I think it’s safe to say that all writers find comfort in writing. The difference between a hobbyist writer and a published author is, possibly, the editing process. Writing I can do. Editing is a whole other ball game entirely.
I have hardly touched the editing for NaNo #1 in some weeks. I recently went back to it after a break and discovered I’d completely forgotten where I’d gotten up to and how I’d altered some of the minor details. Hence, some re-reading to reorient myself and I found myself in a slump, unwilling to start it again.
Thing is, I am not yet comfortable with editing. I don’t mind doing it in short stories – they seem manageable somehow because it’s easier to get an overview. However, with 90,000+ words in a novel the bigger picture is much more difficult to construct. I am still on the first big overpass of the manuscript, have begun more than once, and have realised there is a hefty bit of rewriting to be done.
However, until today, I have been trying to revise the current text to fit in with the changes I have made. I now realise this is just plain lazy. I have also accepted that I much prefer writing to editing, and therefore the best thing might just be to actually rewrite particular chapters.
In all honesty, I didn’t want to rewrite my first novel. Granted, it is my first attempt and whilst the writing is particularly terrible the concept that I was hoping for is there. The story I wanted to write did, thankfully, manifest itself onto the page.
[Aside: This is why I adore NaNoWriMo – because it allows me to spend 30 days playing around with a potential novel idea and see where it might lead. My NaNo #2 novel, whilst fun, is not something I will probably polish up and ever get published because I think the concept isn’t strong enough and, besides, it’s been explored before (and much better).]
it’s the law of sod that I realise the best tactic for editing my first novel might be to rewrite it just as we approach November and my aim is to write NaNo #3 (the sequel to my first novel). For a whole minute I did consider abandoning NaNo #3 and starting from scratch with my first manuscript. But, no, I need to know what happens in the sequel so I can pre-set some of the details in NaNo #1 to allow for some foreshadowing.
So the plan stays the same. In the meantime, I can continue rewriting my chapters for NaNo #1 and, if I get chance, might even carry it on throughout November to keep up the momentum. I’ve learned a lot in the past couple of years and I honestly believe that my attempt at a novel this year will be much improved on my first ever draft. For a start, I know a lot more about plot and motivation and ‘bad’ writing. I’m just lucky that, in my first ever novel, I created some characters that I still want to spend time with and discover more of. I can’t believe that after two years, I’m still as fascinated by Madeline as I was in 2011….
To read the synopsis for my 2013 NaNoWriMo novel click here. I’ll be updating my daily word count on this page too, so you can track my progress throughout November!