Word Count: Hopefully 95,000 by the end of the day.
So today we are going to change gears a little bit. I’m going to talk a little about what we’re all going to do after we finish writing our novels. To be honest, I’m writing this right now because I don’t feel like writing my book. I’m at that little lull before everything starts happening, and I need to charge up so I can power through that later.
I wonder how many of you are already done with your NaNoWriMo novels, because typically it doesn’t take all thirty days for someone to finish. I finished on day nine, and then I started slowing down on my way to 100k.
If you have finished your book, Congrats! That’s amazing! You did it! Now think about that book you just wrote. That book is your baby. You suffered through long nights of no sleep and early morning coffee highs to get it finished. You sacrificed your TV time for it. Now think about where you want to take it.
Let me give you a little disclaimer here. NaNoWriMo is all about writing, and you can stop at NaNoWriMo. There’s no contract that is forcing you to do something just because you wrote a book. Your book could sit on your shelf and just be for your eyes only. But even if you aren’t interested in publishing or anything, keep reading. There are things you still might want to do with your accomplishment!
If you are done, or if you are close to being done, what do you plan to do with your work? If you win NaNoWriMo and have registered and validated with the website, then you get to get a free print copy of your novel from FastPencil come December! That’s awesome!
For more details on that, go to the winner’s page that you will get a link to in the email you signed up. It only works in December, though. Anyway, I encourage all of you to order that copy of your book even if you don’t plan on continuing with your story.
And let’s be honest. It’s okay if you get to the end of your novel and think to yourself that it isn’t really something that you want to keep pursuing. That is absolutely okay. Don’t make yourself work towards editing and publishing something that you don’t want to.
Write something else. But get a copy of it anyway, just so you can come back to it one day when you have a different mindset. And don’t delete it. Never delete anything. Even if you never come back to writing it, then you can use parts of it to write other things.
And the great thing about NaNoWriMo is that you don’t have to be committed to writing to participate in it. Write a novel. And write another the next year. You don’t have to do anything with it but that. It’s all part of the fun.
Fun. I know it’s a weird concept to think about as the little antisocial bats that many of us are, plotting evilly in our little caves. But it’s a real thing. It actually exists. Who knew?
Now let’s talk about what to do when you are done and want to keep persuing this book.
Step one is to edit it once.
And maybe a few more times.
My first book went through around eight drafts over two years and at the end I just shook my head and thought “I want to write something else and then come back to it one day.” And I will. Maybe I’ll end up writing the second book or something for NaNoWriMo next year. Who knows.
But drafting is the only way to make it better.
Reread, and ignore the spelling mistakes. Focus on developing your characters a little more, expanding the plot, finding a way to pull out symbolism and the theme a little more. Then go back and take things out. All of those things that you didn’t like to begin with or that you don’t feel fit in.
Keep going over the story until you are completely tired of it, and then look at the grammar and spelling.
Then share it with people. Get some perspective and edit it again.
One thing that I plan to do with my NaNoWriMo novel is to get a printed copy of the final product. I want to do that with every book I write, so that way I have a collection of my accomplishments by the very end of everything.
You want to publish? That’s a whole other part of writing. And you don’t have to do it. I’ll write another post all about pitches and agents and pubslishers. That might actually take several posts… it’s a lot. But look into traditional and self publishing. Look at your options.
And don’t forget about all of the great writing sites out there for publishing your book for anyone to read. And most of them protect your copyright, like Wattpad. I’ll go into Wattpad in another post, because that is a lot to tackle in only a paragraph or two.
And don’t resist publishing just because you don’t want people to read it and know you wrote it. You can be anonymous! Use a pseudonym! If you just want your story out there, you can do that and not have to take the credit for it.
So I guess my challenge for you today is to think about what you might do when you are done with your book. Do you want to head towards getting it published? Do you want to publish it for free online? Do you want to push it aside for now and just work on something else?
You don’t even have to make a decision right now. Just take it into account. Think about it a little.
Sorry this post was so long… this is how I procrastinate.
I post a new NaNoWriMo update every week day on this blog. Like this post if you liked it, and you can follow my website via email, WordPress, or any of the social media widgets on the side. If you are reading this on Goodreads, then you can follow me or add me as a friend!
Also, for one day of NaNoWriMo I will do a Q&A about me, my work, or NaNoWriMo, so if you have questions then comment below or on the Q&A page. Also, I will soon have a page up on this website with details about the beta reading for my nanowrimo novel, which will probably be in March. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry about it yet!
Thanks everyone for reading!