It’s December and that means one thing (OK, two things) – NaNoWriMo is over for this year. So what happens next?
If you made it past the 50,000 words finish-line then you should check out your winner’s goodies, print off your winner’s certificate and put your winner’s badge onto your blog/Web site etc. Then, ensuring you are logged into the Nano site first, go to get your Createspace code at the Prizes Page. You will only see a code if you’re a winner and are logged in. Jot it down. It lasts until 30th June 2011, so you have some time to revise/finish your novel first.
You can include as many pages as you like, not just 50,000 words. Equally, if you have something else you’d like to print that’s OK too. Last year one of our winners printed her poetry collection with them and subsequently launched it in Ireland as a self-published collection. I printed one copy of my 2007 NaNo novel for my book shelf, and to lend to my sister. The formatting isn’t too hard but I kept notes, so feel free to pick my brains via email. Yes, postage is free. Yes, they don’t hound you to make it available for sale to the public. There’s a forum about the offer here which covers more than I can fit in this post.
Regardless of your final word count you should check out the What Next Page which is filled with hints and tips on revision and publishing etc.
If you are planning on bringing your novel further here are some pointers based on past experience of post-nano-life.
1. If you’re continuing your first draft – don’t stop! It takes ages to get back up to speed and you’re more likely to have inconsistencies in the finished manuscript. If you’re about to get into editing, taking a break first is a good idea – it helps you to spot mistakes easier.
2. Join/attend a writer’s group. My next post will be a list of them and I will add them to our links list, where possible. If you know of others, please let me know so I can suggest NaNoWriMo to them next October.
3. Join a critique group like Critique Circle. I can be tough to give/take criticism from someone face-to-face but an online group is a good solution. I’ve put an entire novel through (one chapter at a time) here and it’s much better as a result. It’s password protected and you must register (free). You also have to critique other people’s work and trust me, you will learn loads from doing so.
Even if you’re not going to lift a pen to fiction for the rest of the year, make a note now about next November, we’d love to have you back in NaNo 2011!
Happy writing, Grace