Pencils Down

As National Novel Writing Month draws to a close, some of you are quietly proofreading and rechecking verb tenses, while others are manically killing off characters and tamping down loose ends with the sealing wax of last resort (stream of consciousness). Many of these novels will end up in the proverbial drawer, to be enshrined as Your First Novel or the deceptively lyrical Juvenilia. Others will go right out the window, as Sixth, Seventh, and Fuck-I-Can't-Remember Novels. Will any see publishers? Take heart: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern were written during NaNoWriMos. Even if your book sucks, we can help: Stephen Elliott once said he had to write his early books to write his later books. That's the sort of line that can take you through years, or at least through tonight's NaNoWriMo: Wrap Up Celebration, in which you can unwind with your fellow just-finished novelists. And if you didn't finish, hey, make something up. You're all fiction writers now.
Tue., Dec. 6, 5:30 p.m., 2011

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