Of Writers and Prose: After NaNoWriMo. Now What?
December 8, 2014 2 Comments
Well, I did it. I completed the National Novel Writing Month goal with a total of just over 51k. I wasn’t sure if I could do it or not, but a mad dash of writing 5k during the final week and I caught up and crossed the goal line a day early. I’m still not finished my story though. Just a couple more chapters and it’s done, but I accomplished what I set out to do.
It’s been just over a week now since the end of the competition. Some of you might feel a little drained (like me), and some of you might still hold that excitement. The fact you’re one step closer to accomplishing your goal in incredible. You’ve come a long way, so trust me when I give you this little piece of advice.
Put it away. Don’t look at it, work on it. Nothing. Trunk that puppy for at least a month, and by all means DON’T SEND YOUR NOVEL OUT TO AGENTS OR PUBLISHERS!
I can’t stress that last statement enough.
National Novel Writing Month is a bit of a miss-labelling. It really should be called National First Draft of a Novel Month, because what we’ve accomplished isn’t anywhere near ready to be called a novel. Sure, it’s over the required word count, but it needs revisions, and edits. Please don’t think your novel doesn’t. All authors, even the well-known ones, understand that a novel only comes about after revisions and edits are made. Plot elements that need to be tidied up or flushed out, dialogue made better, prose tightened. Some people like to start on it right away, but I suggest you let it lie, so to speak. Give your mind some time to relax. It doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about your novel, just the opposite. If an idea comes to you, jot it down. If a good conversation pops into your head, jot it down, but don’t work directly on your novel. Put it away, enjoy the holidays, and start with a fresh mind in January.
Enjoy the holidays. Relax, spend time with family and friends, because come the new year, we dive into revisions and edits, and if you think NaNoWriMo made you anti-social, just wait until you’re deep in revisions…