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NaNo’s Over! Now What?

Hello! Greetings! Salutations! It’s been a while. Now that NaNo’s over it’s about time to get this blog rolling again, and while I’d like to say that I’ve got lined up a whole slew of new and sock knocking content, the truth is . . . I do not. Yet. However, now that November is over I can say that we can up our anty a bit in regards to Falconsbane, which could very well include character interviews, larger, better edited excerpts, etc.

BUT, for today, I wanted to check in and say: WE WON! Now, really, the only competition going on during NaNo is between you and yourself, but that doesn’t make it any more challenging. After all, sometimes you are your own worst enemy, and that holds largely true for writers. My aim for this month was to finish the Falconsbane manuscript. That entailed completing the second draft, third draft, and fourth draft. That fourth draft was my end-goal, to have my manuscript at about as good a place as I could get it so I could move on to the next step of getting this baby out in the world.

To review a bit about how the month went I’ll say this: November 1 ─ 24, very little happened, to be completely honest. I was under the (serious) misconception that it wasn’t going to take very long or very much to complete this project, so I fiddled and I putzed until the 25th came around and I realized “Gee wiz! I’ve less than a week!”

So that last week of November turned out to be pretty brutal, and I’ve only myself to blame. I holed up in my room office for many, many long hours making the edits. I would have grow roots had I not got up so many times for tea and bathroom breaks. I didn’t cook or bake a blessed thing, and the only times I got fresh air was going out to get the mail and feeding the chickens once or twice. It was painful, resulting in lack of sleep and a couple of these nasty things they call ‘headaches’, but I’m still glad did it because I got where I wanted to be and there were a couple of fairly major plot points that needed work and got the attention they needed (aka, completely rewritten) and it all feels much better to me.

At around 22:54 Friday night I clocked out with a manuscript of just over 236k words, and formatted for a printed pseudo-proof copy it comes out to 526 pages. Yup. This is no two hour tea time read (albeit I never meant it to be).

My workspace. Why the floor? My desk isn’t big enough to hold everything. And while that may look like a mini stove . . . it’s actually a mini stove. Saved my rear, it did. Otherwise I’d have been and authorcicle.

So, what now?

Well, this weekend I spent recovering. I know it sounds silly, but I needed to catch up on sleep, and that last headache woke up with me and stayed with me all day even into last night. Too long staring at a screen with poor light, as it happens, puts some serious strain on your retinas. Don’t do it, people! It’s bad.

But now that that’s largely taken care of, it’s time to do some research. I need a cover, I need more in-depth editing (largely technical stuff, like grammar. I may love words, but that doesn’t mean I understood grammar all that well in school. Don’t get me started on tenses and participles. Uhg). I also want to get some beta readers, so I can have a third party opinion of the story, its flow, how comprehensible it is, and general feedback on how I might be able to make this story even better. I need to research how the whole beta reader thing works, like how I find them and what format of the manuscript I need to provide, and I’d also like to know if I need a cover first.

I have these three things I need to do, but I haven’t a clue what the correct order is in which to do them. If you’ve got any experience with this, then please tell. I’m all ears. I’m also going to see about doing a bit of asking around, and I’ll be sure to spill the beans when we get this train moving again.

Until then, how has this past month been for all of you? What did you do for Thanksgiving? This year we smoked our turkey, which, personally speaking, is the absolute best way to go about it, and we had a dandy time standing out in the cold and the rain while we did. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions or menu items? Did you try anything new this year?

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