Thursday, December 6, 2012

After NaNoWriMo

For some of us, we have written a 50,000 word plus novel, for others their novels aren't complete...

So what happens now?

The answer is simple for those who haven't finished their novels... Keep writing, until it's done.  Don't worry about editing, while you go... Finish the novel.

The next step after completing your novel is to re-write.  For many authors, it takes several drafts to get the one that should be sent to agents and editors.  You can re-work each sentence to have the greatest impact.  Fill in those descriptions that are lacking (if you're like me).  You may have to do this several times.  Also, edit, edit and more editing is necessary to polish your novel.  Agents and editors alike recommend that you hire a professional to edit your work, but if you have writer friends that are good at it, you can ask them or others that gristle at published novels, because of all the mistakes.

So, if your novel is complete and you think it could be better... Where do you begin?

Since you have a beginning, a middle and an end.  You can outline your novel in greater detail than that first outline you wrote for NaNoWriMo or if you're a pantser like me... You can create your first outline.  A friend and my brother say that an outline can keep you on track and stop you from going off on tangents to make your writing tighter.

How to outline?  There is no one correct way.  You will have to decide what works best for you.  There is the W Plot.  Something Clicked (My version), Kathleen Wall, Kimberly Appelcline, Debora Dale. Or you can outline. Joanna Penn, Alicia Rasley, Paperback Writer, Wendy's Novel Outlining Omnibus.  There are many links out there to help you find where your style fits in writing.

For me I am a visual person... I use pictures of buildings, maps, towns, people to help form the setting in my mind. (See the picture to the left of the gargoyle on my B&B in Blackbird.   I think that the W Plot works best for me.  I plug in the percentages of where I should be at each juncture, then what action happens at these junctures.  Or at least this is what I attempted for November.  It will be much easier, since the bulk of the story is written.

I will have to move some of the scenes/chapters around, since I tend to arrive at the conclusion much too fast.  And I will be adding better descriptions of my characters and the town in which the story takes place. Hopefully, when all is said and done, I'll have a larger novel that flows smoothly from one scene to the next.

I hope this helps...

Rita L. Smith

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