With my NaNoWriMo experience behind me, with its 30 days of frantic typing anywhere and anytime, I was suddenly at a loss. The answer to my ‘What do I do next?’ was a resounding ‘Make it into a novel,’ by my friends, family and writers group.
So then I had to face another unknown, namely the editing and revising of said volume of work to turn it into a ‘proper’ manuscript. Strange as this may seem, I think this task was harder to accomplish than actually writing the story, which had literally flowed from my mind into my finger tips. I suppose I could have just left the story but my friends were so enthused by the tale and so supportive, it was certainly worth the effort.
For the next eight months my fellow noveller’s and I met once a month. We would then swap chapters to be read, revised and edited of our own work and each others. Having a fresh perspective and suggestions, helped a great deal to formulate my manuscript. I began to learn the art’s of dialogue, showing not telling and story arc’s, all of which will be on-going projects.
The one suggestion that did have me stumped though was – what if a publisher wants you to ‘finish’ the story? It is thought better to have resolution at the end of a book, unless I was going to write a sequel – that was definitely not happening! So I had to work out what paths my characters could take and came up with three possibilities. Once I had settled on my preferred ending, I revised the penultimate chapter and wrote a new one.
During these ‘editing’ filled months, I was very lucky to have the opportunity to meet an author on a one-on-one basis. This was organized through my group’s annual conference. This very personable lady was enthusiastic about my story inspiration and very open with her expertise. I have kept her amendments as a guide and will follow up on her promise to read the ‘finished’ manuscript.
With the intense work the revisions took, I nearly missed an opportunity as a NaNoWriMo winner. It was by pure chance I remembered one of the winner’s perks was to have a proof copy printed. I submitted my request just before the deadline but after a couple of errors and subsequent submissions, I thought I had missed this great opportunity. Luckily for me the company involved; Create Space; were kind enough to send my proof copy anyway. I was absolutely ecstatic to receive a copy of my book in the mail. To hold a ‘proper’ book that you have written is almost beyond words. It is also the tantalizing talisman that keeps me on my path to publishing.
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