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Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Novel in a Month?

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 ten agents! 

And a book deal with Atticus Books!

But 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.

Here’s a snippet from her article:

Eric 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.”

She 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.


I’ve 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 NaNoWriMo.

Read Ally’s article about Tracks and NaNoWriMo, published in her monthly newsletter, at the following link.



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