I have finished the first draft of my first novel, a work of LGBT gothic fiction/horror. I have 5-6 people who said they are happy to look at it as alphas, but I have no idea what to do in the meantime.

I have a journalistic background, so I am used to fast turnarounds. Obviously that cannot be the case here, and I have asked the alphas to do as much as they can in the next three months, which I think is a reasonable timeframe. But then there are revisions and then betas! The whole thing will take so long, and I am not expecting to send the book to agents for publication consideration for another year or so.

What shall I do in the meantime? I have started promoting the concept art for the novel but just want to do something else proactive. What should I do while I wait?

2 Answers 2


I think Brandon Sanderson talks about this in his writing course. Maybe you can find the relevant video, if you want to. I do it a bit like him. Here's my process:

  1. Write a novel or whatever
  2. Send it to my alpha readers
  3. While I wait, revise my previous novel
  4. Send the previous novel to the beta readers or editor or whatever the next step is
  5. Receive the feedback from alphas and revise the present novel, then send it off to the betas
  6. Begin planning and researching the next novel
  7. Get one of the unpublished projects back from whoever and revise
  8. Start writing the next novel
  9. etc.


Revise the previous novel or write the next novel.


You finished a novel! Good Job. Now, if I were you, it'd be time to take a break. I'd do something else. Pick up a new book series, write a short story, or even start your next novel. When your Alpha readers finish, you'll be able to look over your story with fresh eyes and use their feedback to make it better.

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