After NaNoWriMo, now what?

NaNoWriMo was a wonderful experience for writers. We gathered together and talked about everything from Star Wars to story ideas, and then gave life to an original story that has burned inside each of us. Now that you have finished your “dirty draft,” what do you do next?

Take these first steps:

  • Take a day (and more) to do something for you and your future. Put on those walking shoes, enjoy the sunlight, and some upbeat music. Take long refreshing breaths. If the writer career path is your goal, do the healthy things necessary to help you take it on.
  • Define your goals. What do you want to do with your writing? Be specific and honest.
  • Your first cursory edit. Organize your dirty draft together and then run it through a spelling & grammar checker. Here are some suggestions below or use your own. Be sure to use one that works for you and is safe.
    • A.      If full-on MS WORD (2016 +) This is the one I use. It is quite powerful.
      • File > Options > Proofing > Writing Style (found under “When correcting spell and & grammar in Word”) > Grammar & More > Settings > Check everything in the menu that you prefer.  > Select Okay and Okay.
      • In your document:  Review > Spelling & Grammar.
      • Be sure you have a cup of coffee, it will find so much! Be sure to read what it wants to correct before pressing the button!
    • B.      If Google Docs
      • Google is going to be releasing an AI grammar checker to rival Grammarly
      • Docs > Tools > Spelling & Grammar
    •  If Other – Grammarly (free)
  • Don’t stop writing. After your walks, begin the next story. It is common for professional writers to have one work in edits while working on another.
  • Sift the Draft. Read completely through. Keep what you want, archive the rest.
  • Attend a Critique Group or Hire an Editor (or both). This begins the journey of making sure the story works.