Tuesday, December 2, 2014

NaNoWriMo is Over. What now?

I've been seeing a lot of posts around the interwebs yesterday and this morning talking about the end of Nano and what to do now.  Most of them talk about this time as though the people who participated in NaNo actually have a novel from 'Once upon a time...' to 'THE END'.  They talk about the editing that's ahead, and taking time away to gain perspective, and stuff like that. 

For me, that's not a NOW thing.  That might be a January thing - depending on whether I have a cohesive 50K words to actually finish in December (sometimes yes, sometimes no).

I've been doing the NaNo thing formally and informally since 2006, and I don't think that even once, I've had a complete novel in 50K words.  Even at a bare-bones minimum, my first drafts end up around 65-70K.  (Well, except for that first novel that topped the scales at 147K, but that took me 9 months to write.  Never again.)*

Nope.  My problem right now isn't editing or waiting or synopsizing or anything of the after-book things.  It's how to finish the book I spent the last 30 days typing away at.  And you know what?  I have no freakin' clue.  Not a one.  Oh, sure, it'll end like all good suspense novels - with the bad guy getting what's coming to him and the good guys winning.  But the details of that are lost to me right now.

So, what's a gal to do?

Part of me wants to set this aside because I have edits I need to be doing.  Another part of me knows that's how this project got derailed in the past - because I set it aside.  The second part and the first part spent yesterday waging war against each other while I sat and read a book I never should've ordered until after I was done with my chores.  (Yes, I ate my dessert before I finished dinner.)

I don't know what the decision is on this manuscript.  I do know that I can't spend another day sitting around waiting for a clear winner in the battle.  I have too much work to do.  So, the plan is to edit today, and then tonight, see how the writing is feeling. 

*Wouldn't you know it.  I talked about the damn first novel and one way to fix it into something people might actually want to read popped into my head.  I do not have time to play with that right now.  Arrgghh.  (Make the hero the MC instead of the heroine, and tighten the perspective all the way around.  :cue shining light from above and inspiring music:)


  1. I've come to realize that the ending will come to me when the ending is good and ready. Not before. I just have to keep writing (or re-writing if I took a wrong turn). But edits do tend to interrupt. A lot. You just have to prioritize your work. Right now, for me, a finished product has more priority than a WIP, so edits would come first. But I also learned you can only edit so much in a day. So save the writing when the editing side of your brain is fried. That's if you can DO two projects at once. I'm not quite there--yet. :)

    1. Everything's been scheduled, Stacy, so I'd have time to write new words and time to edit. My blockage is just shifting things around on me and fudging up the schedule. I can do write and edit two different books at once, but I have to be in the right place, and I'm not right now.

  2. Uhm....*ducks head*...I actually have a finished novel ready to edit and it will be out before the end of this year. But it's only 40K so a short novel. S'okay. That was the plan going into NaNo this year. I made up the other almost 16K words I finished with by writing bridging chapters. I learned so freaking much about the whole dang series this time around. But I'm brain dead at the moment. I meant to just take yesterday off. Instead, I'm sort of taking today, too. We'll see what happens tomorrow. I really don't have time to procrastinate very long.

    1. No need to duck, Silver. You're an exception to the rule. I'm so happy you got your short novel done and your bridging chapters, too. I hope your day(s) off help and that they don't last too long.