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NaNo 2011: Salvaging your NaNo Experience

Tweet of the Day: There is Only the Text


NaNoWriMo is coming to an end.

Congratulations on all the winners.

Soon it will be time to salvage a meaningful story from it.

What do you mean “salvage” a story? You didn’t even finish yours!

True, but while you bask in the glory of your 50k+ words, I got news for you. It’s juts a big pile of poo. No, really it is. And you know it. But that’s fine because crap is another word for fertilizer, and that’s what it is, fertile ground for a true work of art. Even for those who quit a third of the way, like me.  NaNo is all about striking the iron while it is hot, but that’s just part of the process. You still need to quench the metal in water and the hammer it some more. Only then will you end up with a sharp sword made of strong rhetoric and prose.

And I mean that literally. You need it to let the manuscript cool down, or should I say let yourself cool off from the experience. Write something else, waste away the time on online shopping, go out with your friends, whatever. Then come back a month (or three) back and start editing.

First off, unless it is YA, by current publishing standards, 50,000 words is not a novel, you are probably 30,000 words short. Second, you will see a lot of stuff, padding if you will, that needs to be trimmed. My bet is that whenever you got stuck you dropped a dead body or set off an explosion. Which means that by the end of month, your “manuscript” looks like the unholy spawn of a Michael Bay/Rob Zombie production with all the over the top action sequences and exploding corpses you could muster.

You might want to tweak some of those, just a bit.

Even if you didn’t finish, like me, you can still keep working at it, at a more leisurely pace or shred it to bits, pull out the few juicy bits that are still edible and go at it again at a later date.

And once again, congrats to all the winners. 🙂


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