This week the Operation Awesome team are sharing their thoughts, opinions and experiences with NaNoWriMo.
I actually didn't do NaNo this year. Having spent a lot of time revising my 2020 NaNo novel, it's finally at the point it's ready to go out to readers for critique, so rather than writing somethin new, I've been polishing up that MS so I can get it out on submission early in 2023.
But I have been supporting other writers who were doing NaNo. Having done it several times now, and having both won and failed to meet the 50K words, I feel like I have something to offer those who are doing it. So my contribution this year was tips and advice on how to get through.
I have to say, I did miss doing it. There's something about the insanity of the schedule that really appeals to me. In 2020 when I last did it, I really didn't have the time, so I ended up taking two days off work each week for the month and basically wrote the entire 50K words in those 7 or 8 days. I did add a few more to finish the book over the Christmas break, but basically I wrote the whole book in less than 10 days.
Any wonder it needed so much revising I'm only just finishing now?
While it's super exciting to have "finished" a novel during NaNo, don't ever think it's actually finished. I suggest trunking what you've just written for a least a month, more if you can bear to, and then come back to it with fresh eyes. You'll be amazed how many flaws you will find once you have that distance from the story.
So that's the experience I'm going to leave you with. Writing the novel is only the first step. And you will not do yourself any favours if you skip or short-change the next steps. You did all that work to get those words on the page. Now spend some time making them glow.