From NaNoWriMo to Print! Please Welcome Ciara Knight!

From Nanowrimo to Print

NaNo can be more than just meeting a 50,000 word goal while living in a caffeine and sugar induced fog. You can take that jumbled mess of characters swirled in drama with a dash of love into a masterpiece that others will want to read. Yes, you need to write the manuscript and that is what NaNo is all about, don’t stop to edit, don’t change characters, don’t alter story-line, etc. AND, when the month ends give yourself a pat on the back and set your baby aside. THEN come back to this article to read how I took two Nano books from jumbled mess to publication.

Here are a few tips on how to take your stories from NaNo madness to print:

  • Do NOT submit your manuscript to agent/publisher two days after Nano ends. I’m sorry, but your book is not ready. Yes, I’ve heard many, many, many authors bragging about finishing Nano and sending off their masterpiece only to sob over their quick rejections.
  • There was an agent once at a conference who stated she hated the first two weeks of December each year because she receives a ton of ‘NaNo projects.’ This agent had a form rejection ready each year for all of those submissions.
  • If you are new to writing, take a few classes. There are many opportunities through organizations such as Romance Writers of America, Savvy Authors, and/or the RWA special interest chapter, Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal.
  • Implement these new skills you’ve learned into your story. BUT make  sure you do not take instructions as hard fast rules. In both books I sold, Rise from Darkness and The curse of Gremdon, the editors had me add some telling phrases and adverbs. I was shocked. After all those classes that told me NEVER to have a word with ‘ly’ and NEVER ‘tell’ and always ‘show’ something.
  • After you let the project sit, get involved in an editing group or class. There are some great ones you can check into like EditPalooza at Savvy Authors or NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month).  If you prefer to work in small groups, get involved in a critique loop or work with a few critique partners.
  • Do NOT over edit. If you join a critique loop be cautious. Try not to have more than two people critique your work and make sure they love and understand your genre. Otherwise, you’ll only find their comments confusing. If you receive multiple differing opinions, look at your manuscript and decide what works best for your story.
  • If grammar is not your strength, have someone proof your manuscript, query letter, synopsis, and anything else you will be submitting.
  • Now you’ve spent 1-3 months editing your NaNo project so you are ready to submit, right? NO, now you need a beta reader. Find someone who is NOT a writer but who reads the genre you’ve written. Please, stay away from close family members; they just cannot be objective.
  • Once you receive the beta read back and you’ve made any necessary changes, and make sure to proofread it again.
  • Now, you are ready to send out a few partials (if requested) and see what kind of response you receive. If you receive two or three rejections stating the same reason, than you know there is an issue you need to fix. If not, and it is a ‘we love your writing but we already have two books slated this year with this same subject do you have anything else to submit?’ then you move on and know you are headed in the right direction. (Yes that is a reject I received. J )
  • Most importantly, do NOT rush and make mistakes by sending in an inferior product. Take your time to make your Nano project shine.
  • Even after you do all of these things and you contract your story with a publisher, your editing has just begun.  Remember, no matter how hard you work there will always be more to learn.J

Good luck with Nano, everyone! I hope you meet lots of fellow writers and have a fantastic time.

Rise from Darkness, book I of the Battle for Souls series, one of my Nano stories, will be released March 2012.  Love’s Long Shadow, a prequel novella to the Battle for Souls series, is available now.

About Ciara:

Ciara is happily married and enjoys family time. She has learned to embrace chaos, which is a requirement when raising three boys, and utilizes the insanity to create stories not of this world including, Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, and Young Adult Dystopian.

Her first love, besides her family, reading, and writing, is travel. She’s backpacked through Europe, visited orphanages in China, and landed in a helicopter on a glacier in Alaska.


Love’s Long Shadow (Young Adult Novella, Paranormal)

Sammy Lorre was cast from Heaven for conduct unbecoming an angel. Living in a demon-infested small town with no memory of her previous life, she faces never-ending purgatory until Boon saunters into her life with a promise of angelic love. But is he an angel from Heaven or a minion from the underworld preying on her human emotions? To discover his true identity, she must risk eternal damnation and her heart.

Length: 12,000 words, novella
Price: $1.99

Now available : TMP bookstore . Amazon Kindle . Smashwords . Bookstrand . All Romance Ebooks/OmniLit


8 comments to From NaNoWriMo to Print! Please Welcome Ciara Knight!

  • Some really good advice for all those aspiring writers completing nanowrimo! As someone once said “writing IS rewriting!”

  • Thank you so much for having me here today, Julie. I’m sorry for the late start, but hubby is leaving and today is our anniversary. I’ll stop back back more this evening.

    I’m glad you found the post informative, Pat. I’ve been through a couple of the NaNos and seen many, many mistakes. :) Have a great day!

  • [...] over at Julie Lindsey’s blog today discussing NaNoWriMo to print. I hope to see you [...]

  • This is some great advice. I’m not doing NaNo this year because I wanted to focus on some editing, but it is something I’ll do again. That’s funny (or really not) about the agent who dreaded getting all the NaNo novels post November. :)

  • I’ve never done NaNo because November is a crazy month for me. But I think it’s great for showing writers that yes, they can focus and complete 50,000 words in a month.

  • Brinda – I know. I was shocked when I heard her say that. :) Thanks for stopping by here.

    Carol – It is a great exercise. I think it is of great significance for a new writer who doubts they can finish a novel at all. I’ve heard more people say they couldn’t believe they finished their book.

  • Really nice tips. I don’t do NaNoWriMo, but they’re very useful in general. Thanks for sharing.

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