We are nearly halfway into the month of December. Last month, some of you actually completed the marathon writing event known as NaNoWriMo. (Again- not a rare zoo animal, but National Novel Writing Month.) To those who finished 50,000 words or more in just 30 days, my hats go off to you good sirs and madams! That’s a lot of typing activity in such a short amount of time! (Why couldn’t the people who invented NaNoWriMo have chosen a month with 31 days? I might have participated!)
You are probably relaxing your fingers and wrists, wondering what in the world to do with your NaNoWriMo manuscript. Worry not! I have suggestions to reassure you that the carpal tunnel syndrome you were recently diagnosed with was not acquired in vain. Here are 5 things you can do with your NaNoWriMo manuscript:
1. Print off several copies of your manuscript at Office Max or Kinkos and give them to friends and family as Christmas presents. Concerned about the horrible grammar, spelling errors, and gaping plot holes? Fear not! Most of your family and friends won’t read it anyway. (They will read the dedication, however. Make sure you put EVERYONE’S name in the dedication.)
2. Sell your manuscript on ebay. You could probably get at least $50 for it from some slob who would like to put their name on a novel-any novel- that he or she didn’t actually have to write themselves.
3. Go through your novel and erase at least 1/3 of the nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Voila- you have created your very own Mad Libs! Perfect for road trips and parties.
4. Take 2 or 3 characters in your novel and turn them into zombies. Rename your novel Far From the Maddening Zombie Crowd. Tell potential publishers that your novel is a comment on how consumerism has turned civilized nations into lands of mindless, wandering, thirsty creatures. Cite Don DeLillo’s White Noise as inspiration. Not only will you be sure to get your novel published, it will likely win the Booker Prize.
5. The creators of NaNoWriMo.org got you into this mess; let them help get you out of it. Visit their “I Wrote a Novel, Now What?” page, where you will find useful tools to help you revise and salvage what you have written. If these tips don’t help, demand your money back. That was a joke. If you PAID to participate in NaNoWriMo, you have been swindled, my friend.
Seriously, don’t give up on what you’ve written, even if you’re convinced it’s utter crap.
“I have rewritten- often several times- every word I have ever written. My pencils outlast their erasers.” Vladimir Nabokov
If you can find nothing else to be taken away from your NaNoWriMo experience, be grateful for word processing programs. Really.
Did you finish NaNoWriMo?