Monday, December 3, 2012

I WON NaNoWriMo 2012! Now What?...

I can't believe it. After 30 days of writing abandon, we made it through. A relatively small number of us won the challenge and wrote a jaw-dropping 50,000 words during the month of November. Pat yourself on the back, raise a toast, eat a whole chocolate cake by yourself- what ever it takes to make you feel the weight of this accomplishment. That's a lot of work, people. It's 150 pages in a paperback novel- it's 100 times the length of the average college freshman English paper, and it required a daily commitment to put writing at the top of the list. Really. Wow.

But now what?!
You know you love my little naked stick person sitting at her 2D laptop. Hush!

Now we have ourselves 50,000 words (or more- you overachievers) but where do we go from here? Most of us are only half way up the ladder at this point. 50,000 words, although a trial to produce in a month's time, is not quite what most consider a full-length novel. But it's close! In the book Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham he states that the average novel is between 60-90,000 words finished to meet both minimum standards of most readers and maximum costs for publishing- though I'd wager those figures aren't set in're losing us A.B....

Ok, sorry- so what do you do now? The point of the previous paragraph was to let you know that if you're not quite done with your novel, then you're probably right on track. If you are done- well, that's fine too because next is....

That's right, ol' buddy ol' pal, when you finally get to "The End" you'll have to start over again at "Once Upon a Time" and rewrite your baby from start to finish again. This part is often dreaded, but I'm looking forward to it....perhaps I'm nuts. But I've gotten a lot of inspiration from fellow writers including Veronica Roth, Liz Schulte that are super first draft cheerleaders. "Just get it on paper," they say, "then fix it!" And I'm looking forward to fixing this one, because let me tell you- it's a MESS! 

I changed characters'  and places names half-way through, wrote scenes out of order, and flat out skipped portions that I didn't fully realize yet in favor of those that I did- all in a mad dash to scrape out my 50K- which worked, so I have no hard feelings but the re-read may just leave me scratching my head on where to begin. But for that, I have help- authors that have come before me and detailed their struggles and their tried and true ways to attack that monstrous first draft and make it a lovely best seller.

So, for those of you that have post-NaNo letdown and lots of free time now that you have cleared your calendar and created for yourself some mighty fine daily writing habits- enjoy a few days of free time, reconnect with your loved ones, feed your pets (actually, you should have done that the whole month, I forgot to tell you), or even write to fill that aching void, but come back

We can't just leave seedling masterpieces to rot in the dungeon, freeze in the rain, or collect dust like an old relic. They still need babying and lots of love to get where they want to be, CAN BE, and WILL BE-- on our book shelf in hardback!

Lots of writing love, A.B. Harms

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous! Looking forward to a peek at the first draft!!!


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