Only a few days late. I meant to write this sooner. Honestly.
Last week I finished going through my catalogue of scenes and making notes on what needs to be trashed, trimmed and entirely rewritten. There were one or two that seemed dubiously ok for the time being. I doubt that will last, I think I just need to do all the rewritting to see how it fits into the new draft before I figure out what really isn’t working. Then I typed up those notes into a new outline so all those notes would be organized.
Then Saturday, precisely at the half way point, we had a marathon day of editing. Four of us brave (read insane) souls gathered at 8 am at Bridgehead. We worked for 3 hours before taking a lunch break, which included a nice stroll. Then on to the public library to clock another two hours. At that point one member of our party had to leave on a solo adventure. We were all waning, so we parted ways, took a couple of hours off, and then logged back on via facebook to start another session. All told, I did 7 hours of writing. I had already managed to get caught up on my editing quota Friday evening, so I was able to get a few days ahead. This proved to be a very good thing. Sunday was Father’s Day so I didn’t get any editing done, and then yesterday was a bust. No good reason. I was tired and missed the morning writing session, then lunch distractions. I’m still on track though.
So far I have ploughed through 5 chapters of the novel. It is a hard slog. There is a ton, and I mean a ton of work to be done. Saturday was when I realized just how bad it was. I knew it wasn’t going to be my best writing, even for a first draft, just because of the speed and mentality behind NaNo drafting. I was fine with that. It was bad. There is telling when there should be showing all over the place. Chapter 1 consisted of: Scene 1) MC doesn’t get the promotion she wanted (we actually see this); Scene 2) MC tells boyfriend this news (with an overdose of over the top character for the boyfriend through the entire book) and then tells her parents over the phone; and then Scene 3) Nothing really happens and we repeat stuff from Scene 2. So, you got that she missed the promotion, right? The issues with the boyfriend character are being fixed, don’t you fear. That involved entirely rewriting Scene 2. On Saturday, my first 3 chapters went from 14,000 words down to 7,800. The novel was 80,000 words when I finished it in November. It’s now 70,000 or less (I’m trying not to think about it too much). Maybe when I am done I will still have 50,000 left (the goal for NaNoWriMo). If I’m lucky. There’s a fair number of scenes to be fleshed out later in the novel, so maybe it won’t be quite that small. But better a tight, strong novella than my NaNo draft trying to pass as a novel.
As brutal as this editing can be – especially 7 hours in one day – I am feeling really good about the edits I am making and I know what a vast improvement it is. There will still be much to do after this month, cause there is no way I will finish going through the whole novel even once. And there will be many more edits and passes on the novel to make. I know there are nuances that I want to go back and add in later after I do the first rough edit/redraft. But once this month’s challenge is complete I won’t be dedicate all my writing time to editing the novel. There are too many short story projects to work on (edit and draft) and deadlines I need to meet.