Create a Plan or Edit, Revise, Finalize That Novel!

Did you participate in National Novel Writing Month, last November?  Yeah, me too. Did you win? If you didn’t this post may still be helpful, but if you did reach 50,000-plus words, you’ll want to pay attention. CreateSpace is giving winners 5 copies of their novels. That’s awesome. But it means your novel needs to not only contain more than 50K words; your novel also needs to have an ending.

I have no problem getting to 50K, 75K or even 110K in my novels. What I have a problem with is writing an ending. I’ve done it a few times so I know it’s possible. I know I can do it. It’s just tough. Especially once November has come and gone and I have that pretty NaNo winner certificate. But five copies of my novel are a pretty good motivation. Still, I don’t have an ending yet and I haven’t done any editing. So here’s how I’m going to get it all done.

I have to finish my novel. I have a broad outline of what I thought the ending was going to be last September. During the writing of it, my characters changed course a lot, so we’ll have to massage the novel to make it work. I’m going to start by rereading what’s written. Then I’ll see what parts of my earlier plan will still work. I’ll fill in whatever I need to fill in and finish the book.

Then I’ll run spellcheck (yep, I will) and print out a copy. Not the greenest option but I proofread better on hard copy – plus I can do it poolside without fear of harm to my electronics. It *is* Memorial Day weekend, after all. I will proofread and write initial notes on the draft. I’ll note any parts that need rewriting, jot down brief changes or edits, and simply mark portions I need to rework.  Then I’ll fix all those parts.

I’m lucky that I write copy that’s generally close to final most of the time. While I sometimes transpose letters or decide later to change a few words or realize I’ve used the same term three sentences in a row, I don’t expect major edits. They do happen sometimes, but this novel was written while I was unemployed and had a lot of time. I don’t expect it to be too horrid.

I will be working on this over Memorial Day weekend, sandwiching the writing work in between BBQing, swimming in the pool and walking the dog. It’s a rough life but someone’s gotta do it.

How will you be spending YOUR weekend?


About Diann Writes

Diann L. Tongco enjoys sketching, crafts and photography as well as writing poetry and novels. To stay out of trouble, she writes, shows curly-coated retrievers, grows fragrant roses, drinks good of wine with friends, and spends time with her grandchildren. She lives on Washington's Puget Sound with her boyfriend Nick and their dog Ozzy.
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