Friday, December 02, 2011

What You Can Do with a NaNoWriMo Novel

Tens of thousands of writers attempted to write a novel during National Novel Writing Month in November. Thousands crossed the finish line to complete a manuscript of 50,000 words or more. Now, what can you do with it?

In a nutshell? Rewrite it. Revise it. Edit it. Make sure it’s the best book it can be. Then start looking for an agent and editor.

That’s what I did. It took me a month to write that first draft of Tracks, then a few years to take the spillage and sculpt it into a novel I could pitch to agents. The result? Representation by one of New York City’s top ten agents! (See Daily Top Ten at

And a book deal with Atticus Books! (

But it all started with a month of intense writing, as you can read in Ally E. Peltier’s story about the beginnings of Tracks as a NaNoWriMo novel.

Here’s a snippet from her article:

Eric began writing Tracks five years ago, during NaNoWriMo. He wrote about 60,000 words that year, then went on to add and subtract stories, rewrite and revise, until he had a final draft ready to take to publishers. “The nice thing about NaNoWriMo,” Eric says, “is that you’re forced to write even when you’re not sure you have it all figured out. And for a first draft, that’s good. Tracks is a different, and better, book than that original draft. But the original draft helped make it possible.”

She also uses Tracks to teach some writing lessons, such as the importance of staring small, reading other writers, avoiding traps like procrastination and perfection-seeking.

Read Ally’s article about Tracks and NaNoWriMo, published in her monthly newsletter, at the following link.

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