As so many of you already know, November 1st marks the start of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I thought I managed a pretty good agents-eye-view of it last year, so I want to direct your attention to it again. A tidbit:
It’s November 1st, and for hordes of writers out there, that means one thing: NaNoWriMo. If you’re still among the uninitiated, that stands for National November Writing Month — a pledge to write and finish a 50,000 word novel in the month of November, no excuses. Now, many other writers will give you tips and tricks for writing your NaNovel (check out the fabulous Rexroth’s month of hints from last year [kt: actually 2009], starting here — also available as a free e-book — or Chuck Wendig’s “Dos and Don’ts”), and so I’m not about to start.
What I do want to do is draw your attention to Chuck’s last “Don’t”:
Don’t Take It So Seriously That You Start Sending It Out to Agents and Editors Immediately.
Today marks the day all literary agents and editors dread: NaNoWriMo. #rememberthatrevisionisyourfriend #donthitsendonthatqueryonDecemberOne
Worst queries I ever received as an agent always started with “I’ve just finished writing my NaNoWriMo novel and…”
Don’t be one of those authors agents and editors dread. Recognize that even if you win NaNoWriMo, your manuscript is in NO WAY ready to submit. Take time to revise, revise, revise. Maybe even set it aside for a few months so you can come back to it fresh in the spring.
This is a marathon, people, not a sprint.
As I did last year, I’m getting into the swing of things myself by pledging to read and response to at least one client manuscript, partial or full everyday until I’m all caught up, or we hit November 30th, whichever comes first. Call it National Manuscript Reading Month, or NaMaReMo. I’ve got a bit of a head start, with only 26 things to read, but I also have a 9-month-old, so I think that’s enough of a handicap, at least in terms of reading time.
Are you a NaNoWriMo-er? Let us know in the comments so we can cheer you on!