I can’t believe that it has been a year since I undertook my first NaNoWriMo challenge. What’s even harder to believe is how little work I’ve done since I completed those fateful 50,000 words.
It hasn’t been zero work. I printed and read the whole manuscript while making notes, then began making those changes in the word processor. I also added some new text and had epiphanies about how to improve the plot, most of which have probably been long forgotten.
The question of whether to NaNo again this year was a fairly easy one for me to answer. Now that I’m working part-time and Sonja only takes one nap, I knew it would be much harder to find the necessary time. Still, that was not the deciding factor.
I loved NaNo-ing last year. It was a great accomplishment and I hope to do it again, maybe even next year. But what I don’t want to do is become overwhelmed by words. To that end, I decided instead I would dedicate this November to revising last year’s work. 50,000 words in a month was a revelation for me, but there’s more I can learn from what I’ve already written.
I believe my strange and targeted work has potential, and I know I will learn a lot from following through and finishing it. Even if it doesn’t become the breakout YA fiction of the decade (Twilight it ain’t) or even get published, finishing it correctly will set me up for greater success the next time I NaNo.
But hey, NaNoWriMo has a clearly stated goal and in order for NaNoRevisMo to succeed, I need similar goals. To wit, it is my November pledge to overhaul and edit at least four pages a day (50,000 words = 115 pages / 30 days = 3.8 pages a day.) I also pledge to create an outline for the existing content and check the overall structure twice a week, write additional content where necessary, and figure out a better ending than the current one. Or, as Vince Gilligan would say, let the characters tell me how the story is supposed to end.
I have a lot of detail work to do, too much to convey here, but my goal is to have a completed second draft at the end of the month. It won’t be a finished novel, but hopefully it will be good enough that I can solicit feedback without being embarrassed. Beyond that, I hope the work that I do will spur me to finish this project so that I have something to show, and so that I’m excited to start the next project.
Good luck to all those Nano-ing or otherwise creating this month!