As I mentioned, I spent the month of November writing 50,000 words of a novel. I’m done! Hurrah! So then what happens, you might ask?
First of all, I have to finish the novel. I would estimate that it’s about 90% done with first draft. The last scenes still need to be written. The challenge is to put down 50,000 words; not finish a book.
It’s after the first draft is done that the hard work really begins. I have to step back and let it sort of “breathe” for a few weeks. Then I have to take the fifteen or so assorted scenes that I’ve written and make sure they come together as a cohesive novel. Then I have to edit. And edit. And edit. I will ask others to read the draft after the fourth or so effort. Those friends will make some serious suggestions and I will do edits five, six and seven on the complete draft. I might think it’s ready for outsiders to see by that point.
Then starts the un-fun stuff. I will then work as more o fa saleswoman than writer, trying to pitch my book to editors, agents, anyone who will look at it in hopes of publication. What about the e-book route? Well, I might go that way also, but that takes research and effort also.
All of this means that I’ve done the fun work of writing and now, if I ever want my book to see the light of day, I have to get right down to the business of being a writer. The hope is that the hard work will pay off in the end with publication in one form or another at some point in the not-too-distant future. It hasn’t yet happened for me, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe it will happen with one of my novels someday. I am optimistic about it!
Then I get to do it all over again, because at the end of the day, writing is what I really love to do. And that, my friends, is what happens when NaNoWriMo is done; just like anything else, we keep on keeping on.