5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Submit Your NaNoWriMo Manuscript

Can you feel it? The homestretch of NaNoWriMo? Just a few days left and it's done!

The question remains: Is your story done?

Probably not.

Many agents cast a skeptical eye on what lands in the slush pile in December. Why? Because many writers finish NaNoWriMo and submit their "completed" novels.

Why You Shouldn't Submit in December

  1. You spent November vomiting up word count.
  2. You may have 50K words, but you don't have a finished novel. You have a partial first draft.
  3. You need to revise your work again and again and again.
  4. The story is not as good as you think it is (see # 1 & 2).
  5. Agents assume you're sending a NaNoWriMo first draft and take it less seriously.

For tips on editing your work, check out these earlier posts.

What You Should Submit in December

It's ok to submit a manuscript in December as long as it's not this year's NaNoWriMo work. If you have something polished and complete, by all means submit it. In your query letter, add this phrase:  This is not a NaNoWriMo manuscript.

You might have a chance to rise to the top of the slush pile with that one phrase.

Just for fun, if you're doing NaNoWriMo, tell us your word count in the comments of this post.


I would love to hit 50K, but November is the toughest month of the year for me. I've written more than 50K in a month before, but it was in February with an agent asking for some changes. I'm a bit over 19K at the moment. I'll take whatever I can manage this month. It's still worthwhile!
Unknown said…
I'm still working on mine and I have 22k. At this point, I've kinda learned how to database my thoughts so I can go back to them and figure out what I want to do with them ~
A database of your story points is so important. That will make a big difference, especially when you’re in revisions.

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