Saturday, October 31, 2009

November is revision/rewriting month

I have a confession to make: I haven't done much with the novel for about a month and a half now. At first, I thought it was because I wasn't sure where to go next, but I recently realized that I know exactly what I need to do - I even have a firm idea of where the novel will end - but I let myself get overwhelmed by all the things I need to do. So instead of working on Through Charlotte's Eyes the novel, I've been working on Through Charlotte's Eyes the short stories. My characters now are more fully themselves, and I realized: I just need to dive back in.

And that's when I realized, what perfect timing to think this! November, as all of you writerly people know, is NaNoWriMo - the time for people to dive into a new novel and write as much as possible over the 30 days of November (with a minimum word count of 50,000).

I will not be writing a new novel come November 1st. (This one needs to get out of my head first.) But since I want to make some progress on this novel and since I love having deadlines and since I love having a community of writers to help hold myself accountable, I'm doing my own version of NaNoWriMo. I'm rewriting draft 3.5.

What this involves:
1) Finish changing the novel from 3rd to 1st person POV.
2) Finish adding two new characters in. (This, by far, seems the most overwhelming of all, even though I already know who these characters are).
3) Rewrite/revise, well, pretty much the whole novel. Tightening up scenes, fleshing out others (especially the ones taking place during the French Revolution).

So, yeah, a lot. I'm not going to overwhelm myself more by saying that I'll get this all done by the end of November. After all, I do work 40+ hours a week. I'll be out of town at least one weekend in November... but I'm re-committing myself to finishing this novel in faster than 10 years.

I'm not the first person to think of November as a rewriting/revising month. For that credit, I point you to THE INTERN. If you don't already read her blog, become a follower right now. She is both crazy entertaining and insightful.

Plus, in reading her blog, I came across a comment about a great way to track how much you've written (without keeping your own Excel spreadsheet and wasting time making calculations, which I don't know about you, but this is a big time-waster for me). Interested? Check it out here.

Are you participating in either NaNoWriMo, or the new NaNoReVisMo? How do you keep track of your writing progress? Do you use spreadsheets? Or do you just fly by the seat of your pants?
On my writing agenda for the weekend:
- Revise "Loss" stories
- Come up with a game plan for the novel (i.e. update outline for the novel; yes, I like to outline. I'll post more about this later).

Good luck to everyone, whether you're starting a new project or trying to make headway on an old one.

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