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To Finish or not to Finish, That is the Question

 Since it’s the end of NaNoWriMo, I just know this is a question a lot of writers will be asking themselves. The goal of NaNoWriMo is simply to write 50k words in thirty days, not to actually finish the novel. If you finished it, that’s wonderful, if you’ve still got a couple of thousand words, that fine because undoubtedly you’re going back to read this manuscript and let me tell you, the 50k you write within thirty days isn’t always pretty. For some of you it might be, but for others… not so much.

Undoubtedly you’ve gone back and seen where you might have gotten a little wordy as a result of trying to meet that 50k quota, might be one too many adverbs, scenes you probably don’t need, characters you don’t need and a plethora of other problems.

That’s not to say you’ll have all these problems, but a few more than normal when there’s no time to go back through and edit a little so the draft isn’t as rough, time to go research something that you didn’t research before and just kind of took creative license within this month.

But this does bring out a concern. Is this just a novel that you wrote for NaNoWriMo to show that you have time to write and there’s no excuse for you not to write, or is this novel something that can actually be polished up and published.

Well, first you have to ask yourself, is it worth the time to polish up and publish to begin with? Do you want to spend the time doing so or move on to another project? There are many variables that factor into that decision. Is the idea overdone? If it is overdone, did I bring something new to the execution of it? Is the story there? Is the plot there? Does it have an audience? Actually, these are questions one asks anyway when writing a novel, but sometimes in our determination to take on a writing challenge, we forget to ask in the beginning of the challenge.

Since this is such a subjective subject, I’ll put it like this, if you’re willing to put the work, time and effort into polishing up the manuscript, getting the structure together and you sincerely feel that it can work, go for it. But don’t force yourself to work on something your heart isn’t into to work on. It’s okay to put it away, as long as you don't make a habit of it, because believe me, it's easy to fall into the habit of starting a story and not finishing it. Just because you wrote it doesn’t mean you have to polish it to publish it, at least not immediately. I have so many stories and ideas on my computer it’s ridiculous, but there’s only one I’m really focusing on right now (and is the bane of my very existence right now).

Anywho, since I’ll undoubtedly be doing my darnedest to be done with the final edit (note edit, I’ll go back and proofread one more time) by the end of December, expect me to talk about editing a lot as I vent my frustration onto this blog…

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