Where Do I Go After NaNoWriMo?

Now that I have completed the first (and let me add, very rough) draft of my novel, The Bended Tree, I am going to put it aside until January. That is what Chris Baty suggested I do, so I have moved it elsewhere on my laptop so I won’t be temtped to read, edit or otherwise frustrate myself with it for at least 30 days.

Baty says in his book, No Plot? No Problem!, that it’s best to ignore your draft for at least two weeks, then pull it out. Print it out on paper, but don’t bring a highlighter, red pen or any other editing device. You can bring a cup of coffee or tea (no wine, since you might think your novel better than it is after a glass of Merlot).  Then sit down and read it, all the way through. After reading, then you must decide: do you want to spend the next year of your life poured into this novel? even if you think it’s an okay story, do you like the characters enough or the style in which you wrote it, to do anything with it?

So that’s what I plan to do. I had made my mind that I would begin editing my novel in January, in hopes that I could get it to ready for publication. But I am going to hold off on the formal decision until I can sit down and read it, and determine if I like it enough to be even more involved than I was in November.

If you have a novel draft, what are your future plans?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Natasha
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 10:43:05

    I have these problems with plot and structure that I hope will begin to resolve when I work with the entire draft starting in January or whenever.

    I’m spending some time now on the research that I didn’t conduct in November — some on real estate, some on red wolf re-introduction programs, some on homelessness.

    And hoping that they will all tie together the way I want them to.


    • kathanink
      Dec 04, 2009 @ 13:44:18

      That sounds like a great idea, doing research. I’m actually trying to come up with a plan for how to tackle editing, after I read it. Baty suggests first trying to get the story structure correct, before doing any other editing, which I hadn’t considered. I mean, I figured it needed to get done, I just wasn’t sure when.

      So I guess I will have to employ what I learned in Randy Alcorn’s fiction class…


  2. dayner
    Dec 03, 2009 @ 22:32:53

    I’m giving myself one more day…maybe two. Then I’ll set it aside until Christmas break. I’m definitely not trashing it.


    • kathanink
      Dec 04, 2009 @ 13:46:29

      I’m glad to hear that! (you’re not trashing it)

      I decided to go back and pick up where I left off in The Courage to Write by Keyes. It’s such a great book, but now I am feeling more like I might be thinking too highly of my story and that’s it’s really not very good. All these great writers spending YEARS rewriting. Huh? I’m not sure if I have that in me…


  3. darksculptures
    Dec 03, 2009 @ 14:02:15

    My plans are to finish my draft and then set it to the side. Once my friends decide whether they will be editing their novels as a group, individually, or tossing them into the fireplace for fuel I’ll decide how to move forward with editing. One thing is for sure. This novel will be edited.


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