Dusting Off That Old Manuscript (Or Revising Your NaNoWriMo Novel)
It's been nearly three full months since NaNoWriMo 2012.
Which means, it's past time for me to start editing this novel, which I'll dub "WIP 2012" for the moment.
So that brings me to a question: When do YOU edit your NaNo Novel?
My NaNo (and writing) philosophy is to keep writing and edit little on the first pass during November. If I do have a hard time getting started one day, I will go edit the prior scene, or return to another scene which I wanted to change anyways. That way, my Muse gets awakened, and the editing acts as my warm-up.
However, now, my first draft is completed, and I've been ruminating on it since the beginning of December.
By my estimates, it's past time for me to get working on edits.
My biggest challenge will be in using this first edit to attack the main storyline of this novel, and ignore the grammatical errors. I have a horrible propensity towards constant line-editing.
My goals for my first edit:
1. Are there any any inconsistencies? Including those in setting/description, story threads and characters from page one to "the end."
2. What is my overarching goal of telling this story? Determine what it is and make sure it's smooth from beginning to end.
3. Does every scene have conflict? Is it left unresolved until later? Or do I resolve it too soon?
4. Does every scene have a purpose? Does it advance the plot?
5. How is my story different from every other one out there?
Because this is a NaNoWriMo novel, and NaNoWriMo clearly has an emphasis on quantity over quality, WIP 2012 is in especially rough shape. There was little that I cut during the month of November in order to have the most words possible at the end of thirty days. However, this should make it even easier to recognize what is filler and what isn't.
1. Cut all the filler.
2. Focus the plot.
3. Make every word count.
I hope to, by the end of April 2013, have a second draft ready for consumption by some beta readers.