Nanowrimo Guide
5 min read

The afterparty

The NaNoWriMo logo on a gradient background overlaid with the text "The afterparty"

Yay, you’ve almost made it! With the finish line in touching distance, let’s have a look at what’s on the agenda after the month of Nanowrimo draws to a close.

🎉 Celebrate!

First off, it’s time for a well-earned celebration. Whether that’s kicking up your heels, or putting up your feet, don’t forget to congratulate yourself for a job well done!

😴 Take a break

You’ve been in the same, very demanding headspace for a whole month, so it’s important to have some downtime. Although it’s tempting to keep nitpicking your work, it’s better to take a break. As Thoreau astutely noted, “The more you look the less you will observe.”

So step away from the keyboard and let the caffeine ebb from your veins. Your manuscript will still be there when you come back – hopefully with renewed energy and a fresh perspective.

📚 Find an alpha or beta reader

Directly after the Nanowrimo challenge, your manuscript probably looks a little rough. A good alpha reader can guide you through the messy draft stage toward a more polished reader-friendly version.

Fellow writers usually make good first readers because they’re familiar with the shape of a first draft and can see the promise of your story despite the chaos! When your manuscript is more refined, you can rope in beta readers to give you feedback from the perspective of a real-life book lover.

Always choose people that you trust and remember the value of honesty – constructive feedback will make you the best writer you can be! For more tips on how to work with others, check out our round-up of First Draft Pro features for successful collaboration.

🏁 Read it from start to finish

It might seem like simple advice, but when you have a clear head, go back and read your whole manuscript through from start to finish. By putting yourself in the reader’s seat, and experiencing your story sequentially, you’ll be able to spot things that you might have missed before. Don’t panic if you find things that need to be fixed. Add a comment for later so you don’t need to interrupt your flow.