The journey through November NaNoWriMo is over!
We can all flip the page of our calendars (or let our let our phones automatically switch over), and we can begin December! The month of festivities, fun, and family (and, if you live in the proper clime: slippery ice, blinding snow, and boots). If you’re like me, you have a love/hate relationship with winter.
Things I love about winter:
- The sprinkling of snow on rooftops
- The shine of ice encrusting trees and gutters
- Looking at the neighbor’s Christmas lights
- The excuse to drink hot cocoa and eggnog to excess
Things I hate about winter:
- Shoveling, trudging, and being frozen by snow.
- Driving, chipping, and slipping on ice.
- Hanging up Christmas lights with frozen fingers.
- After about two weeks, I’m sick of hot cocoa and eggnog.
But what I love about December, without fail, is the feeling of having finished NaNoWriMo. This year, I successfully finished (50,002, barely scraping by), and now I’m faced with the question:
What do I do after NaNoWriMo?
1. Keep writing! If you hit 50,000 words (or fell short), yet your novel hasn’t reached it’s conclusion, then why stop a good thing? Keep writing at the 1667/day pace (or step it up or back it down), and go, go, go until you’ve finished!
- How to Write a Book: Tracking Word Count (tracking word count now that NaNoWriMo is over)
- Why Inspiration is an Addiction
- Stripping to the Heart of the Story
2. Take a break. Whether you’re on winter vacation, in the painful throes of Final Exams, preparing for the holidays, working hard at work in the final calendar month, or pondering the meaning of life, snow, ice, and reindeer, it might just be time for a break. November was hard. Long. Taxing. Chilly. Post-October-esque and Pre-December-ish. If you need a break, take it! Have some hot cocoa and eggnog! Just don’t go overboard and get sick of it (not that I’m speaking from repeated personal experience…).
3. Revise your novel. The NaNoWriMo site provides some resources for revision, encouraging authors to engage in a Revision Pledge, looking a bit like this:
It’s very inspiring, witting, and super-dooper-legally-binding-(like-for-reals).
- NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” Resource
- How to Revise Your Book: Overview Revision
- How to Revise Your Book: Close Revision
4. Have someone you trust read your book. As a precursor to revising your novel (Step 3), or after you’ve revised it, consult some beta readers. They’ll give you a sense of how a reader would respond to your book, and maybe they’ll offer helpful critiques, if you ask!
- How to Accept (and apply) Criticisms of Your Book
- Revise Your Book: Beta Readers
- How Beta Readers Work