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Now What? Why Revising Your Novel Can Mean Filling It With Stuff You Like

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You wrote a novel! Now what? NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” Months are here—this January and February, we’ll be helping you guide your novel through the revision and publishing process. Today, Michelle Hodkin, author of The Mara Dyer Trilogy, shares her revision structure… and why revision involves thinking about the treasures you’re storing away for your future reader:

Dear Novelist,

I say ‘novelist’ because you are, in fact, a novelist now. You put one word after the other, created page after page, and you wrote 50,000 words in one month. It’s incredible, what you’ve done—I have three books under my belt, but I’ve never achieved what you have. Because here’s my dirty little secret: the act of drafting, of putting words on a page where none existed before? It’s my least favorite thing about writing. 

Which, given that that is writing, probably makes you wonder what I’m doing writing books anyway and where I get off Telling You How to Do it. That is a valid question. Here’s my honest answer: my first novel just poured out of me. I didn’t think before I sat down to do it—my big idea was literally, “Something happens to someone.” But for whatever reason, some strange alchemical compound of compulsion mixed with ignorance and confidence, I ended up with 80,000 words in four months. 

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