Lyla Campbell
Now that NaNoWriMo is over and I crossed the 50k barrier, I'm ready to start the editing process. However, I feel a bit like Wiley Coyote after he just ran off the cliff. I'm hanging out there unsupported, holding up a sign that reads "Help!", only moments before plummeting in to the great abyss.

The problem is, I've got this lump of 50,024 words with plot conflicts, unfinished scenes, awkward dialogue, and lots places where it's nothing more than a steaming pile. I need a plan. Last year I started editing, but didn't finish. I ran out of steam almost immediately. Probably because I jumped in, feet first, at word number 1, with out a plan. This year I am working on a strategy. And I have done a little research on the editing process. And this is what I've got so far:

  1. Smooth out the plot. I want to get a good handle on my story line and make sure it all makes sense before I start tweaking the prose. I don't know what's going to stay and what's going to go right now. So, there's no point to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
  2. Once the plot has been thoroughly hammered out, I'll move onto filling in the unfinished scenes. I jumped around a lot writing this scene, then starting that one during NaNoWriMo. Now I will fill in all those pot holes to create one contiguous rough draft.
  3. This step will make that draft less rough. With a coherent and fleshed out story, I can now work on sculpting the story into something more elegant and artful. Here, I'll go line by line wordsmithing the draft into a novel. Hopefully it will be a novel that someone, somewhere out there, will actually want to read. (Cue the music from "An American Tail")
  4. Wash, rinse, and repeat step 3 over and over and over again. There is always room for improvement.
  5. When I think it's ready...hand it off to someone and have them critique it. I'm already ahead of the game on this one. I joined a local writing/critique group. So, when I've edited the living daylights out of my manuscript, I hope that group can help me get it ready for a possible shot at publishing.

During my planning process I found these websites to be helpful in creating an editing road map:

With all the time afforded me with NaNoWriMo now over, I'll be posting much more frequently. I leave for vacation in NYC tomorrow. And since it isn't a backwater town, I'm sure I will have internet access. So, check back soon for my vacations posts about my writing spot of the day and to see if I stick to my editing plan.

2 Responses
  1. Julie Says:

    So I know I never got around to reading last year's story... but I'd still like to see this one when you're done :)

  2. Okay - with a title like "Instant Human: Just Add Coffee", there's no way I'm not following this blog. You speak my language! ;-)

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