Revision Has Begun: Phase 1

I completed a manuscript for NaNoWriMo 2013.  It was not the story I started out planning to write, but at the last moment (literally on the drive to work the morning of November 1st) a different idea came to me and I ran with it.  It was a lot of fun, with a little agony mixed in near the end, writing this story and I was pleased to both hit my 50k target by November 30th (by writing 8,000 some words on November 30th) and to finish the manuscript earlier this month.

Now I am reading over that first manuscript.  This time through I am limiting myself to just marking out typos and grammatical errors (and the occasional overuse of a word here or there).  The next pass is when I start looking for things to keep, things to cut, and things to change.  It is proving a bit of a struggle to stick with my just read it plan.  I want to start making notes on change this, delete this, what the heck were you thinking here? but I’m making myself stick to the plan.  So far.

When you do NaNoWriMo, your goal is to get 50,000 words by November 30th.  So you turn off the inner editor and, when in doubt, tell yourself “just go with it – you can fix it later.”  I have arrived at later and I find that I have some continuity errors to work on.  These may entail deleting bits, or writing new bits, or a mix of both.  Rather than finding this frustrating, I’m finding it kind of exciting.  I’ve never really done a proper revision of a manuscript before, so this should prove an educational experience!  Educational experiences are good, right?

We’ll see if my excitement stays and my frustration does not emerge as I continue this process.  And I’ll keep reminding myself that I am learning, and I do like to learn!


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