Back on October 30, I wrote, “The Daring, Dashing, Non-Editorialized Tale of a National Novel Writing Month Rebel.” That blog post detailed how I was going to do NaNoWriMo 2017 my way.
Instead of writing “a whole novel in one month” – a designation I take serious issue with anyway when a novel is more than 50,000 words – I was going to edit a whole novel in one month. And this was going to be an actual whole novel, as in more than 70,000 words.
For that matter, this being the last installment in my Faerietales series and therefore a fantasy manuscript, it’s more than 100,000 words. Which is a good bit to edit.
Even so, I wasn’t – and I’m not – going to sit there and say it’s the same thing. Writing 50,000 words in a month is a lot to do when you have a full-time job, family, friends and responsibilities to manage. It simply takes more time than the editorial work required to advance a manuscript…
Particularly when it’s already had a solid round of editing.
As such, I wasn't too surprised when the first week of National Novel Writing Month: Rebel Edition, aka National Novel Editing Month, aka NaNoEdMo, went really smoothly. Flights of Fancy was a great read, proving my writing prowess and editorial genius every step of the way.
… I started to get a bit of a big head when not only Chapter 1 was an overall breeze to edit, but so were Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5.
As for 6? I adore Chapter 6. It takes a usually impenetrable but obnoxiously likable villain and forces him to be vulnerable for a few pages, giving new insights into his character and creating a whole lot of angst for the next 150 pages or so.
Not the romantic kind of angst, for the record. The overall arrogant little darling doesn’t get to be that lucky. We’re talking about the “He couldn’t have done it… Could he have?” variety.
After thoroughly enjoying that scene, it was onto Chapter 7, which needed a little bit more work, though still not much. And so, with such little effort required on my part, I honestly began to believe that, hey, maybe I’ve become such a stellar writer and editor that I don’t have to do six or seven drafts of a manuscript. Maybe I can get by with just five. Or maybe even four.
Hold the applause, please. No. Really. I’m blushing.
Pride really does go before a fall though. And so humility faerie-wing slapped me back into reality once I reached Chapter 8, which was clearly not almost-ready-to-publish manuscript material. It still had some significant NaNoEdMo work to be done.
So work I did through the next 19 chapters. There were still sections I breezed through, but there were plenty of other parts where I had to do:
Some serious chopping when I realized details I’d added in just weren’t necessary
Some serious smoothing out on sentences I’d written that still didn't flow well, no matter that I’d already edited them
Some serious rethinking of plot holes I hadn’t realized were there.
Again, this was my third draft I was working on. I wrote the first draft. And then I edited the second draft. And then the resulting manuscript was my NaNoEdMo project.
I’ll now be handing the completed results over to my editor just as soon as CreateSpace ships me the printed copy. And she’ll no doubt tear it apart like she always does. (Love you, Christina!) As such, I’ll be left to pick up the broken pieces of my third draft to rework into a fourth draft, which will then doubtlessly need to be edited another two times before it’s thoroughly polished.
That’s just how the editorial process is supposed to go, keeping us writers humble. As well we should be.