alisa alering

Writer of fantasy and other fictions

NaNo Now What? — The Great Novel Revision of 2013


Very sad statue in Paris

Photo by Toni Birrer, via Flickr (CC-BY_SA)

In November, I wrote a novel novel-length THING.

On December 1st*, I felt immense relief and deep, personal satisfaction.
On December 2nd, I entered the 6 stages of grief PTSD (Post Draft Stress Disorder):

  1. Talking about how much I hate what I wrote
  2. While secretly fantasizing about how superb (imaginative, yet readable, yet funny, yet brave, yet unexpected, yet deep and touching, yet best-selling, yet critically-acclaimed) it is
  3. But knowing even more secretly how this is completely NOT TRUE
  4. Deciding it was a good experience and I learned a lot but I will never look at this particular lopsided story aberration ever again. It would be the kindest thing to do, truly. Best just to move on.
  5. Remembering that brilliant first draft of that *other* novel I wrote 3 years ago, which would totally TOTALLY be less work to revise–only two weeks, okay a month, tops–after which it would be a best-seller, yet critically-acclaimed, yet funny, yet heart-wrenching, yet…see #2.
  6. Talking it all over with Ashley Hope Perez on a freezing cold morning run, and deciding that the wisest course is to suck it up and REVISE** what I just wrote.***

This morning, I sat down to try to make a plan for THE GREAT NOVEL REVISION OF 2013. I got out my trusty notebook, wrote today’s date at the top of the page and the word, “Plans,” which I underlined 3 times to emphasize my sincerity and determination. And then…

<<< >>>

Yeah. Exactly that. Because you know what? I’ve never revised a novel before. I have no idea what happens, or how long any of it takes. But, you know, learn by doing and all that. Thanks to Nos. 1 & 3, above, I have some ideas about where my story is lacking. And I’ve identified some resources that I think might help:

Did you write a novel for NaNo? Did you write a thing? A half-thing?
Are you going to do anything with it?
What’s YOUR plan?

*Well, actually at about 11:52 am on November 30th
**You smart people saw this one coming, didn’t you? That was always going to be the answer. The shortest distance between two points is….well, if I knew that, I wouldn’t be a writer, now would I?
***Though it’s possible I would have agreed to anything while my brain was popsicled. Seriously, it was colder than a polar bear’s breakfast out there.

Author: Alisa Alering

I write stories. I read stories.

3 thoughts on “NaNo Now What? — The Great Novel Revision of 2013

  1. I wrote a rough draft that will — with months of editing and a fair amount of additional material — be what I’d call a novel. Then I’ll edit it some more, and run it by beta readers, and edit some more, and proofread, and correct — and finally, I’ll self-publish it (which will make a total of three self-published novels).

  2. Pingback: Starting the Editing Process « Writing For Real

  3. Wonderful ideas and easy to follow goals. This is the year, 2013, that I get it completed, revised, polished and hopefully find an agent to represent the finished product. I’ve been blogging about a year and a half and it seems like I always have this goal, but finally, I also have the necessary tools and knowledge to see it through. I accomplished a great deal over the holidays ( surprising, I know). It was at the expense of neglecting my blog and other social outlets, but worth it. I also FINALLY, signed up and paid for my first big writers conference ( The San Francisco’s Writers Conference) and I am so excited . There is something about actually shelling out the money and making the flight and hotel reservations, that has me doing a silly- happy dance.

    I recently discover Cathy Yardly’s book, Rock Your Plot, as well. She is amazing and her simple, but effective plan is the way to go .

    Thanks for sharing all of the links. Good luck and best wishes for a productive 2013.

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