Friday, November 27, 2015

So, Now What?

I have been asked several times of late, what I will do when I am done with my novel (the rough draft, of course). So, I decided, I would write about it here, because obviously finishing a novel is not enough writing for me for one day. But, eh, why not?

So, now that I am done with my novel, and I have Backed It Up several thousand times, just for safety; now that I have reveled in the fact that I actually did it, despite what I thought last week; now that I have fawned over the winner's certificate and banner, over the lovely Purple Bar of Awesomeness that I have been awarded, I am ready to begin.

Begin what?

Begin nothing.

That is the first step to the revision process. I take time away from my now-completed novel, and I let it simmer on the back burner of my mind for a while. In the meantime, I read. A lot. And maybe even start working on an outline for another book, another novel, another story. After all, there is always another story in my brain, just itching to get out. Actually, I have an idea that I got in the midst of NaNoWriMo, and it was so good, I was tempted to stop my current book and just write it. To Pants it. However, I restrained myself (and I am glad I did now!) and now I have an idea that has been simmering and is now ready to begin boiling.

I will add another post later on The Revision Process. I just thought I would tell you all what I am going to be doing with my time now that NaNoWriMo is over.

Interjection: Just because you finished your novel in November does not mean you have the rest of the year off! No, no, no, the rest of the year is for writing, just as much as this month was. Maybe not as concentrated and crazy, but you really need to keep the discipline of writing every day up. Just Write!

So, now that you are done, or are nearing the end of your novel, please remember that now is the time to take a break. Step back for a few days without writing anything (just a few days, not any longer-- don't break the habit!), and catch up on that laundry that you have been meaning to do all month. Go see some friends that you have neglected for the past thirty days. Go on a weekend trip if you want. But whatever you do, for at least two days, do not write anything.

After that? Have at it. Not your NaNoWriMo Novel, but something else, something new. Whether you are pantsing it, and just writing whatever, or beginning your first draft of an outline, get to work. Break is over, and it is time to buckle down again. But enjoy yourself.

And, as always, Happy Writing!

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