NaNoEdMo Eve (again?)

February 28, 2014

Well, it’s the last day of February, so tomorrow will be March 1st, and NaNoEdMo is starting all over again. My approach to revision and editing has changed a lot in the last year, (mostly on account of Odyssey,) but I’m still looking forward to getting 50 hours worth of editing in over the month.

So far, my revision possibilities list is fairly brief:

  • The Angel’s Charlie. I started working on the Holly Lisle HTRYN program with this manuscript last March, and then never really got back to it. It’ll be nice to get back to that.
  • “Gotta have that look.” Hopefully I can get the revision of this to a place where I’m happy enough with it to submit it to Team Ambitious by mid-month. (It’ll need to be good, since they all saw a draft back in the summer.) Then maybe I can submit it in the spring, get it working for my Race Score.
  • Expand “Orpheus and the Cameraman” for the Abyss anthology. Since the anthology call is for novellas of at least 10k, and my current draft is just over four thousand words, (from a first draft of 2k,) that’ll be a lot of expansion and new words, but I think the premise has enough to support that, and it’ll be nice to get to write some new scenes while still technically editing for March.

I just finished the last of my modest goals for Feburary, dreaming up some story ideas that I’ll be tossing out when the A to Z challenge starts in April! Of course, I still have to figure out some of the trickiest letters in the alphabet, but there’s time for that.

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NaNoEdMo week 1 progress update

March 8, 2013

Total time logged: 14 hours, 58 minutes. I stopped short of the hour, so that I can easily get one more E on my calendar of goal tracking tomorrow, no matter how busy I am with Toronto ComiCon stuff. 🙂

So, let’s see. I finished the manuscript cut of ‘Won’t Somebody think of the Children’ by tweaking the production a little, and I’ve finished my post-revision review document, which I think has some good notes for whenever I start this up again. I’ve counted some time reading for the “James Gunn’s Ad Astra” slushpile and critters.org critiquing for NaNoEdMo hours, and time I spent reading Holly Lisle revision lessons that I haven’t put into practice yet; query letters, writing one-page synopsis, and seven-day Crash Revision.

I’ll share about the Crash Revision stuff, because I was wondering if I’d actually try that during March. After reading the lesson, it sounds like it’s something I’m glad I’ve read so I could start to let it percolate, and I’m really glad I have the instructions for when I need them, but that a seven day Crash Revision is something that I don’t want to tackle until I have to; like when an editor is asking me for it. It’ll also help if I don’t need to go to the office that week. Trying to do it in seven days just for the practice sounds like it would be incredibly masochistic.

Since finishing that stuff, I looked at my 2013 list of goals for anything editing that didn’t seem too stressful, and I’ve been working at polishing my first Roswell/Smallville fanfic crossover, Arrow through my soul. I always feel like ‘polishing’ fanfic will go quickly, and it never really does, but I’ve made some good progress, and it’s a short piece, around 27k.

One thing I’ve noticed is that even though I’m not trying to follow the Holly Lisle process in any way, what I’ve learned from those lessons is informing what I’m doing, from the way I look at commas and sentence flow, to cutting out wide swathes of text because they don’t add anything to the story I really wanted to tell. 🙂 That’s actually pretty cool.


My month of editing draws nigh

February 26, 2013

It isn’t as if I haven’t been working hard on editing for months now – rewriting The Storm Mirror, getting stories and gnome sample chapters ready to submit to workshops, and powering through the last few lessons in ‘How to Revise your Novel.’ But as you may know if you’ve been following this blog for longer than 11 months, March is a different beast.

I’ve been doing ‘National Novel Editing Month’ in March since 2007, I think. It’s not the most popular of Nanowrimo spinoffs, and the online community tends to be terse at best. Maybe this says something about the level of challenge involved. If you’re pushing yourself to spend 50 hours on revision and editing in 31 days, (and especially if you’ve also got a job, family, or classes to keep up with,) you don’t have that much time to chatter about it on a message board.

But I still find that my March editing is worthwhile for me, and even if you’re not crazy enough to commit to 50 hours, I’d like to make the following three-part challenge to all writers out there:

  • Do some editing in March.
  • Talk to other writers about it.
  • Make a list of what you’ve accomplished with editing. Not a to-do list you cross things off from. A done list.

That third element is something that I may have come up with myself. I’m a big fan of to-do lists in general, but somehow when I’m really challenging myself in editing, they don’t seem to fit the bill, at least not in the traditional sense. Maybe that’s because my ‘to-do list’ for editing is always so long that trying to cross everything off would be disheartening instead of encouraging.

The way I do my lists in March the past few years is, I do sort of have a to-do list, but it’s an ideas/possibilities list, and nothing gets crossed off. I finish something, and I write it on the Done list. And it’s really encouraging to see that Done list grow over the month.

So, is anybody else with me?


NaNoEdMo wrap-up.

March 31, 2012

Well, I got to the fifty hour mark of editing in March about an hour ago, which is cutting it close. I’m tired of editing, pleased with what I accomplished, and a little disappointed at just how much more there is to do – sigh. I guess that’s the way it always goes.

I got approximately six lessons on the ‘How to Revise your Novel’ course finished – I was in the middle of lesson 8 at the start of the month, and now I’m in progress on fourteen. I learned a lot and did some great work with my book in those lessons, too.

I got some great revision done on ‘The Storm Mirror,’ polishing a charming first draft into what could, I think, be a really great finished story!

I also got some good revision done on ‘The Scroll’, especially the first sample chapter. Unfortunately, I found out yesterday that there was no space for me in the CSSF Novel workshop, as the class is being kept very small this summer. Oh, well. I still think I want to revisit ‘The Scroll’ for Camp Nano in August.

Aside from these three, a lot of my editing hours were spent on old fanfic projects, some of which I’ve already tackled in NaNoEdMo of previous years, but I’ve learned a lot more about what makes good writing since then, and polishing these stories up to post them on fanfiction.net is good practice in editing for other stories, if nothing else. Also, when I just had to get some editing in on a crazy day, (and trying to do 50 hours of editing in a month makes most days crazy,) sometimes I wanted to be able to work on something I wasn’t too emotionally invested in anymore, and just fire up the MS word grammar checker on the bus home and see what it thought about my sentence style. 🙂

Next stop – the Frenzy! It’s always a little crazy to switch from marathon editing to wildly passionate script writing on April the first.


National Novel Editing Month update, week 4

March 28, 2011

Total time logged so far: 46 hours, 2 minutes.

I’ve almost made it! Less than 4 hours to go in the last 3 weekdays. I can make that easily – even with Hamilton Writers’ meeting and the Script Frenzy kick-off party on my calendar. Hmm…

So here’s the headlines for my editing progress on days 22 through 28:

  • More proofreading and checking of ‘Roswell Calling’, up to starting chapter 6.
  • Finishing my serious changes notes of ‘The Long way Home.’
  • Fixing a dozen or so unresolved problems, (marked in bracket notes) on my 2009 Nanowrimo second draft “Won’t somebody think of the children.”
  • Formatting ‘The Landing’ to submit for critiques from critters.org
  • Critiquing the introductory chapter of a science fiction novel, ‘Briseus’, from critters.org
  • Spending a long time going back and forth between reading aloud from the opening few chapters of ‘The Long Way Home’ and making rewrites to them. In the process, I discovered that I want to change the background of one of my supporting characters, Ereyu the ferret, and I’m not entirely sure where to start with that.
  • Began working on unresolved bracket notes from a Roswell fanfic, “Runaway with me,’ and that led me into a plot audit of the later chapters to figure out where there are inconsistencies that need to be fixed and plot holes that need to be closed.

As usual, I’m rather all over the map, but I think that I’ve gotten some good stuff accomplished.

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