Monday, October 27, 2014

Nanoing To Success | NaNoWriMo Prep (part 4)

I'll admit that this post isn't necessarily about NaNoWriMo Prep, as much as it is about what to do after National Novel Writing Month.

So there you are. Sitting in a word coma. Shocked you made it to November 30th and your 50k deadline.

Reflected in the whites of your eyes is the bulk of your 30 days of blood, sweat, and tears. Your wonderful, amazing, award winning...okay, more like messy and haphazard, manuscript.

Now what?

First, go take a shower and eat some real food. Then, take at least a month off. Yes, you heard me right. Your hard earned work needs a little bit of alone time before you start ripping it to shreds, because I'm going to give it to you strait.

It probalby sinks.

Now, I won't speak for everyone because maybe you're just really great at writing on the spot for 30 days and not doing any editing, but for the rest of us in the real world, we'll need to spend some time--maybe lots of time--on our book to get it into shape. So, here's my advice for taking the next step with your novel.

 7 NaNoWriMo Novel Boot Camp Tips 

**I'm writing on the assumption you've finished the book. 50k isn't really 'finished' for most novels so you may want to kick in a few extra days/weeks at the end of NaNoWriMo to get to the end before starting in on these steps. 

1. Rest
Maybe you don't have the luxury of stopping all writing completely, but I would highly recommend giving yourself a break from your NaNo novel. Why? Because you've just spent way too many waking hours agonizing over this thing of beauty. It needs time to recede from the shores of your mind so that you can accurately pull it back togehter.

2. Read
Take this glorious off-time to refresh not only your body, but your mind. Pick up a book (not your book) and read, read, read. Enjoy a story that doesn't need to be created! Be inspired.

3. Prepare
As a month (or whatever time period you need) comes to completion, start preparing yourself for edits. Ugh, dreaded edits and revisions! But, as I've come to realize, a book is not written in a first draft, but in multiple drafts.

4. Start
This is possibly the hardest part. Starting the revision and editing process. Take your time, but be diligent.

5. Finish
Push through to the end. You'll be tempted to keep editing the first chapter (or first three in my case) but don't let that keep you from getting to the end.

6. Repeat
Yep, you heard me. Make it to the end, then start again. Revision is a beautiful, delicate process--haha who am I kidding? It can be painful and frustrating! But it's just what your book needs.

7. Release
What do I mean? Let the book go... and I mean it. Really let it go. Have someone you trust read it! I'd recommend someone who has experience critiquing, but get it away from your own eyes and into those of another. They'll be able to see plot or character flaws, and their helpful criticisms will help you grow as a writer, even if you don't like what they say at first ;)

So...are you ready? We've got 4 days and a few odd hours before we get to DIVE IN! I can't wait and hope that I can interact with you all here on the blog.

I'll be doing updates when possible and would love to keep up with your progress here on Thinking Thoughts and on my Facebook page