The last episode left on a cliffhanger, and here is the stunning conclusion! I’d been writing every day for two weeks, and as you may know, it usually takes about that long to form a new habit. I didn’t notice it at the time but week three of NaNoWriMo is where I became a writer. I have read back over my work from that month of writing, and I can really see how I came into my own at that halfway point. The first half of the novel is okay, but lacks the punch of the second half. The latter part of the novel is enjoyable to read, well-paced and appropriately emotional. I read it back thinking that it was really something to be proud of.
Having had two weeks to establish a habit of writing every single day, I’d put aside the hesitation about putting pen to paper and actually just got down to it. I’d had two weeks to start forming my story and give it a loose direction, and the final half of the month was a headlong rush of inspiration. I hit my 50,000 word target with a couple of days to spare.
The first few days after NaNoWriMo finished were actually pretty tough. I felt quite directionless and a bit empty. It’s important to not let yourself get too down after the month is up, and either take some comfort with friends, or continue writing but at a less frenetic pace. I read a tip that suggested letting the novel sit for about a month, and then to look at it again in January or February with fresh eyes. The NaNoWriMo site will give you support and advice during those months as well.
My first stage of the editing (and rewriting) process was to print a copy of the novel (only 88 A4 pages but it seemed like so much more work!), and start my read-through. I admit I took a while to do this, in dribs and drabs for just a few pages now and then. I didn’t have the impetus to do something every day, so I dawdled. I got to about a third of the way through and then I got an email from NaNoWriMo inviting me to Camp. That’s when I decided I’d make April my non-stop editing month!
I’ll tell you about that next post. Hopefully it will offer you some tips if you are facing the juggernaut of editing your first draft. Stick around!