You know what? I won Nano but I absolutely failed to deliver on 30 tips for Nano – and for that I’m sorry.
I am in the throws of finishing off a book that’s been mulling in my head for 2 years and I have to get the plot arc just right because it’s the 2nd book in a trilogy and the underlying themes and romance has just caught me up but exhausted me too.
Because writing 50k words in a month IS EXHAUSTING!!
Even if you tried, and didn’t make it, you’re probably still exhausted because of all the stuff you were trying to juggle when you weren’t writing or trying to make time to write!
Welp, I’m here to tell ask you one very important question;
DO YOU FEEL LUCKY-
Are you tired?
Cause it’s OK to stop. Christmas is coming and it means different things for different people. You don’t have to keep writing now. Put the pen down, have a nap, leave the computer alone, read a book. Eat something that doesn’t have sugar. DRINK WATER.
But… some of you might have more in you. You’ve got your claws into the meat of the story and now it doesn’t know what’s going to hit it, and do you know what? DO YOU KNOW THAT MEANS YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK THIS YEAR!??!
Yeah. You could do that. So, if you’ve got the gas to keep going then do so, if you’re done for a while then put it down.
Either way – here is what you can do with that script after Nano is over.
- Keep working on it
- Put it down for a while
- Do NOT send it to ANY agents!
- Do NOT hit self pub on Amazon, Wattpad, platforms of choice!
- Those last two but LOUDER
You like the book need rest, so once the story is finished, what do you do?
I got bad news – you probably wrote it in a big rush. Sometimes with no idea where you were going. You could love it to the moon and back, but you need to let it breathe too, and what I’m really talking about is you.
Books don’t breathe, what do you take me for? An imaginative fool? Yeah, OK, that checks out.
But what I mean is you. You need time.
Because, despite that massive effort, chances are it wont be ready yet to share.
You need to have a little break from the story (or a big one). You need to go back and read over it, start strengthening the plot, fill in those holes, go and trim those unbelievable character traits, gradually polish it until its ready for betas or whatever you’re planning to do with it. All of which can leave you with a crushing sense of weight – the Nano Hangover.
You can send/share/publish it, it’s entirely up to you, but if you haven’t reread it you might have made some pretty big mistakes and you know what? We all have.
Pouring out all those words leaves your tank empty. Stop and refill. Got more gas? The story isn’t finished. You wrote 50k, but most novels hit at a base 60-80k words. And if you can do one thing in this miserable year of more lockdowns, pandemic woes, and what sometimes feel like a worse year than 2020, you can say, in spite of it, you wrote a book.
Remember when you talk about “what you did this year” at Christmas family dinners, celebrating holidays, meeting with friends now we’re vaccinated, what you accomplished. You’re part of a wider community that makes the idea of writing a book something all of us can and do achieve.
How many people actually do it? You still can, if you want, and even if you decide to stop, there’s still half a book to carry with you into 2022. That’s a lot to bring into the new year, and it means in 2022 you can take something pretty special with you.