Monday, November 5, 2012


That time of year is here once more - National Novel Writing Month.

Many of my fellow writers are working to meet their 50,000-word goal, including me.

Now that The Daemon Device, Book 2 of the Aetheric Artifacts, is in the hands of my beta-readers, my focus is on writing the rough draft of Book 3.

The thing to keep in mind is NaNoWriMo is just a beginning.  You do not have a finished product at the end of the month, or even when you complete the novel.  It is a rough draft in need of self-editing and outside editing, then even more self-editing and yet another round of outside editing.  That is at a minimum.

Agents and publishers say they really hate the months after NaNo, because of the amount of obvious rough drafts they see.  They are prepared to reject, reject, reject.  If you are writing for the fun of it, then that is one thing.  If you are writing something you hope to see published, then understand the 50K or longer novel you are writing will be in dire need of polishing.

Have fun with NaNo.  Write.  Then, once the novel is done, set it aside and clear your mind before returning to it.  Enjoy the holiday season.  Return to the novel with a fresh set of eyes in a month or two.  Proofread.  Edit, whether you need to buff it up or trim it down.

Then send it to a trusted writing buddy (two or three is even better).  I'm not talking about your parents or grandparents.  I'm talking about people who will give you honest, critical input, and check for errors, plot holes, and problems with continuity.  Look at their suggestions and corrections.  After incorporating any changes and making corrections, send the novel out again to someone for proofreading. 

Yes, this takes months, but publishing is not an instantaneous process.  The idea is not immediate gratification. 

The number one complaint I see in reviews of books, especially ones that are self-published or with brand new micro presses, is the lack of editing.  Goodness knows the Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check forum at Absolute Write is full of cautionary tales about wannabe-publishers who put out terrible products; probably books that could otherwise be very good if the writer looked beyond "Hey, I just wrote down over 50,000 words for NaNo.  Now I can get an agent or a publisher!"

You do not want to be that author.

Copyright (c) 2012 Wendy L. Callahan

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy all that writing time! I've never been able to complete a Nano, and this year definitely wasn't the time to try but I'm so envious of everyone who's in their writing cave this month!