Monday, December 5, 2016

5 Tips -- NaNoWriMo Is Over -- Now What?

National Novel Writing Month -- November is over and I can happily say that I was one of the thousands across the country who participated and made my 50-thousand word goal. That was one of the reasons I took the month off from this weekly blog. Now I am ready to dig in and really finish off the project so that it can be sent off to an editor or publisher.

So what steps should you take now that you have finished your NaNoWriMo project? Well, first, even if you didn't finish it, don't despair.  Think of all the words you did get written last month and hopefully you were able to establish some writing habits that will stay with you--things like writing sprints or even write-ins.  I attended several and though I barely said two words to people at some of them, in others I would chat with others taking a break and we talked about our stories. No matter what, it always energized me.

So now what do you do?

1. Let the novel sit--for a few days. It has been almost a week since the ending of NaNoWriMo, so I always suggest that people walk away from the work and take a break if they have been extensively writing. That can re-energize you.

2. Fix things you absolutely need to fix.  There are times not  to let it sit. If you wrote something at the end that changed an event or character earlier in the book and the thought is driving you crazy, then by all means don't wait for a week or a month. Go back in and fix them immediately or write a new scene so that you can appreciate the break when you take it.

3. Re-visit easy problems. Again, if you can't let it go, then go back through your notes and look at some of the places you know need fixing and work on them before you forget. Fix the little things so that when you come back for a full edit you have some of the work done.

4. Look over your notes. You don't need to work on everything right away, but you might go back through any notes you made as you were writing the book or during NaNoWriMo and start thinking about how you will fix them during editing. Consider how to fix plot holes that you dug yourself into with your quick writing during November.

5. Enjoy your success. Celebrate what you have done and give yourself credit for all the writing you did during November. Even if you didn't make the 50-thousand word goal, celebrate the words you did get written. The month undoubtedly produced more than you would have written if you didn't participate.

Then, after a few days or even weeks of rest get ready to start the editing. We'll have more on that and on finishing up the writing year as we move closer to 2017--a whole new year!

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