Happy end of NaNo everyone! Congratulations to everyone that gave it a go – winners or not, I’m sure we’ve all gained some new ideas and planted the seeds of some potential literary triumphs!
I joined in for the first time this year, but with a slightly different goal. I began writing a non-fiction book over the summer and used the NaNo motivation to finish writing, editing and formatting it. It was more of a LoNonfiWriFo (local non-fiction writing fortnight). I was concerned that this wasn’t entirely in the spirit of the thing, but the lovely people of NaNoWriMo London warmly reassured me that I was welcome. The peer presence and encouragement really helped me to meet my target. Generally, the experience was positive: I felt focused and productive. Also, as an editor and proofreader, I tend to be very exacting about my grammar and word choice: I can tell instantly when something’s not quite right in my own writing. This process encouraged me to let go of that: to write first and edit later; to just get it down on paper (or screen)!
I’ve also edited three books this November. This has meant my brain has been rather caught up in the world of words; my partner now knows that if I start talking about someone, there’s a fair chance that they’re fictional or historical, rather than somebody we actually know. There were also the midnight epiphanies- a notebook and torch by the bed became essential as my mind couldn’t quite switch off. I sat bolt upright one night with a dramatic grammar revelation: ‘That should be “fewer” not “less”!’ Generally, I’m really pleased to have felt part of it and achieved my own writing aims.
If you have taken part and now have a first draft of a manuscript- well done!
That’s a huge achievement and you should be massively proud of yourself. If you’re wondering what to do next, I have a suggestion. Well, first have a drink and a nice lie down, then I’d love you to send it to me so that I do a first draft manuscript review. It can be really difficult to start the editing process yourself, so I will look over it and give you general helpful suggestions about structure, character, plot and consistency. Also, I will make sure to tell you what’s good about it too- I know how much you’ve put into it! This isn’t a full edit or proofread: that’s not what you need for a first draft. This is a fresh pair of (highly trained) eyes, giving you direction and constructive feedback so you have some focus when you look at it again.
I like reading all sorts of books, I have a lot of love and respect for my fellow participants and I’m really curious to find out what NaNo has produced, so I’m very happy to offer this for just £40! Get in touch and we can discuss what I can do for you: firstname.lastname@example.org.