Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I wrote a NaNo book. Now what?

                  Winner of the Rachel Vincent contest is Liz Czukas!  Congrats, Liz!

Agents all over are cringing as they open their email inboxes today. Why are they cringing? Because NaNoWriMo is officially over, and writers all over are sending in their manuscripts. If you know what’s wrong with that statement, then you can stop reading! : D LOL.

For everyone else, listen carefully! :D Do NOT send those novels. Just because they’re complete, doesn’t mean they’re finished. You have a TON left to do. Like editing, revising, more editing, rewriting. Sending to betas, more rewriting. More betas. Are we seeing a pattern?

It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it when you get feedback from an agent/editor saying it’s well written and they want your work.

The best advice for what to do with it now? Nothing. Set it off to the side. Let it mature for a few weeks to a month or so, while you write something else. Why? Because absence makes the heart grow fonder. Seriously, though, it’s because you need distance from your story, so you can see all it’s flaws.

Right now you’re enamored with it, and you won’t be able to see the things as clearly as you should.

And while you’re waiting, write that next novel. After all, the only thing that sets an author apart from others is the fact they write. And with each subsequent story, you get better.

So, please, no matter how much you love that story you just wrote, be kind to the agents and editors who are fearful of their inboxes this month and “just say nay.”


  1. Great advice. I have no problem setting aside my NaNo novel before diving in to revise. I need some distance. Meanwhile, I have a new idea and schoolwork to keep me busy. :)

  2. I agree with you. I wrote a novel in Nano and I don't plan to pursue nor to send it somewhere when I know it's just a baby. Right now, I'm reading Stephen King's On writing and maybe later I'll rewrite it and see where it goes from there.

  3. Amen! I just hope the right people read this!

    - Liz

  4. Wow, I would cringe for the agents unfortunate enough to receive my manuscript in its current condition. Forget unrevised--the first draft is not even finished!

  5. Good advice! My NaNo... the day after finishing I woke up early and sort of wandered around with my NaNoWriMo coffee cup not knowing what to do, so I started editing. Now I am reading "Dialogue" by Gloria Kempton and "Between the Lines: Mastering the subtle elements of fiction writing" by Jessica Page Morrell. And editing. I polished up the first chapter and posted it online to get some feedback, which was encouraging. But I accept that there is real work to be done yet, and it will take time. ~Janice Phelps Williams


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