Thursday, December 5, 2013

After NaNoWriMo

Every year I have a new plan for how to handle life after NaNoWriMo. We revise excerpts. We pull out dialogue and practice the rules for punctuating it. It's always a battle because we are caught between Thanksgiving and Christmas, fighting against daily distractions in a school that celebrates all month long.

This year we're changing it up again. Students have already turned in their November drafts electronically. This allows me to verify their word count and that they actually write a novel, no matter how bad it is, and not just gibberish. (And yes, once in five years a student has written gibberish. For a month. Sigh.) I won't read these in detail, but I'll make sure they exist.

Next we're going to pick a scene to revise and share. I'm asking students to look through their drafts and pick at least 5 moments, or plot points, that they might like to revise and include in a class anthology. I don't want pages or even words from their drafts yet, just scenes (fight with mom, missing the foul shot, the snowstorm, etc). I'm going to ask them to share their list with classmates, and only then will they actually pull words and pages from their draft.

At this point, our focus will be on story. Some students will have lots of text they want to use and others might largely start over from scratch. I already know I'm gutting my draft, so my scene might be 99% new words. The same will be true for some of them.

I can't wait to get started.

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