So, you did it! You wrote 50,000 hard-wrung words during National Novel Writing Month. Congratulations! We sure are proud. But now what? We at RT are here for you. Here’s a primer on your next steps.
1. Take a break. That’s right! You’ve earned some time off, and numerable editing experts say to take a step back from your manuscript. Let it sit for a few weeks and give yourself some distance from your beloved masterpiece. That way, when you get into editing, you can read your manuscript with fresh eyes.
2. Do not submit your 50,000-word manuscript anywhere. We know, it’s brilliant. But you just barfed out 50,000 words in 30 days, and even the best of the best cops to doing round after rounds of edits. (Veronica Roth talked here about the multiple drafts of her debut — which you may have heard of — Divergent.) Your manuscript is going to need work, so put the brakes on sending it to any editors or agents. You only get one chance to submit your project to your dream team, don’t waste it on an unfinished product.
3. Read aloud. Once you’re ready to get back into it, reading your work aloud is another tried-and-true editing tactic. (See, Samhain Publishing’s Editor Heather Osbron agrees with us.) You can hear lots of little mistakes and awkward phrasing that you won’t notice while reading. And the smoother your manuscript reads, the sooner you’ll be on the road to success.
4. Remember us when you’re huge. Diving back into your manuscript for revisions can be a daunting process — but you can do it! After all, did you not just write 50,000 words in 30 days? You sure did. Be proud of yourself, and keep going. And please, oh please, invite us to your book party when you hit it big, okay?
Good luck! For more tips and tricks, visit our Aspiring Author page!