I know, I know. This is a weird title for a blog written by an editor, but stay with me! There's a method to the madness.
Most of us, myself included, tend to edit as we go, but I must advise you - don't do it! Editing as you write is a hard habit to break, but the only thing you need to focus on for your novel during NaNo is just putting it on the page!
But why wouldn't you want to edit something you've just written? The answer: Hot and fresh material is too malleable. You've just spent a lot of time working on it, and you've got all the ideas buzzing around in your head. It can be confusing and cause you to write in circles, endlessly making changes and never moving forward. You don't want to be stuck in the same paragraph for an hour because it's not perfect.
Once you've finished writing for the day, don't read back over what you've written. In workshop, we call this letting the piece cool. You can come back and look at it with fresh eyes later (like at the end of the month). Fresh eyes mean you'll be able to see things in your writing that you didn't before. Whether that's grammatical mistakes, a scene you want to delete, or a scene you want to expand on. You may even decide that you'd like to change a character, or make two characters into one. You won't be able to figure that out, though, until you put some distance between you and the piece. Be analytical, but not overly critical.
When you have it the way you like it, that's when people like us come in! Don't forget that the Henlo Press is always accepting submissions, and if we like your piece, you'll be working with me to make it perfect! Not ready to submit yet, but want some advice? Ask the Editor!
We'd love to see your completed NaNoWriMo works, so keep on trucking! We're proud of all the work you've done this month!
Your friends at the Henlo Press