The “Now What?” Months are here! In 2014, we’ll be bringing you advice from authors who published their NaNo-novels, editors, agents, and more to help you polish November’s first draft until it gleams. Author Liz Coley guides you through four questions she asks about each of her manuscripts:
Come each November 30, I’ve usually got a 50,017-word manuscript with an inspired and page-turning start, a middle featuring holes or inconsistencies, and an end that feels like a mad dash to the last scene (because it was).
This document is what I call my “white room” draft. It lacks furniture and paint, or more specifically, well-interspersed action beats to break up the dialogue and well-integrated physical details of characters and setting. And frequently, though the foundation is good, it lacks a wall or two and a decent roof to cap it all off.
Since I started NaNoWriMo in 2006, I’ve developed a four-step revision cycle—beginning with Step Zero: take December to finish the story. With the new year, revising begins in earnest. Simply stated, four questions must be answered and satisfied:
"Libraries tend to become more cozy, relaxing and communicative places. Other than public spaces like museums, they have a certain private character, which makes them a living room for their community."