5 Tips for Successful NaNoWriMo Writers

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Calling all successful NaNoWriMo writers.
You’ve written your first novel. You’re facing your first revisions. Where do you start?

  1. ReadSelf Editing for the Fiction Writer Self Editing for the Fiction Writer by Renni Browne and Dave King.
  2. Revise everything that you can think of based on that book.
  3. Attitude toward revision: After you’ve done that, do NOT think you are done. That’s the worst mistake new writers make. High school and college English have probably taught you that you write once, then clean it up and send it off. That might be fine for school, where you’re just working for a grade. But publication raises the stakes immensely. To bring a book to market, a publisher often invests upwards from $25,000 in each book. This is a competitive business and the standards of school work are NOT the standards of the professional publishing world.
    For example, the large publishing houses often receive 25,000 manuscripts a years, out of which they publish 50; of those, only 1 or 2 are from new authors. The odds are stacked against you. If you only revise once, it’s practically a given that you’ll be collecting rejection slips. Plan to revise until it is perfect.
  4. Join professional organizations. For children’s writing, join the Society of Children’s Bookwriters and Illustrators. For mystery writing, join the Mystery Writers of America. There’s the Romance Writers of America, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the Literary Guild, just to name a few of the major one. The reason to join is to find a local group of writers who might have a critique group you can join. Attend conferences where you can meet and listen to editors. In short, move toward schmoozing with professionals in any format available to your in your area.
  5. Finally, poke around here. Start with these popular series of posts.

    Any other tips for First Time Revisers?

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2 Comments
  • Janni
    December 4, 2007

    Though to join SFWA, one has to have already sold a novel, or else three short stories to professional markets. I’m not sure, but I think for MWA it may be the same.

    Though SFWA’s web site has resources for new writers, whether you’re a member or not …

  • darcy
    December 4, 2007

    Janni–

    You’re right for many of the writer’s organizations. However, you can still go to conferences, meet people, etc. some, such as the SCBWI, allow you to join as an associate member.

    Darcy