What Do I Do Now That Nano’s Over? (And an Update on my Personal Challenge)

It’s the 30th!  Time’s up!  How’d you do?

Well, 50K or not, you now, no doubt, find yourselves with at least part of a novel.  Some of it may actually be usable.  But what do you do with yourself now that the Nano rush is over?

Well, DON’T STOP WRITING.  I mean, you can, if you really want, but here’s the thing — if you want to be a writer, if this is something you enjoyed and would like to keep doing, you can’t stop now that November is over.  You need to dedicate some time on a regular basis to the craft.

But back to your book or part of a book.  You have some options.

1. Burn it in effigy.
Sometimes you get nothing useful.  The characters are all wrong.  The plot is so full of holes mice think it is cheese.  You don’t have to do anything with a worthless draft.  You can lock it in a drawer and forget it ever existed.  It’s okay; we won’t judge you.

2. Keep going.
It’s okay if you didn’t finish your whole draft during Nano.  In fact, unless you can pull out a decent 70-80K in a month, I’d be concerned if you had.  50K?  Generally not long enough for a novel, unless you are writing children’s or some adult genres.  So if things were flowing, and you were generally feeling okay about things, why not keep going until the end?

3. Put it away and work on something else.
This tends to be what I do, depending on how I’m feeling, but I tend to find that after Nano I just don’t want to look at that particular project for some time.  Not a problem.  I have tons of projects to work on.  If you do too, don’t feel bad switching to something else come December.

4. Edit.
If you ARE someone who can whip out a draft in a month, you may find yourself with a draft and no idea what to do with it.  Here are things NOT to do: Do not query agents.  Do not self-publish it.  Do not give it to people for Christmas unless they are very forgiving people and love you no matter what you do.  No matter how well it flowed, I can guarantee that you need to sit down and edit the hell out of the thing.  There will be typos and odd bits of grammar, plot points you forgot that you forgot, and you may realize that you accidentally changed a character’s name halfway through the book.  Drafts can always be made better.  If you’re done writing, give it a try.

Nano has a whole forum devoted to ideas and plans now that Nano is over.  Feel free to join in there and see if you can’t get any ideas or find new friends to join you in your endeavors.

As for my grand 100K, two book plan — well.  Let’s just say that it halted after the first book.  I just couldn’t bring myself to start a second book halfway through the month.  I have 300 words on the second book.  I didn’t even bother to finish the sentence I was on before I gave up.  So, in the end, it was just a regular one book, 50K month, although it was the second half of a book instead of the first.

How has November treated you, Squiders?  Any tales of terror or triumph?

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Christopher on 2011/11/30 at 8:15 PM

    Just shy of 59k– that’s groovy, but doesn’t do half as much for me as does the fact that my fourteen tear-old daughter did the Young Writer’s Program, met her 30k self-set goal and then some (and is currently trying to make 40k before bedtime)!

    The big thing from her point of view, though, was winning one of the coveted slots in the “30 Covers, 30 Days” event– especially since she thought they only did the YWP covers on Mondays (they said as much) and hers popped up yesterday. She keeps it open and looks at it occasionally while typing.

    That’s my kid!


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