Right now you’re thinking one (or both) of two things:
Well, dudes, both are true.
I’ll start with #2 first, just to make sure you’re paying attention.
If you finished a novel, or even if you got 50,000 words down during November, you’ve created something amazing. For some of you it was your first novel or first finished writing piece. So whatever you accomplished is a masterpiece.
Now for #1
Think of diamonds. Most first draft novels are like a lump of sparkly gray rock, and it needs some major cutting to be ready to show the world. Some manuscripts, especially for experienced writers, just need a little polish.
But chances are your book needs some major renovations.
That’s the difference between editing and revising. (Even if you’ve already read my post about that, go back and read it again. The distinctions are significant and make the difference between a good book and a great book.
I used to absolutely detest, abhor, loathe, despise (fill in thesaurus gem of your own) rewriting and revising. I’d put some cosmetic touches, get rid of half the “thats” and call it done. But the more I write, the more I have discovered that it takes 2-3 passes on a novel before you can add in all the layers and nuance, and develop the subplots or tweak them so they better support the theme and main plot line. Whenever I have taken the additional step for a thoughtful rewrite/revision, I have made the book infinitely better.
Even if you spent a long time planning (and I guarantee most of you did not….) you will benefit from putting in some more work before you toss this puppy out onto Kindle.
So it should come as no surprise that even a solid NaNo effort can benefit from some thoughtful revision of the structural elements like character, theme, etc.
In the past I have taught some revision seminars, but this year I have too many irons in the fire. In fact, I didn’t even participate in NaNo, which was so painful, since I’ve been an enthusiastic supporter (and winner!) for years. In fact NaNo has been a huge inspiration for me every year, even after I became a full-time writer.
If you’ve read more than a couple of my posts about planning and writing a novel or you used my book How to Be a NaNoWriMo Winner, it will be no surprise that Holly Lisle has been a huge influence on my writing. She’s also a goddess when it comes to revision. She teaches an amazing in-depth online class (How to Revise Your Novel) that forces you to pick apart your book (yes, it can feel like chopping up the baby), but the dissection and analysis will make the book a much better book.
“When Even The Pros Crash And Burn While Rewriting Their Books,
How Are YOU Supposed To
Get Revision Right?”
You will feel like a real writer as you go through the lessons. I know you already wrote a novel, so what do I mean? You’ll look at your story at so many more levels than you would otherwise. Once you learn these techniques, you will start to apply them to writing, so you have less to do to revise a future piece.
So, the shortcut to revising is to take Holly’s wonderful class rather than trying to do it yourself, or picking apart beta reader comments. You will never get better advice about rewriting a story than when you apply tried-and-true techniques to what you already know you want to achieve in a story. Plus you will get advice and support from other people in the class on whether you’re on the right track. You’ll also get feedback from Holly, which is priceless!
For full disclosure, I am one of Holly’s affiliate partners. But that’s only because I have taken her classes in the past and can honestly recommend her as a teacher and can offer genuine raves on her techniques.
In fact, this time around I’m going to join in again and work on a book that’s been gathering dust, unloved and untouched in a corner. By the end of the class I’ll have a real masterpiece, and so will you!
Find out all the good stuff from Holly about what she’ll be teaching and how to SIGN UP!
Also, feel free to ask me questions along the way as well!
If you don’t decide to take the course, I highly recommend any of her other courses or books. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn. If you put even one or two techniques into each of your future projects, you’ll find your writing (and your reviews and sales) improving with every new release.
This is going to be so much FUN.