Miranda Kenneally

Mexican Food Cures Writer's Block

NaNoWriMo is Over: Now it’s time to unleash that badass novel of yours on the world! Not.

You’ve met your NaNoWriMo goal! Good for you! I know how hard you’ve worked to crank out your first draft.

If this is your first novel, I bet you feel giddy. Drunk with excitement. You’ve just created the next LORD OF THE RINGS! The next HUNGER GAMES! You must get this published ASAP.

STOP.

Before even thinking about trying to get an agent, you should do these things:

1) Revise, revise, revise. Revise your novel eleventy billion times.

2) Get several people to read it (not all at once). People who will tell you the truth. People who will rip it to shreds. People who will tell you what’s wonderful about your work, and how to highlight it.

3) Revise again.

4) Get other people to read it. (I sometimes use a freelance editor.) Get people in your target audience to read your work – e.g. teenagers if you’re writing YA, horror-lovers if you’ve written something a la Stephen King.

5) Revise again.

6) Continue this process until readers say, “This is awesome! Love it!”

7) Then start the querying process. (Here’s a post about queries by me) (Here’s the query that got me my agent)

Any other thoughts? What else should writers do before putting their manuscript out there?

As a writer, what goals do you set for yourself?

PS:
My agent Sara Megibow is giving away a partial read to one lucky person over at Ashley March’s blog.

PPS:
My agent-mate Roni Loren is giving away a query critique or a first five pages critique over at her blog, and I’m giving away the same prize there, too.

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3 Responses to “NaNoWriMo is Over: Now it’s time to unleash that badass novel of yours on the world! Not.”

  1. I know this is unpopular advice, but a freshly written manuscript needs time to sit. A month or so. Then you can have a more objective outlook when starting to revise. If I read something right after I write it, I think it’s brilliant. If I wait a while, then I realize how much work it needs.

  2. Miranda Kenneally says:

    Jill – Totally agree! I have a hard time doing this myself, so I didn’t list it. 🙂 Great advice, though.

  3. Tahlia says:

    I’ve been wondering what’s going to happen to all these NaNo novels. I feel for agents if they get a rush of unrevised, unedited and unread ms.

    I’ve done all that, got an agent and still re-editing. I figure it can always be better.

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