Saturday, December 3, 2011

NaNoWriMo: The End

So, it's December 3rd, and National Novel Writing Month is over. If you made it to 50,000 words before it ended, congrats! There is no feeling greater than having met your word count goal, and hey, you also have a novel to show for it, too! Talk about accomplishment!

If you didn't make it, don't feel bad. You started, and that's what counts. I tried to start so many novels before I did NaNoWriMo, and none of them got past the first page. Starting a creative endeavor can be the hardest thing you'll ever do, so if you got even a couple of pages in, you're still way ahead of the curve.

Of course, every ending is another beginning, and NaNoWriMo is no exception. If you didn't finish your novel, you now have as much time as you like to see it through to the end. If you'd like, make your own deadline and stick to it. You can even ditch the deadline completely and work on it in your spare time. If you finished your novel, let it sit for a bit and then go back through and edit it. Flesh out the parts that weren't as strong because you didn't have time to do the research. Cut out the weak bits that didn't exactly fit but still contributed to your word count. Take that crappy first draft that's now in your position and work it into a strong second draft. Before you know it, you'll have a manuscript that, if you so choose, you can shop around to literary agents and publishers, or self-publish as an e-book.

Whether you decide to forge ahead with your novel (like I did) or let it rest on your mantle as the sign of a job well done, my kudos go out to all of you who participated in this month-long event. Congrats, you're a real writer now!

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