Tens of thousands of writers are racing through
their pages during National Novel Writing Month this November. Thousands will cross the finish line to
complete a manuscript of 50,000 words or more.
Now, what can you do with it?
In a nutshell?
Rewrite it. Revise it. Edit it.
Make sure it’s the best book it can be.
Then start looking for an agent.
That’s what I did.
It took me a month to write that first draft of Tracks: A Novel in Stories,
then a few years to take the spillage and sculpt it into a novel I could pitch
to agents. The result? Representation by one of New York City’s top
And a book deal with Atticus Books!
it all started with a month of intense writing, as you can read in Ally E.
Peltier’s story about the beginnings of Tracks
as a NaNoWriMo novel.
a snippet from her article:
began writing Tracks five
years ago, during NaNoWriMo. He wrote about 60,000 words that year, then went
on to add and subtract stories, rewrite and revise, until he had a final draft
ready to take to publishers. “The nice thing about NaNoWriMo,” Eric says, “is
that you’re forced to write even when you’re not sure you have it all figured out.
And for a first draft, that’s good. Tracks
is a different, and better, book than that original draft. But the original
draft helped make it possible.”
also uses Tracks to teach some
writing lessons, such as the importance of staring small, reading other
writers, avoiding traps like procrastination and perfection-seeking.
attempted and won NaNoWriMo five times. I’ll admit I don’t do it every year,
because I have enough rough drafts to sculpt into presentable prose. But this
year, I sort of did it again. But this year, it was EarlNoWriMo—Early Novel
Writing Month! I wrote my most recent draft novel, a literary thriller set in
China, during the month of October. It fit my schedule and deadline better than
Ally’s article about Tracks and
NaNoWriMo, published in her monthly newsletter, at the following link.
Labels: ally peltier, earlnowrimo, nanowrimo, national novel writing month, novel, tracks, writing