A manly man writer holding a giant pen like a weapon and a scroll of paper as a shieldI heart NaNoWriMo. I always write way more words in November than any other time during the year. The challenge always is what to do with those words once you’ve got them on the page.

Here are your next steps.

Step one – Walk away from the manuscript

It’s great to give your WIP and your brain a little time to rest. Some people like to give it a whole month, but I think a week is plenty. When you get back to it ready to edit ideas you didn’t even know you had will have marinated and you can look at the story with a fresh head.

Step two – Start Editing

I recommend a three pass system

  • Pass one – read through the entire manuscript from start to finish and edit, make any changes you like, as you go. Don’t go back…ever. Keep moving forward. If you make some great big changes in later chapters that are going to require alterations to the beginning make yourself a note.
  • Pass two – print the whole thing out (sorry trees), and in a different color and/or font from what’s on your screen. I like blue and a nice and simple font like Georgia. This is also where I get out the highlighters (and I use Margie Lawson’s EDITS system). Now read through the whole manuscript again, start to finish and write notes in the margins (or even between lines!) for changes you want to make as you go. Don’t go back, keep moving forward. When you’re all the way through the paper manuscript, open your document up and start working on your changes.
  • Pass three – read it aloud. Either print it out again (really sorry trees!) and read it out loud to yourself making notes for changes as you go or have your computer read it out loud and makes notes on your follow-along copy for changes. When you’re done listening open the document up and finalize your last changes.

Now you’re done with your self-editing!

Step three – Sign up for my online workshop Zero to Self-Published in 90 Days.

We’ll take your mostly finished manuscript through all the steps to successfully self-publish including: Finding an editor and cover designer, formatting for a beautiful book, getting the right front and back matter, writing your book description, finding your keywords and categories, creating a business plan, developing a marketing plan,¬†planning your launch day, sending out ARCs, creating an ebook, a print book, and an audiobook, where and how to sell your book, publishing, and ongoing marketing! Phew!

I only do this workshop once a year through my favorite writing group, Colorado Romance Writers, to help them earn much needed operating money. (Although, your book can be any genre, you don’t have to write romance!)

The cost is only $99 which is super duper inexpensive. If you paid for the same thing one-on-one with me it would cost over $900! So get my brain and my time now at a great rate.

Click here to sign up.

Click here to sign up for the course

Hugs and Happy Writing,
— Amy Denim