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Yesterday, I woke up with 6,500 words left on my NaNoWriMo target. Somehow, I stumbled across the finish line, completing 50,000 words of my latest November novel. Congratulations to all my fellow wrimos and thank you to everyone who cheered me along the way.

Suffice to say, I don’t have a lot of energy left for updating my blog after running that marathon. Thankfully, I sorta planned ahead and wrote some other things that were kindly hosted and highlighted by my fellows in the writing community.

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Over at Bang2Write, I wrote about 5 Ways to Keep Writing After NaNoWriMo, because real authors don’t get to retire in December.

Writing is not always writing. Sometimes, writing is thinking about writing, preparing for writing, or deleting writing. Confused yet?

Writing a novel is a process far beyond just putting words on a page. It is certainly more than typing each individual letter. Hopefully, before NaNoWriMo, you put together at least a rudimentary plot and some characters before you started your journey. This was thinking about and preparing for writing. Sometimes, that takes two days at the end of October. Sometimes, that takes months of notes, research, mood boards and talking it out with someone you trust.

Writing is not the first draft. It is taking a raw diamond and chipping away at it until it becomes a flawless jewel (although folks also wear emeralds and topaz and cubic zirconia, y’know). When you get to editing your novel (and you will have to edit it), you may add some words but you’ll probably delete a whole lot. Entire scenes, whole chapters, maybe even a character or three. All of this is still writing, even if your word count is actually falling.

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I was also interviewed about my first draft process by the lovely Rebecca Bradley (whose debut novel you can have a sneak peek at here).

Watch me flail my way through answering the question What’s Your First Draft Like?:

Does the outside world exist or are you lost to us for a period of time as the magic works?

I try to shut myself away. I have a study space now, which is invaluable, and keeps the work separate from relaxing on the sofa or clearing clutter off the dining room table. I use the Pomodoro technique to keep myself on track – nothing but writing for 25 minutes, goof off for 5 minutes (Twitter, fresh tea, etc.), back to work for 25, break for 5, lather rinse repeat. It works well for my focus, as I’m very distractable.

What does your work space look like?

I have a bureau in our guest room, where I use my ancient laptop. The cupboard doors have some postcards from the British Museum on them and my reference books are on an adjacent bookcase. I also have a Sherlock Holmes coaster from 221B for my tea mug.

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Last but certainly not least, I received a wonderful review from Crime Fiction Lover for Code Runner as part of New Talent November 2014.

“The warm and beating heart of this novel is the relationship between Jason and Amy. It is much more than a ‘will they, won’t they?’ teaser, and the writing describing their relationship is of the highest quality…Rosie Claverton has played the alchemist here, and created literary gold from very base metals.

As we enter December, I will be featuring articles written by me or about my books from all about the web, including some highlights from this year’s blogging. Series such as Freudian Script and Writers’ Tools will return in the New Year.

Happy writing!

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