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