Sometimes the path of a writer can be a hard life, stuck in a cold and lonely garret, writing into the small hours. Luckily for me, Saturday it was back to Lancaster for a pub lunch and a meet-up with friends old and new.
After NaNoWriMo comes the TGIO (Thank God It’s Over) party. It’s a chance to talk through experiences with fellow veterans and celebrate writing success; whether that’s hitting 50K, 100K, getting a few more words written than you would have normally, finding useful contacts to network with, or just learning something new about your writing or about yourself.
After catching up with everyone’s tales of initial enthusiasm, woe, hard work and triumphs of the last 30 days over drinks (a seasonal mulled wine for me), we all looked through the collection of novels we had all bought for the book-drive. It’s a great way to free up some space on your book shelves, donate to Nano (£1 per book), as well as snap up a bargain read (The Lost Army of Cambyses and Shadowmancer-thanks to whoever bought them in).
Our ML had prepared a small editing exercise for us to do; examining an extract of Isaac Astimov’s work to show how he balances use of dialogue, description and action within a scene. Something to aim for? Or just to be aware of when editing your own work? Great if you’re writing to a formula. Though sometimes it can be good to bend or break the rules.
A few people read extracts of their own Nano novels, on diverse topics ranging from space travel, alternate worlds, to clowns. A couple of us asked one very kind writing-buddy (thanks Richard) who has the most amazing reading voice, to read ours (I’m talking all day at work and hate the sound of my own voice). I think he just about made sense of my mangled mess of first draft rubbish .
While I have yet to get any of my work to a publishable state, I was excited to hear other’s publishing plans for their present and past Nano novels, which I am looking forward to reading. It’s always interesting and informative to learn about their experiences of self-publishing and gain new insight into the process; get recommended contacts in the industry (such as editors and illustrators), as well as warnings of pitfalls to avoid.
November has now passed, but many of us are already making plans for the next year. NaNoWriMo is a great way to get into the habit of writing, kick start new ideas and motivation.
I still have another 600 words of the final scene to write before my novel is complete, then I plan to take a break from it before the rewrite and edit. I wrote this story just for fun, but still there are scenes to be scrapped, characters swapped, and more action to add.
My big task for 2015 will be to finally get to grips with my 2006 (?) novel which I keep putting off as it is so daunting, partly because of the amount of work involved, mainly due to it being part of an expansive main project, that I fear, I am too emotionally invested in.
I think it’s time for the Evil Editor to come back and whip me into shape.