Last November I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and was a winner. This was the first time since I was in middle school (7th grade maybe) that I had completed anything I had started writing.
As I wrote about earlier in this blog, it turns out what I needed most was a deadline. Unlike Douglas Adams, I do NOT like the whooshing sound they make as they go by. The pressure to make fifty thousand words in a month, and the smaller pressure to make 1700 words a day (the actual target is 1667) was what I needed to keep the creative juices flowing. It turns out though, that those deadlines are important even in editing and revising.
I have been editing and revising (to some degree) since January and I am still not done. With no deadlines at all except being finished before November 2017, so I can begin the sequel during NaNoWriMo 2017, it appears it will take me that long. Of the sixteen chapters in it, I have revised and edited 11 and August is almost gone. At this pace, I can only hope to put the finishing touches on it by the end of October. Why? Because that is the deadline.
The hardest part of this revision process for me is the simple fact that I think it is all bad. I hate reading it. Re-writing it or adding parts is fine, I enjoy the writing just not the reading. I imagine this must be a problem to some extent for everyone, well most, ok some people. So there must be something that can be done about it. I hope I find what that is before it's time to start editing again in January 2018.
To combat this problem now, I rely on my editor much more than I should have to. He certainly has gone above and beyond what is strictly necessary to help me slog through this process and I shudder to think about how poor my progress would be without his assistance.
Apart from this (necessary and incredible) help I also have the assistance of another who is working on the illustrations for the book. Explaining my ideas and intentions for various concepts in the story so she can better capture them in her artwork has been a huge help. Her feedback and ideas have further sparked my creativity and added scenes and tightened up some plot points that would otherwise have not been done.
I am going into NaNoWriMo 2017 much better prepared than I was in 2016 and with the continued assistance of these incredibly talented people I predict that the revision and editing for the next story will be finished even earlier. Maybe even in September. ;)
If you have ever wanted to try your hand at writing anything you should take a look at NaNoWriMo.org and sign up to compete in either NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo. Both have deadlines, assistance, information and most of all thousands of others going through exactly the same thing you are at exactly the same time. And you can't put a price on that, though in this case they did, and that price is FREE!