Book written… now what?

Its been a while. Months to be precise. Wanna know whats been happening?

Well, in Dec… I wrote my first full length fictional document (I’m hesitating calling it a novel)… but yeah, I did it! I used the nanowrimo technique of 1667 words a day for 30 days straight until completion. And it worked. I’m stoked, other people are stoked and no-ones been able to read it yet. why?

well, here’s the problem, the nanowrimo technique creates content, but not quality. Its the difficult first draft that people struggle with for years I’ve produced… but its a mess. The plot is all over the place, the locations don’t make sense and I’ve forgotten the names of half the characters, so they switch mid way through. This is the problem with writing forwards so quickly everyday, you don’t have time to re-read and get fussy about the details. Its full steam ahead, forever forward and no looking back.

So…. document one done… now what? Well its on to the second draft. But here’s where I’m struggling. I don’t know if I want to continue with it. (yet). I want to write another, and another, and another… the thought of having to trawl through 50,000 words picking out the details and refining my words into a readable form, doesn’t thrill me. And I think the only way I’m going to get it done is by dedicating another month for all the tweaks, research and revisions. Only then can I be truely happy with it enough for people to read. And thats the whole point of producing a book right?

we’ll see.  


  1. What I did when I was stuck on my last novel was concentrate on the really, dramatic powerful scenes, fleshing them out, making sure they read well and once I had four or five really terrific scenes THEN I had the confidence and staying power to work on the rest. Maybe set yourself the goal of cleaning up the first 40 or fifty pages, just to see if you’ve got something there. Thinking of the project in its entirety may be daunting but if you break it into smaller, bite-sized pieces, you might be far better off. Just a suggestion from a wily ol’ vet…

  2. thanks for the useful words. I shall indeed tackle the powerful stuff first. I also work well with structured targets, so hopefully the daily schedule of tackling the document will equally pay off!

  3. No problem, man, good luck…

  4. I’ve always been a seat of the pants novelist, you know, starting on page one, turning the characters loose and then seeing where the hell they ended up. UNTIL NaNoWriMo. The thought of doing it all in 30 days scared me into drawing up a detailed outline and character sketches ahead of time so that I really had some plan where I was going. It saved an awful lot of what I was expected to be crap but turned out not to be. Now, sure I had to add scenes and fine tune description, etc., but I saw in the forums there were a lot of folk who ran out of story or pasted in someone new at page 100 or…you know. The outline helped there. Can’t wait for next November!!

  5. agreed. I couldn’t face the nano thing without a clue. So I pulled together a plot first. However now I see that both methods has positive and negative points. For me, a newb at writing I really needed the freedom to be creative and ‘learn’ about writing good copy. And in some ways I wish I didn’t have a plot to start with, as I became too precious over my idea as time went on. Having a plot tho, gave me direction and a goal to reach, aaaaand a document that made sense at the end of it all! I think I will be joining in with the nanowrimo fun this year, but I won’t be having a plot to begin with… I’d like to the freedom to go a bit mad.


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