Waddup Savi Crew!
Once again, Camp NaNoWriMo is in our midst and this is the first time I’m competing while balancing a full-time job not to mention having a baby in the house—nephew just turned three months old this week! Here’s a three month old happy dance, just for you.
My plan was simple: edit and revise my YA anime-inspired fantasy that I wrote back in April. 40 hour count; achievable without being too ambitious. After I completed the first draft of 50,000 words, I didn’t want to pledge another 50,000 words, start editing and revising the novel only to realise that I may fall short and write 90,000 words instead of 100,000. I didn’t want to set out to fail so I cut myself some slack figuring I could always add things along the way instead of pledging big and having to shamelessly cut down—or worse—fail come July 31st.
I’m happy to report that week one has been great: my new job (which FYI is remote so I don’t have time suckers like commute and getting ready for work, etc. most of my spare time can be dedicated to my novel WIPs) is a dream come true and I’ve once again been drafted into the same Authortuber cabin I had for April’s Camp Nano.
My cabin mates’ forum is always buzzing with writing sprints, writerly advice, pep talks, etc. I’m kinda bummed I’m not writing this round (especially seeing my cabin mates word count progress) but a few of us are editing and revising so I’m not completely alone.
At the point of this blog post, day six, I’ve edited and revised 6 hours’ worth of the YA fantasy second draft; up to Chapter 8 (out of 27 Chapters). Furthermore, I’ve edited up to Chapter 14, out of 28 Chapters, of the third draft of my middle grade fiction, Life of Gabby: The Drake Chronicles (currently making the rounds with my first group of beta readers).
But if week one of Camp Nano has taught me anything, it’s this: Before tackling edits and revisions, please—for the love of God—have a plan. Never venture into a first draft WIP without an outline or, even worse, begin with line edits. Yikes.
Editing is a magnanimous task and newbie writers can get overwhelmed if they dive in editing from the deep end. Thankfully, whether through divine intervention—or the YouTube rabbithole—I was led to a video where I got tips of tackling editing and revising the first draft.
First round of edits are typically on a grandiose scale while line edits come last. If you start with line edits right out of the gate, you might finish before Nano in November (if you’re lucky). So you’re thinking, “What’s wrong with line editing first? Won’t I eventually end up here anyways?” Umm, no. Because after that and your novel is sent off to betas, critique partners or developmental editors, huge chunks of your WIP will probably need to be removed which means your painstaking line editing process was an epic waste of time.
At this preliminary stage, look at the plot, the characters, the pacing, the story timeline, etc. Are characters following their character arc? Do they even have a character arc? Are the characters’ (particularly the protagonist and antagonist) goals, motivations and stakes clear? Does the dialogue move the plot forward or show character development? Is your narration drowning in purple prose?
I admit, as a perfectionist, I’m tempted to fix clunky dialogue tags and action beats but this is not the stage to do that. If you’re Type A like me, document it so you’ll know where to start when you’re ready to begin the second round of edits.
With week one almost out of the way, I can’t wait to see what the rest of the month brings. No doubt I will make my hour count (however, in life you just never know). Be sure to tune in next week, where I will introduce you to my awesome Authortuber cabin mates. Anyways, I’m rambling again which means it’s time to sign off… Toodles for now.
And remember, no matter where you live, take a little time to enjoy the island life!