!


 photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/97844767@N00/34581376″>My pride and joy</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

37 thoughts on “I let my first draft novel marinate for six months #writers #writing

  1. Phew! For a second there I thought you were saying you were GOING to let it stew for 6 months. Okay now that my heart is out of my throat and back in its proper place, this made me smile! Ps. My sister asked me today to read to her more of your blog postings. You have a new fan. She is not really computer and social media world savvy so she follows your blog through me 😉

      1. Thank you kindly! That was the most recent picture I could get my hands on. This I took from Facebook. I tried the whole selfie thing and taking them is not in my skill set…sigh

  2. The longest I could ever wait was about six weeks, and that was because I was writing a new novel. I admire your will power. Well, back to the track edits. Have a fabulous weekend, my blonde friend! *waves*

  3. I let my first finished ms sit for almost 7 years while I wrote other ones. Finally took it out last year. It’s being released next month. 🙂
    I guess you could say I’m patient. But 6 months is a good healthy break. And someone once told me that if you like your story, your readers will too. That always stuck with me.
    If you ever need another reader, let me know.

  4. How much longer do you have or are you now reading through the first draft, tweaking and such as you go? It’s hard to leave it sit. Mine is impatiently sitting in a folder of one of my many back up drives, drumming it’s nails on the cover beckoning me to open it once again.

  5. I usually also add a good amount of Garam Masala and Chilli powder to the marinade, but you know it’s just an Indian thing 😛

    For me, the best part was your “Send it off” 😀 I still hum to it once in a while.

  6. I let my first draft stew at various points for one, one and two months, and during those months I wrote a second book, which was stewing while I was working on the first book. As a result, the first book is back-burnered and I’m publishing the second in September. More constructive use of stewing time, but who knew at the time?

  7. Danced like crazy at every opportunity (quiet supermarket aisles, deserted streets, car parks) – Yes! Love it. That’s how to live! 🙂

  8. 6 months, you are determined and awesome! I agree that sometimes a book needs time to marinate; I suggest adding sea salt. I did the same thing. 🙂 My book looked like a whirlwind mess when I came back to it.

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