I guess it had to happen some time, and I although I still claim NaNoWriMo is not working for me, I couldn’t resist Marie’s and Myk’s persuation, so I’ve signed up for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. What finally convinced me, were the more relaxed rules of the Camp, allowing to pick one’s word count and not limiting the choice to a novel. Of course, I could just insert 31 000 words as my goal to match the 1000 words daily I write for the 365k Club challenge, but that would feel like cheating, so instead I decided to take advantage of Camp’s rules that allow to pick editing instead of writing.
If you follow my “A Month of Writing” posts you know that I struggle to find time for editing, and as I’ve just finished my fantasy novel, the Camp is a perfect opportunity to add the editing routine to my writing life. I plan on taking it easy, so it will be 1 hour of editing which according to the rule equals 1000 words written.
Camp NaNoWriMo is also about encouraging each other, so writers are assigned to “cabins”, and I’m lucky to have been invited to the one full of fun people. We dubbed ourselves “Cabin in the Words”, and if you want a taste of our successes, failures, and general weirdness, feel free to check the #CabinInTheWords hashtag on Twitter and join in the conversations. Of course, we won’t show up there at all, being too busy with our projects … whom am I kidding? Procrastination is most writers’ middle name.
I look forward to the additional challenge and to the cabin interaction. And—believe it or not—I actually feel excited about editing my novel. With the 365k Club and Camp NaNoWriMo on my plate, I’m bound to have an interesting summer.
How about your writerly plans for the summer months?
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Look at you being all productive and stuff! Good luck editing. That will be my priority when I get back from vacation.
Thank you, Lauren, I’m trying my best, taking advantage of 365k Club (and now, hopefully, the Camp too). But you’ve been productive yourself, having the book out soon. 🙂
Which work will you be editing when you’re back?
Best of luck in your cabin! I fully sympathise – as a writer I was initially ALL about writing the first draft and not nearly keen enough on the editing. As I’ve gained experience and confidence, I’ve become a much better writer, mostly because I’ve also become a much better editor.
May I share one of the tips that really, really helped me? I ‘slice’ my editing by breaking it up into lots of small sections. So I’ll first do a general readthrough, looking to get rid of the straying plotlines, odd characters and dead-end scenes. I’ll then do a runthrough examining the characterisation, another runthrough focusing on the dialogue. It’s normally about now I’ll go through with my list of ‘wicked words’ the ones I throw around constantly – my list includes ‘as’ ‘but’ ‘suddenly’… using the FIND button, and then do a similar runthrough for ellipses and dashes, as I get to each one, I read through and check that it is REALLY necessary. It goes on – but breaking up the task of editing means that the whole business becomes a lot more manageable. Have a great summer and I look forward to reading how you get on:))
Thank you, Sarah for the comment and sharing your tips!
I find it interesting how differently people work. Your method would be my failure, as I can’t go about fixing one thing and ignore another, I’d get distracted trying to remember things “for later”. And checking (for example) the dialouges in the whole manuscript feels plainly overwhelming.
What so far works for me is setting up the timer for one hour, and going through the text fixing everything as I go (I do mark some things to double-check later).
It’s mostly style-related, as I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to worry too much about the structure. This particular novel is heavy with scheming, lies and deception, so I had to plot it out thouroughly before I started, and I don’t really have loose ends or stray characters. I have to say, it does come as a relief (and a reward I did the heavy lifting of outlining before I started). I was also reading the novel to my partner as I wrote it, which helped me to keep on track.
I plan on, after I’m done with the first go-through and applying changes to the file (I work on the printed version, and it seems to help too), I intend to go through the novel with ctrl+F and find all the things that might have escaped me (for example I know I altered some characters’ names along the way, and I’m inconsistent with capitalization of some terms). I’m already making a list of these as I go.
The most tricky part will be… making sure I described all the characters. For some reason I don’t seem to be interested most of the times in giving their physical appearance. 🙂
Then I probably will read it aloud to my partner again, and after that it’s his turn to get any grammar I missed straight (I’m sure that my second-language skills messed up more than once 😀 ). Then beta-readers.
Well, at least that’s the plan. We will see how it goes in practice. 😉