Dear Still Just a Teen . . .
Publication can be the eventual result of NaNoWriMo. I know a novelist whose debut started there. “Started” being the key word. It’s not reasonable to think you can submit what you draft during this intense month without substantial revision. Likely many drafts. First drafts are about discovery and allowing a big ol’ embarrassing pile o’ Ugly to land on the page. NaNoWriMo helps you turn off your inner editor and vomit all that ugly out. Then the digging for Beautiful begins. Veteran novelists will tell you they spend more time revising than writing Draft One. For inspiration, read my Revision Week interviews with lauded writers here. NaNoWriMo gets you over the Draft One hump, and that’s not “useless.” I’m following prolific YA/NA author Jennifer L. Armentrout on Facebook right now as she posts about touring a bestseller while NaNoWriMo’ing her next book. So erase “stupid” and “useless” from your mind and regain that productive mindset that had you cranking out your personal pile o’ Ugly. Beautiful awaits.
My space opera STARF*CKER, which the Editor got to read, was a NaNo book.
(And which the Editor enjoyed.)
Mental Floss has posted a list of 14 novels that started out as NaNoWriMo projects – including the bestseller The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Fangirl by the fabulous Rainbow Rowell. Ask Erin and Rainbow how “useless” and “stupid” their NaNoWriMo efforts were. http://mentalfloss.com/article/53481/14-published-novels-written-during-nanowrimo
Great response! I just want to emphasize the point that all those revisions happen BEFORE you submit your manuscript to an editor. Critique groups can help you with this. Editors should only see the most beautiful drafts you can write. Then they ask you questions that make your story even more beautiful.
My first NaNoWriMo was only to prove to myself that I, as a 40ish adult, could start and finish a writing project. That first mess got trunked and will never see the light of day, but now, I have my first published story and several more on the submissions-go-round. I’ve made friends with several authors in my area, I have a solid start to my first novel, and I call myself a writer every day. THAT is what NaNoWriMo is for.
Great answer. There’s no substitution for revision. Many, many revisions.
[…] NaNoWriMo Is for First Drafts […]
Galley Cat says of NaNoWriMo, “The writing marathon has generated more than 250 traditionally published novels, according to the organizers.” http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/nanowrimo-writing-tip-2-create-an-outline_b79631