I know some of you might think this post to be a bit premature, but I’m just curious: what does NaNoWriMo do for you on a larger scale, you know, post-November? Do you write religiously for 30 days straight, get that 50 thousand words, then set your story down, and never look at it again? Or do you use the head start to finish your novel, move on to another, or edit a previous one?
I’m curious because I want to know what it does for the majority of people who participate. I know that, as a writer, what it encourages us to do is to sit down and write every single day until we have finished that novel. No, 50 thousand words doesn’t necessarily mean you’re finished writing, particularly not when you consider that it’s likely in the best interest of your overall story to cut at least 10 percent of everything your write… at least. And let’s be honest, we’re cutting far more than that after NaNo. ^_~
For me, once NaNoWriMo is over I remove the word counting and just write. I do this for six months before moving on to another project (and, wow, do I ever have a list of those!). I have yet to edit any of my previous projects, but I know the rule is to leave them alone for at least six months before returning to them because then I can look at them with fresh eyes. I’m afraid of that part, to be honest. I’m afraid I’ll go back to them, read a few paragraphs in, and wonder what the hell I’ve been thinking calling that a good story idea. I have no idea what I’ll do when I get there, but there will be editing. I’m not a bad story teller, it seems. I am, after all, going to have the first piece of fiction I ever submitted anywhere published in a literary magazine that had a lot – a lot, a lot – of competition. So I know how to tell a story, and I have some idea of how to edit it so that the reader gets the story, as well. I just need to keep reminding myself of that as I continue this year-long writing challenge.
How do you handle this challenge?
Let me know in the comments below, have a lovely day, and thanks for reading!