After the NaNo Holidays–AND A GIFT FOR YOU

Did you do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? Or are you mid-holiday frenzy? Both explode a lot of energy through a short time.

Here’s my question: What do you do when it’s all over? Are you like me, and find cleanup a little dull after all the excitement? How do you combat that?

How about a *FREE* Kindle or Nook story for you? Five Angel Recommended Read* star The Bite of Silence, my short erotic vampire action-filled New Year’s Eve themed romance is FREE at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for a limited time.The Bite of Silence

Well, sure, that’s one way :)

After running full out I only have so much oomph, so I tackle the post-holiday jumble one small item at a time. The shards of wrapping paper are first. Then the boxes and plastic packaging my kids inevitably leave strewn around the living room.  The kitchen is next, putting away dishes from the feast. Decorations and cards come down anywhere from a week to a month laterbhey, they’re not in the way, right?

And after the NaNo? What do you do after pouring out fifty thousand words in thirty days? Maybe your prose is gorgeous, neat and complete. Maybe it looks like my house after the holidays. There’s a nifty book on how to handle that written by the NaNo guy called No Plot? No Problem! But this wouldn’t be a blog if I didn’t throw in my own two cents, one small item at a time.

Last month I wrote about The Bra Maneuver (Separate and Lift). Today I’m pimping IMMEDIACY. I’m taking my example from Biting Nixie, because it happens to be handy and I know how I changed it. “I” in this case is Nixie, a five-foot-nothing punk rock musician. Julian is a six-plus vampire lawyer. He’s really hot. Trust me. In this scene they’re getting attacked by bad-guy vamps.

In the dark beyond [Julian] I caught the impression of movement.  Blurs, two of them, coming in fast.  I couldn’t see much, sequestered behind Julian.  He was lean, yes.  But big.  His chest was solid and his shoulders broad.  His waist was easily as big as my hips.  That lean, flat waist.

In front of me, Julian’s arms jerked.  Cut through the air, hard.  His hands almost whistled with the force he used.  If he’d held knives, whatever he hit was now sliced, diced, and julienned.

Okay, there are two problems. Can you spot them? First, two good guys, two villains. How much tension is there with even odds? Second, you see the bad guys swooping in, and the next thing you see is Julian fighting. But where is the immediate cause of Julian’s slice-’n-dice?

Here’s the revision:

In the dark beyond him I caught the impression of movement.  Blurs, three of them, coming in fast.  I couldn’t see much, sequestered behind Julian.  He was lean, yes.  But big.  His chest was solid and his shoulders broad.  His waist was easily as big as my hips.  That lean, flat waist.

“Get him!” someone growled.

In front of me, Julian’s arms jerked.  Cut through the air, hard.  His hands almost whistled with the force he used.  If he’d held knives, whatever he hit was now sliced, diced, and julienned.

I’ve bolded the fixes. The frosting on the cake is GET HIM. Yes, I could have also elicited Julian’s response by shoving the bad guy right in his face. But dialog is fast, immediate. Command imperative is even more so. For more impact, show the threat as immediate before responding.

What about you? What do you do after the holidays? Or after the NaNo?

* Reviewed by Hayley for Fallen Angel Reviews

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6 Responses to “After the NaNo Holidays–AND A GIFT FOR YOU”

  1. Nancy Gilliland Says:

    After NaNo, I’ve decided to just let my brain rest for a month, then in January I will start whipping those 50,000+ words into something closely resembling a story-well it is a story, but it needs chapters and breaks and lots of edits.

  2. Suzanne Says:

    LOL. A year later, I’m still trying to fix the mess from NaNo 2009! Lesson learned: next year for NaNo, I will go in with a fully plotted and outlined novel. No more pantsing for this girl!

  3. Margaret Fieland Says:

    I signed up for something called editpalooza to really get me going on the revisions.

  4. Moonsanity (Brenda) Says:

    I actually was pretty happy with what I got done during NaNo, but I need to finish it– I know how I want it to end but I was behind on other things and with the holiday I decided to take a break. I definately flew by the seat of my pants on the story– but I ended up developing a time line, and that helped a lot. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to juggle my nonfiction freelance and the fiction in January so I can have a really productive year doing both.

  5. Pat Marinelli Says:

    I let my NaNoWriMo novel rest until January. In January I start to research anything I now need that I didn’t know I needed before I started. I do this until March when I sign up for NaNoEdMo. During NaNoEdMo I read the novel through all the way and make continuity notes. Once that is finished, I go through and look for out of character actions and dialogue. Then I start with chapters and scenes on the third pass. Finally, I start on the fine tunning–grammar, sentence structure, over-used words and phrases, etc.

    Once this is done, I’m usually have a draft good enough for critique partners to read.

    I’ve done NaNoWriMo 7 times. Some are much less work then others. Most end up to be novellas rather than novels. Out of 7 tries, I have four good ones. Of the three left, one has potential. Not bad 30 days.

  6. Mary Hughes Says:

    Hey Nancy! Thanks for your comments! I think that’s a vital part of writing–letting both it and the author rest.

    Hi, Suzanne! LOL, I have pantsed my way into mayhem too so I hear you 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

    Hi, Margaret! I hadn’t heard of editpalooza, I’d be interested in hearing how it goes for you. Thanks for writing!

    Hi, Brenda! Thanks for your comments! Glad to hear NaNo was productive for you, and best of good luck with your January project juggling!

    Hi, Pat! Wow, fantastic follow-through, well thought-out and thorough. I didn’t know there was a NaNoEdMo, but that makes sense, sort of an Editor Hat complement to the Writer Hat. Congratulations on your successes!

    Thanks to everyone who visited my post, and especially everyone who commented! I’ve been dealing with sick family and this is the first I’ve gotten to see what a wonderful group of people shared their excellent tips. Thanks so much!

    Hope you all have a wonderful and prosperous New Year!


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