NaNoWriMo — the next steps

The folks at Grammarly sent me this infographic to share last month, but I decided that the last thing people who are trying to write almost 2000 words a day need is pressure to edit when they should just be drafting. Still, there are some decent (albeit basic/fundamental) tips here, and now that the pressure is off, the graphic is worth a look at to remind you of some of the things that you should be looking out for on a proofread.

Here are my basic tips for NaNo participants now that the November frenzy is over.

  • Finish writing the manuscript. Just because you got to 50k, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re done. (The average novel is closer to twice that length. Here’s a handy link with recommended word counts for different genres.) And if you didn’t “win” NaNo and didn’t finish your manuscript, that doesn’t mean you should give up. A slow writer is still a writer. I know. I couldn’t win NaNo without a time machine, but I’ve still finished five novels.
  • Leave the manuscript for a few weeks (or as long as you can stand it) before coming back to look at it with fresh eyes.
  • Re-read the manuscript. Do a structural edit and re-write as needed to deal with the bigger plot problems. Copy edit afterwards (but also as you go if you’re like me and can’t let a comma splice be).
  • Send it to your beta readers/critique partners.
  • Review their suggestions and incorporate them as necessary/appropriate.
  • Repeat the previous three steps until you’re done.

DO NOT IMMEDIATELY SEND YOUR NOVEMBER 2015 MANUSCRIPT TO AN AGENT OR PUBLISHER, OR SELF-PUBLISH IT WITH A COVER YOU MADE IN WORD ART.

That is a NaNo no-no. :p

Five Mistakes To Avoid in Your NaNoWriMo Novel Infographic

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The Anatomy of a Grammar Nerd

So when Grammarly emailed me about something called the Anatomy of a Grammar nerd, I thought they’d be talking about how we have dictionaries for brains or pain receptors triggered by dangling modifiers. But no, apparently that was me being literal.

Who’d have thought?

Anyway. I’m a little too old to be a grammar nerd, apparently — although the age range might have more to do with the fact these stats were derived from Facebook users’ profiles, and maybe those who aren’t in the 18-24 age range tend to hide their year of birth. 😉

As for the Oxford comma, I’m agnostic on the issue. I don’t think it’s necessary to use them all the time, but I will use one when to do otherwise would cause confusion. As for semicolons, they are my favourite and my best.

How do you compare to the infographic?

Anatomy of a Grammar Nerd Infographic

Posted with permission from Grammarly