I know, I know, it's only November 8th — way too soon to be thinking ahead to when NaNoWriMo is over. But even though I'm frantically pounding out words, I've had a big picture in mind for this (and subsequent) novels for months, so I found these articles interesting.
It all started with an article in an email newsletter I get, about whether NaNoWriMo is beneficial
. The article assumes that you're following the NaNoWriMo rules, of course, by starting a fresh novel on November 1st, rather than continuing work on a current project and just counting the words you write in November.
I think I may write a lot faster than many people, because 1,667 words each day doesn't normally take that long, so when I'm reading an article like this I don't understand what the big deal is. At the word war Friday night I wrote 1,400 words in 30 minutes, which surprised me — I've long thought that 1,000 words in an hour was a fairly average pace for me, but I guess I can do much better than that when inspiration hits. I may also have gotten faster over the years, since I would consider last night to be on the slow side of average (I was struggling somewhat with the scene), and I wrote 1,500 words in an hour.
Anyway, from this first article I clicked on two more links, and found some that were even more helpful. One was about what to do after NaNoWriMo
, if you want to eventually publish the novel, that is. The article recommends taking a break first, then going back and revising when it's no longer so fresh in your head. That's pretty sound advice — Stephen King says pretty much the same thing in On Writing
I've been planning on taking a break for a month or two after I finish my first draft, and working on something else until I pick it back up to revise. Maybe I'll finish last year's NaNo novel, which has been languishing, forgotten, in a drawer for all this time. Or maybe I'll rework my first (and only) completed NaNo novel, which I wrote back in 2006. It's a great idea and I've wanted to go back and turn it into something really good, I just haven't ever gotten around to it. It means that it'll be a little longer before anyone gets to read Ruby Ransome and Pandora's Box
(other than my husband and friends who are helping me to revise and polish it), but I don't want to rush it into publication until it's truly ready. You'll just have to be patient!
One other article I found was this handy little summary of genre novel rules
. A couple of weeks ago I'd been looking for this very information, wanting to know whether my target total word count of 80,000 was a good length. It's definitely a little on the short side, but still within the requirements — and as I get further into the novel and flesh the story out a little more, I'm thinking it may actually be more like 90,000.
What about you? What are your plans for your NaNo novel?