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Friday, November 2, 2012

What Agents Say About National Novel Writing Month

I have never participated in National Novel Writing Month, but have a HUGE appreciation for those taking on the challenge. Knocking out 50,000 words in one month doesn't fit my writing style or my lifestyle~ I'm not about to adapt my sleep schedule with another infant on the way (got to soak up those Zzzzzs while they're available).

1,000 words a day is about my limit for long-term productivity. I've definitely written more during bursts of creativity and cooperation from the kids in terms of their napping/social calendar/sporting event schedules, but I work better under a little less pressure :) Plus, I'm a weenie and I'd rather cheer for everyone else!

So what do agents say about National Novel Writing Month. Contrary to what some think, agents and editors do not cringe at the concept of writing a novel (or a solid base of one) in a single month. Many a seasoned author rolls up his/her sleeves during November to crank out a load of words and many an agent cheers for writers who attempt to "win" NaNo~ check out these recent tweets from Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary:


My post this month will be about = DO EET! Seriously, I'm a huge fan. Go! Go! Go! *cheerleader*

Day Two of  = remember, for this adventure, just write every day. Forget about self-editing and just write. *cheers*


What agents and editors do seem to mind is the lack of follow-through.

Here are a few recent agent/editor thoughts from Twitter to keep in mind as you set your querying/submission goals for those fabulous NaNo projects:

Sarah LaPolla@sarahlapolla Sarah LaPolla of Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Oh hey, it's November. Happy #NaNoWriMo, participating writers! Write your heart out! (Then REVISE before querying!)

Brooks Sherman@byobrooks Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Literary Management
Writers starting #NaNoWriMo tomorrow: I applaud you. I also urge you not to query agents Dec. 1 with your new novel. It won't be ready yet.

Georgia N. McBride@Georgia_McBride Georgia McBride of Month9Books
Ppl, listen to the agents when they ask you NOT to query your #NaNo novel in December or even January. Revision takes time. #yalitchat

Elana Roth@ElanaRoth Elana Roth of Red Tree Literary
#NaNo is really your Word and Idea Vomit month. #yalitchat


And don't you freaking dare query me in December on a #NaNo project. #yalitchat


Best of luck and happy writing to all of you fabulous NaNo-ers!!






27 comments:

  1. Interesting/funny tweets. Sounds like they get a lot of NANO novels in Dec. and Jan.

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    1. I'm sure they always get a few :)

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  2. Hahahaha! I can't believe anyone would actually consider turning around in December and trying to query their NaNo novel. That's more insane than NaNo!
    And I'm with you on not doing it. On a good day, it takes me 6 hours to write 1000 words. There's no way I could do NaNo without having a solid 10 hours to work -every- day, and I just don't have that. Basically, I have about 4 hours a day that I can write without too many interruptions (and that's not a solid 4 hours; it's two 2 hour blocks), and I just don't write in that spewing method.

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    1. You know what? Even if I had ten hours a day to write, I don't think I could use it all. Maybe I'm not naturally creative, but I don't think I could write ten hours a day even if I had it available. I'd get burned out pretty quickly at that rate.

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    2. Sometimes, I can go like that, but, to be honest, I so much don't have any time without interruptions that I'm not sure what I would be able to do with that much uninterrupted time.

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  3. Nice to see that agents do like the idea of participating. However, like Andrew, I can't imagine anyone churning out 50,000 words in one month would consider it was ready for submission!

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    1. I'm sure it happens~ I've heard of a few agents who've actually received query letters citing the fact that this is their NaNo novel (I guess to express dedication to writing???).

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  4. Lol. My first drafts are always nice in the grammar/spelling/technical department, but crap in everything else. I would be absolutely mortified to query someone with my unedited NaNo novel...

    I hear that December is just a bad month to query in in general, because of the holiday seasons and general craziness.

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    1. My first drafts aren't even worthy of letting my critique partners take a look :)

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  5. Funny!

    Once again, I've set myself a goal of 20,000 words. NaNoWriMo-ers probably think that's nothing, but it's a big deal for me. Hope I make it!

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    1. That's a great goal! I would definitely join you, but I've started revising a new first draft (which should take me to the end of the year or so).

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  6. I've never participated in this either Jess. Thanks for the agent tweets about it.

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  7. NaNo is not for me either. It just doesn't mesh with my creative process. That said, it can be a great tool for people who *need* a motivation to sit down and write.

    But querying that novel in December is a big gaffe. I am sure there are plenty of people who do it, but I'm thinking they can't have been in the querying trenches for very long if they think that's okay.

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    1. Yeah, I'm guessing that not too many people involved in the writerly blogging community would do that. But that's okay. Mistakes (and learning from them) are what get us better at the craft and closer to the dream :)

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  8. Hm...I wonder if now is a good time to query. =)

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  9. I'd love to devote a month to non-stop writing, but so far that's only been a dream! I sure do admire those who can put that many words down in such a short time, tho. Maybe someday...? Like others, I recognize it would be a rough draft and no where near ready to submit :-) Congratulations btw on the expected little one to come. My daughter is expecting, too--something we're quite excited about...

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    1. So you'll be a grandma??? That's great! All the cuddling, none of the night feedings :)

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    2. Congrats to both of you for the expected new arrivals! Exciting and sweet times ahead!

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  10. This will be my first year to try NaNo. It's funny how so many people feel so differently about this issue!

    I will say I doing this because of one reason: I broke my foot and have PLENTY of time to write.

    So here's to all the NaNo writers. Go! *cheering loudly*

    (You don't know how hard it is for me to keep writing with all those little red lines filling my page...just keep writing, writing, writing...)

    By the way, no! I wouldn't even think about querying my NaNo manuscript. Not until after edits and beta readers are through slicing it up for me. Like spring of next year? Maybe even summer:)

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    1. I'm sorry you broke your foot, but glad you have plenty of time to write!

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  11. HAHAHA! I love those comments. Funny.

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  12. I bet they were speaking from the experience of getting those NaNo projects as written! How frustrating! The only good thing about my one and only NaNo win was the idea. I tossed the whole thing in the cyber trash!

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  13. Congratulations on the upcoming new addition to your family! :)
    I'm not "nanoing" this year but I agree with the agents: Revise, revise, revise. Rinse and repeat if necessary before querying.

    And CONGRATS AGAIN!!!!!!! (sorry, I'm so exited for you)

    ~Akoss

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  14. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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