So you did it.
You wrote 50K words in the month of November. Or maybe you only got to 25K. Whatever it is, congratulations! This is a huge accomplishment! Now comes the fun part, because, yes, you need to revise…

Well, we here at the place (being K. A. Holt, Jessica Lee Anderson , E. Kristin Anderson, Madeline Smoot, and sometimes members Mari Mancusi and Jenny Ziegler) have the answers you need.

We give you out Top Ten Post NaNo revision tips:

1) Throw out the whole draft and start again.
It may sound daunting, but at the end of revisions, this very well could be exactly what has happened.

2) Eat cake. Lots of cake. You deserve it, no matter what your mother says.
If you’re a perfectionist, you might consider imbibing wine in addition to cake.

Making it a fun cake will make it all that much better.

3) Do not read about anyone else’s novel idea.
If it’s similar at all to your NaNo project, it’ll make discouragement settle in.
Anyway, your story is different. And unique. And totally has a place in the market, even if it is chock-full of faeries and vampires and mean cheerleaders who stole your main character’s boyfriend.

4) Cut those cliches that crept their way into your manuscript.
Okay, they didn’t creep. You put them there, and sure, you said to yourself, “I’ll remove this cliche when I revise.”
Guess what? It’s time to revise.
Here’s a handy list in case you’re interested.

5) Sit on it. Put it in a drawer. Hide it under your cat.
Seriously. Best tip ever. Take as much time away from that thing as you can stand. It will love you so much more when you return.

Wait until Daylight Savings Time ends and you have to change your clock.

6) Ask your favorite Barista at THE PLACE for tips.
Like, advice, not the stuff in his jar by the register.

7) Read the author who most inspires you and ask yourself:
“What would
Francesca Lia Block do with this scene?”
Feel free to substitute the author of your choice here.

8 ) Don’t be afraid to slice & dice Ginsu style.
Come on. You know you added some of that crap just to up the word count.
Epilogue? Yeah, I can smell that.

Thanks, Gary, for the image!

9) Go back to whatever you were revising before that NaNoWriMo nonsense interrupted.
And the extra benefit of this one, it won’t look nearly as bad as you thought. (See number (5).)

10) Just edit out every other word. It’ll make sense. Probably.

pjhoover_casual1 PJ Hoover is not ready for these tips yet since she’s still writing her NaNo project :)

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Filed under P. J. Hoover


  1. Natalie Aguirre

    Great tips for anyone revising whether or not they participated in NaNo or not. Even though it’s sometimes hard to do, putting a project away for a bit can give you real perspective on it.

  2. Parker Peevyhouse

    I would like to solve that cake now.

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