Wednesday, December 5, 2012

3 NaNo NoNos

by Jemi Fraser

It's easy to get caught up in the euphoria that surrounds a NaNo win. After all, writing 50k words in 30 days is something to be proud of. Go ahead and celebrate!


But...

There's always a 'but', isn't there? Here are a few Nano NoNos to keep in mind.

NaNo NoNo Number 1

Submitting your novel on December 1st. Or any day in December. By and large, this is a very bad idea. Maybe you are Super Drafter and your story is error free, but I have my doubts! I know mine sure isn't. I imagine agents cringe when they see the words, "I've just finished this novel for NaNoWriMo..."

NaNo NoNo Number 2

Revising right away. So you decide to give those agents a break over December, but on January 1st, you're submitting. After all, the agents will be rested and salivating over the thought of a new story. Wait! For most writers, it's a really a good idea to let your first draft sit for several weeks before you go back in and revise it. That way, you've got a bit of distance between you and the story. Your brain will actually see the words you've written instead of the words you THINK you've written.

NaNo NoNo Number 3

Putting your novel aside - forever. This is kind of the opposite of the first two. Don't assume your story is garbage just because you wrote it in a month - or because you're sick of it at the moment. Sure, it might be a hot mess, but the idea sparked enough of your creativity for you to spend 30 days on it. I bet if you give it those weeks I spoke about in #2, you'll find there's a lot to like.

So, give yourself some time away, then go back in and dig into the wonder of that first draft your wrote.  Once it really shines, submit away! And make sure you have some cupcakes to celebrate along the way!

Any more NaNo NoNos you can share?

Jemi Fraser is an aspiring author of romantic mysteries, currently recuperating from her NaNo win. She blogs and tweets while searching for those HEAs.

16 comments:

Denise Covey said...

Love these NaNo No Nos. I agree with each. My first NaNos I left too long before going back for a visit, so I've determined this time to see the editing through and send it off - maybe sometime in January, but it will be polished by then. I'm pretty excited about my story this time. How about you? D

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great advice Jemi for any first draft. I think we all shouldn't query in early January in fear that the agent will think we're a NaNo participant who rushed to query.

JeffO said...

I think you covered it pretty well, Jemi, I can't think of anything else to add.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No tormenting your critique partners on December 1 either?
I kept writing. I wasn't finished on December 1!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Love these, Jemi! And I think a lot of people either rush out the book or else put it away in a closet...not good, either way.

Jemi Fraser said...

Denise - sounds like a good plan! I'm excited about mine too - and seriously considering self pubbing it :)

Natalie - thanks! I do wonder about the impression we sometimes give agents! :)

Jeff - thanks!! :)

Alex - me too! Just finished it off now. Now to let it sit for a bit :)

Elizabeth - thanks! I think that balance is always a good thing :)

Laura Marcella said...

I really did not like the NaNo novel I wrote this time. It was an idea I had for such a long time, though, and I had to get it out of my system! Now I can write something I really love, so that's what I'm doing next. Who knows, maybe I will return to this NaNo novel and see something different in it. But not any time soon, that's for sure!

Stephen Tremp said...

I'm a big fan of NoNo number two. Setting your WIP aside (but not for too long) is a good idea.

Give the brain a break. Let the draft incubate on the back burner for a while. Then revisit with a fresh perspective and a renewed energy!

SC Author said...

Woah, is is perfect. I can't believe you covered all the important things (in my opinion) about NaNo in three simple points! This is awesome and sleek and... amazingly simple, but simply overlooked? Either way, I'm a bit jealous I didn't think of this. Awesome post.

Carol Kilgore said...

Exactly. Treat it just like any other first draft. Let it get over the trauma of being born, then settle down to work.

Jemi Fraser said...

Laura - I wonder if you will go back - it's funny how you just had to get it out, but you don't like it now. Hope you LOVE the next one! :)

Stephen - I'm a big fan of that one too - my brain needs to focus on something else for a bit. Then I get excited all over again with the story when I revisit it :)

SC - thank you so much! You just made my whole day! Glad I could help :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Carol - I LOVE that! The trauma of being born can be tough!! It's good to recuperate :)

Lisa Gail Green said...

Great reminders to take a breath and step back for a minute!!

Jemi Fraser said...

Lisa - thanks. Rushing headlong into anything never works well for me :P

Leslie S. Rose said...

Good no-no advice. There's such a rush when you first finish something, but putting on the brakes is essential. I would say another no no is not to lose the momentum you gain with the November writing routine.

Jemi Fraser said...

Leslie - that's really good advice!I think a lot of people take a brether afterward - and sadly THAT becomes the habit!