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To Make It Slightly More Official

So, yeah. I managed to write one. Finished it with two hours to spare, then Lisa and I toasted my typing abilities with sparkling apple cider. Mmm, ciderific.

That's also why I've been much more absent than usual: had to grind out extra wordage so as to make up for the complete distraction of Thanksgiving. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put National Novel Writing Month in a month with a major holiday was not thinking straight, methinks. As Lisa pointed out, it would be much better served in February or March. It's still cold out, there's no holidays in there, and so forth.

I'll be completely honest, I'm inclined to think my little opus is nothing more than fifty thousand words of purest unadulterated pulp, and while I may be able to whip it into shape, it's not going to happen immediately. For one thing, I'm going to stick it in a drawer and ignore it until the New Year. Suggestions on the best way to bludgeon a first draft novel into shape would be greatly appreciated, especially by people who've already done it.

In regards to the rest of the world, I hope everyone had a lovely holiday if you're American, and a lovely weekend if you're from anywhere else and aren't here.

Comments

Congratulations, man! I was hoping your relative quiet meant you were doing something fulfilling, and it looks like my hopes were answered. Woo!

And it does seem odd to run such a thing in the holiday/flu season, yes.

good for you, jon.

feb might not be a good month-- fewer days, don'tcha know (wink, wink)

Yay, congratulations! Glad you were able to finish it out!

Hmm, I think January would be a better month: Get everyone fresh off the New Year's resolutions and give people something to do when they're more apt to stay home post-holidays. And being able to say you started off your year by writing a novel? Bonus.

Yay! Congrats!

Yay, Jon!!

Wheeee! Congratulations, Jon!

Thanks, everybody!

Congratulations! From the title alone, I want to read this.

As for how to adulturate your pulp on the 2d pass, I'd offer these (perhaps self-evident) tips on hacking at something novel-length:

1. Kill the contradictions: writing 50k wds in a rush it is possible that blue eyes in Ch 1 turned green in Ch 7, etc. Hunting those down and fixing them along with typos is satisfying first edit -- like popping bubble wrap. And give you a chance to ponder other changes.

2. Prune the tangents: By the end you've probably added plot points and details you didn't know about at the beginning. And also had dead end elements that didn't pan out -- or characters who didn't perform quite like you expected. Cutting threads that went nowhere and/or expanding on late-breaking ideas that need more set up early on will get you thinking about overall structure and pacing -- a good second order edit.

After you move the big pieces around and fill in the cracks, you're down to the standard issue fine-tune editing that any piece needs. Congrats again ... you were far more productive in November than I managed!

That seems like good advice, man. I will keep it in mind.