NaNoWriMo: Now What?

If you're one of the nearly 400,000 worldwide participants in National Novel Writing Month 2017, you may be wondering what to do when November ends? You're on track to meet your writing goal (or shortly thereafter), you're loving your characters and their experiences. Why keep that to yourself? Get ready to share it with the world--however large a world you choose.

First thing, close your notebook or back up your data files and let the computer cool down. Get outdoors, do some laundry, have friends in for brunch, or any other task that has you breathing fresh air and gets you out of your own head. You'll want a fresh mind when you go back into your writing project.

The revisions stage can be harrowing. Prep your workspace with whatever invites peaceful, happy work. Take twenty minutes to clear off your desk or inspiration board. Shine up the windows, get the floors clean, and turn on some good music that suits the mood of your novel. (Making a novel-revising playlist isn't a bad idea... and when you're terribly famous, and people ask you what music you listened to while writing, you'll be set!)

One of the hardest things to do is read your own work as a reader, not as the author. But give it a shot: read through your novel as if you just picked it up at the bookshop. Does your plot hold up? Are the characters interesting and complete, with sustainable flaws and strengths? Do you like them? If you're not supposed to like them, do you dislike them thoroughly? Read with a notepad near you (or mark up your printed copy), making notes of anything and everything that bugs you, or seems out of place.

Take the time to re-work what doesn't work, even if that section was a favorite. It may be better suited elsewhere in the narrative, or might even belong in a sequel instead. When those sections are altered and completed, and you're ready to have other eyes take a look, run through line by line to catch typographical errors, spelling and duplication errors, and anything that Reader-You would gripe about in a Good Reads review.

With your own editing and revision work finished and your confidence bolstered by the feedback from chosen beta-readers, you're ready to make choices about shopping the project around to agents and editors or to contemplate self-publishing options.

And of course, if you're wanting an extra set of professional eyes on the project, click through to contact Jollington Press about our editorial services; we stand ready to assist at each stage!