A couple of editathons this weekend put me over the NaNoEdMo goal for this month at almost exactly fifty hours. Hooray! NaNoEdMo is only the beginning for this novel since I’m about a third of the way through rewriting new scenes and fixing plot holes. Yes, there are that many plot holes, but that’s not the big problem. I’ve given my main character a completely different storyline. To be more accurate, I gave her a storyline since she didn’t have much of one to start with. Another major character is getting more screen time than she had previously, and I’m working on writing in her new scenes and weaving them into the story.
This will take time. Luckily the adaptation I’m doing for Script Frenzy will give me a chance to test drive any new ideas I have in the next week and give me more to work with when I start editing seriously again in May. The script will be the “good parts” version, and the goal for my novel will be to make the whole novel the Good Parts version. If it’s boring in script format, it’s definitely going to be boring in the book. This will be my April mantra.
It took three weeks longer than I had planned, but the pumpkin novel is finally finished. I got tired of thinking about the alternate worlds novel about a third of the way into today’s twelve-hour editathon, so I switched to the pumpkin novel. The original plan was to finish the pumpkin novel this week while saving the alternate worlds novel for this weekend. Now that the pumpkin novel was finished (and it was slow to finish), it’s time to concentrate on the alternate worlds again. I have a spreadsheet of every scene in the novel. Scenes that will definitely get cut are marked, along with scenes that are definitely keeps or scenes that are keeps if and only if they undergo substantial rewrites for quality or to remove an plot element that no longer exists.
Scenes with one person in them also got marked. I had a surprisingly high number of these scenes. Since these scenes usually aren’t as powerful as those scenes with multiple characters in them, they’ll probably get cut or substantially rewritten to be more interesting. My main character’s (or at least the person I originally intended to be the main character) story arc turned out to be the least interesting of all the major characters, so I’ll also be reworking it to be more so.
But I have something to work from. This is more than I can say about every other novel I’ve ever written. Note to self: Do this more often.
I just worked on my alternate worlds novel today for twelve hours straight once I took bathroom breaks, Internet breaks, and food (which I ate in front of the computer) into consideration. A few general observations before sleeping and doing twelve more hours of editing tomorrow:
1. The premise of my novel is really complicated. This is generally the case for novels involving multiple realities, but I keep asking myself about every single what if, even if it’s not directly addressed in the novel. These are good things to address for worldbuilding purposes, but every question leads to another question, which leads to another, which leads to another.
2. The novel isn’t as terrible as I expected it to be. It’s (dare I say it) almost good. There are a few scenes that I know are going to be cut, and I know I’m going to rework several other things, but the storyline is mostly intact. That’s more that I can say about nearly everything else I’ve ever written. And to think I was worried about planning this novel before writing it. I hardly planned at all, and I ended up with something coherent that I can work from, which is more than I say about other novels (*cough*pumpkin novel*cough*). I’m really proud of myself.
3. I crack myself up when I write sometimes. Whether others will be as amused is yet to be determined. My sense of humor is an acquired taste. (Note: Those who follow me on Twitter have been bombarded with funny lines or lines gone wrong throughout the day.)
Remember how I was supposed to finish my pumpkin novel and work on planning my alternate worlds novel this month? That hasn’t happened. In fact, I’m still at a grand total of two hours of writing this month. But that’s okay because I have been challenged. Here’s the schedule for the next couple of weeks:
Saturday: twelve hours of work on my alternate worlds novel
Sunday: twelve hours of work on my alternate worlds novel
Next week: finish the novel
Next Saturday: twelve hours of work on the alternate worlds novel
Next Sunday: however many hours I need to finish NaNoEdMo, done in whatever form necessary
Crazy? Of course it is. Fun? Absolutely. Let’s do it.
Tomorrow is the first of March, meaning that National Novel Editing Month is upon us. This is my first year doing it because in past years I’ve had nothing worth editing or I haven’t been able to commit to the fifty hours. One can’t sneak around fifty hours as easily as one can fifty thousand words, especially when writing comes easily. I’m going to be a bit of an EdMo rebel this year, though: while a lot of people will actually be editing their prose, I’ll be revising my outlines and scenes and characters before starting the rewrite, which may or may not begin in March. This is what happens when you write a first draft in two weeks.
Let the editing begin.