July is supposed to be the second month of Camp NaNoWriMo, The Office of Letters and Light’s hosted summer program (for my explanation of the program, click here). I made myself a promise when I realized how much work I had yet to do on my completed manuscript that it would be finished by the end of the summer. To that end, I’m skipping July’s hosted NaNoWriMo. Instead I am doing an un-hosted NaNoEdMo (national novel editing month, but since this isn’t hosted and I don’t have hosts of company, it’s more of just a personal NoEdMo—PerNoEdMo?).
I’ve always had a difficult time trying to figure out how to NaNoEdMo. I don’t really keep my focus often when I edit to say that I have edited for x hours. Editing often involves—for me—trips to the Internet to research energy currents, heart attacks, and the tastes of various species of fish. And that’s editing. But it doesn’t feel to me as if it should count towards an hourly editing count, probably because I recognize but refuse to acknowledge that my editing could probably be completed without this fact checking—and because I dip to social network sites while on the Internet too.
I started July battling a summer cold. Advice: don’t catch one. It’s not fun to have a fever in summer heat and humidity. That delayed my start of PerNoEdMo. As I told a group of friends: “Comedy of the absurd is a thing, but it’s not a thing for editing my novel.” My head has felt clouded and congested and I’ve just been scared to take the scalpel to my novel—even though with the help of the track changes feature with which Word provides me, no change need be permanent and any deletion can be easily retrieved, so maybe it’s laziness from which I’ve been suffering.
What editing I’ve been doing, what editing I need to do is a lot of scalpel work. My novel is still 145,280 words, and most agents and editors won’t look at writer’s first attempt unless it’s under 100,000 words; a terribly sad fact, but I understand their reasoning. Such a limit does weed out a lot of works from writers who haven’t done the work, but some works just need over 100,000 words, and there is no trimming left to do. (Of mine, I cannot yet say that with certainty. I am finding a lot of unnecessary scenes now that I’m reading with an eye towards trimming.)
Daily posting updates on my progress for May’s NaNoWriMo was very motivating. I felt there were those watching to see if I could do it, tracking me—even if I was really the only one really tracking my progress. So, I’d like to do the same with my PerNoEdMo. I’m going to keep my blog readers in the loop as I slog through this wicked tangle with my machete.
I hope you’ll stay tuned and keep me honest about doing the work I need to do to be able to say I’m a published author.
I challenge anyone else doing a PerNoEdMo to join me and let me know so I can cheer you along too. Additionally if anyone is doing NaNoWriMo, I would love to cheer you along too.
July 4, 2013.
Happy Independence Day, America!
Happy ball and chain of editing to me. Just kidding. I like my imprisonment.
I begin today’s editing on page 233 of 424 (hey! That’s more than halfway through!). I’ve been here awhile now. I made myself a checklist of things that my protagonist needs to learn before I can hit the climax. He hasn’t checked one of those off in awhile and I want him to move onto the next main point. That being said, my villain has control of the plotline at this point, and he doesn’t know that the protagonist has something that he needs to tell the villain. The villain has things he needs to tell the protagonist, and he sees those as the priority—though he won’t if the protagonist will share with him his secret. So I am in a battle of wills, a silent one, one that the villain doesn’t know that we are playing.
I discovered a position of rank within my village that had been mentioned only in notes and once in passing halfway through the novel. That has been fixed. Now it’s mentioned in passing earlier too.
I did embarrassingly little today, but more than I’ve done on any other day in July thus far, and it is a holiday, I did have work, and I am still not at 100% health. I may yet do a little more, and if I do I will update this to reflect that, but my mind is feel soaked in illness again.