After NaNoWriMo

What Comes Next?

So you took the challenge of writing 50,000 words, whether or not you made that goal, it is time to decide how to proceed.

1. Finish the novel. You've got the momentum, ride it out. Get the story out of your head. Once "The End" is on the page, you can say you've written a book. You're now an author!

2. Take a breather. That's right, give your story a rest. A month or two is good then you'll be able to look at it with fresh eyes. During the waiting period read up on craft, journal story ideas or make an outline and start writing another manuscript.

3. Join a critiquing group or enroll in a writing/editing seminar. Whether local or online. It helps to have others to bounce things off of and give helpful hints to improve your work. It's nice to talk with people who are going through the same process and can relate. If you Google "critique groups" several sites will come up like Critique Circle and Roses Colored Glasses.

4. Start the editing process. First read through your story but don't do a major rewrite yet. Make notes, highlight words or phrases as you read, that way it will catch your eye when you settle down for a deep edit. Color code the highlights for remembering help. Like blue for a POV switch or green for adding more detail.

Your word count will grow and shrink as you bulk up the good parts and trim the fat. POV might change and you're favorite B character might become you're favorite and scream for his own novel. Don't worry about time but know that investing it will result in a better manuscript. It takes time and diligence to smooth out the ROUGH draft.


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