What does a working relationship between a writer and an editor look like? Author and HNE client, Jessie Clever and I have known each other for more than ten years. So in our case, it looks a little snarky.
Welcome to Letters to My Editor. She writes to me one week on her blog. I reply the next on mine. Mayhem just might ensue.
November is over, and huge congrats are due to all WriMos! Writing (or even just starting) a 50,000 word draft is a big deal, and you’re absolutely right; it should definitely be celebrated!
As to what happens next, a common pitfall I see is an author rushing to submit or publish a draft. So, the first step to continuing on with your NaNo manuscript is to do nothing. Sit on it for a good long while. Yes, it can be tricky to return to it without the initial momentum, but taking a break can bring a more objective and refreshed eye to the early stages of editing.
When you do revisit your manuscript, try sharing it with someone. Find a trusted friend to read it along with you. This serves two purposes: it keeps you accountable so you don’t fizzle out after a chapter or two (I speak from experience on that count), and you’ll have access to first impressions that aren’t coming from a brain in which the world of your story already exists. There are even editors (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) you can hire to read your manuscript and give direction and focus for your adventures in revision.
There will come a time when you need to stop fiddling with a draft, but allow space for reflection. Your manuscript will be better for it.