Many people I know are participating in the National Novel Writing Month. Never heard of it? You can find out more info here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/
If you have heard of it and indeed are writing a novel, you might be wondering, What’s next? What do I do after I get my novel done?! I have a few recommendations:
1. First of all, congrats!!! That’s awesome that you finished a 65,000-word manuscript! It’s time to CELEBRATE!
2. Join ACFW (www.acfw.com), connect with a community of authors, and join a critique group. You’ll be able to connect with other writers and help them fine-tune your manuscript while they help to fine-tune yours.
3. Check out My Book Therapy. Susie and Rachel do an awesome job helping you make sure your manuscript is in tip-top shape! Many, many, many of the authors they work with get publishing contracts. (They have a great blog, too!)
4. Revise. Remember that all of us have to revise our first drafts. Don’t feel bad if your novel needs editing and reworking. I don’t know of one writer who writes a perfect novel the first time around. NOT ONE.
5. Don’t let fear grip you. When you know your manuscript is ready, you HAVE TO send it in. If your critique group or writing mentors say it’s ready to start sending out, it’s ready!!
6. Build your team. Before you query a publisher, get connected with a great agent. A great agent will know where your manuscript will fit in the publishing world. [< -- Click to tweet!] An agent already has contacts and relationships. Your agent gives your manuscript klout and attention. Your agent becomes your cheerleader and salesperson.
Here is information from my agent, Janet Grant, on choosing an agent: http://www.booksandsuch.biz/
7. Have faith. Everyone gets rejected. I had many, many novels rejected. Rejection doesn’t mean your manuscript isn’t great. It means your manuscript doesn’t fit that publisher at that time. [< -- Click to tweet!] Your agent will also help you plan your career. Remember, it's not about just getting a novel published, it's about allowing God to use your gift of story to display His goodness to readers!