This is part 2 of my 2018 NaNoWriMo journey. To read part 1, click here.

What was the hardest part? For me, the most difficult thing is getting the words down on the page fast enough. Once I have an idea where the story is going, I need to get it down on paper/on the computer, and my fingers never type fast enough to keep up with the story running through my head.

What was the best part? I absolutely love seeing the personalities of my characters develop. The characters are very one dimensional until I put them in the pressure cooker of the plot and see how they respond to each other and to the situations I stick them in. In the beginning, only 4 of my characters had names. The rest of my characters are either named by a defining trait or by symbols. So ]]] might talk to ///, who might have just come with a talk woman and boy.

What’s next? After the first draft, there are several steps before the book is ready for publication. After the first draft is finished, I need to leave the story alone for a while. I need to take a break from the story so that when I come back to it, I could look at it with fresh eyes (and therefore be more realistic and brutal with cuts).  After a break, I’ll go back over the draft, making notes about what needs to be changed, then I’ll do a line by line revision. I’ll read through and edit several more times before sending it off to beta readers, who will give me feedback. Then I rewrite based on their critiques, send to an editor, then start querying.

Okay, but what will you be working on while you take a break? I’ll be heading back to editing my prior novels. I was in the middle of editing my first novel, Zombie Love, but realized that it won’t be a great first book to release as an author; I don’t want to be pigeon-holed into horror immediately. It’ll be better for my author image to start with something more general, like This Book is a Disaster, before going back to a zombie story. But more than that, Zombie Love has been my trial run; I’ve learned the editing process and what works and what doesn’t for me, so I want to move on and apply that new knowledge to another book rather than treading water re-re-re-re-re-reading Zombie Love. After a break for the holidays, I’ll print out Disaster, hole punch it, then start my first read through, making notes as I go. I’m looking forward to looking at Disaster with a fresh set of eyes, and am hoping to be in the querying process for Disaster before the next NaNo rolls around. Then I plan to repeat the process: new novel for NaNoWriMo, then a month break, then editing the prior NaNo (so if all goes to plan, I’ll be editing The Epi beginning 2020.