We are in the home stretch of NaNoWriMo! The end is in sight and the words are building up by the day. I love that NaNoWriMo can show you what a daily writing habit can do (or a binge writing habit) and give you ways to track your words. I’m really fond of the graphs that you’re provided with on NaNoWriMo.
So let’s talk about the future. Come December 1, what’s the plan?
If you said send this to publishers and agents, please, please, please do not do that. Your NaNoWriMo novel needs time to become a polished gem. This is likely a very ugly first draft. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s how a majority of writers create. The thing is to not let go and send this story into the world while it’s still a draft like this.
The writing process is very individual but here’s what I do when I finish NaNoWriMo:
1. I set it aside.
I usually don’t look at it for the month of December. I let it sit on my harddrive and ignore it.
2. I read over it.
I download my novel as a pdf and read it on my ipad where I can’t take notes or adjust the words. It forces me to actually read from beginning to end.
3. I make notes of things to change.
Most of the time I have big changes to make with these stories. I mean, giant plot changes for the major points of the story.
4. I start big and work smaller.
Starting with the biggest changes makes it easier to get through the work. There’s no reason to worry over commas when I am going to rewrite a third of the book. Dealing with the big picture problems gives me a pretty draft to come back to.
5. Get feedback.
I send the cleaned up version out to beta readers or friends and get opinions. It’s helpful to have people outside of the process give their opinons.
Those are some simple tips for handling after NaNoWriMo. Just really do not send your NaNoWriMo draft out to publishers or agents on December 1. Please.