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Packing Heat 093: Ready the Red Pen

Preparation and Thought

I'm getting ready for NaNoEdMo — the next step after NaNoWriMo. You know: that 50,000 words of gobbledygook you wrote in November. (I didn't do NaNoWriMo this year, but I do have some shelved novels from prior years.)

The idea behind NaNoEdMo is to commit to putting in a big block of editing time and logging that time weekly. In order to complete NaNoEdMo, you must log 50 hours of editing time over the course of the month.

See www.nanoedmo.net for details. I just signed up.

I have a really flawed manuscript I'm considering for the project. Here's my game plan.
1. Determine whether the book is even worth saving. If the answer is "no," I have another project I can edit. I won't know until I re-read and journal.
2. Think before I write. Consider what big changes will help the book and write down some strategies, rather than jumping in and fiddling with individual words and sentences
3. Be willing to change. Rather than tweaking parts that are not quite right, be willing to totally rewrite them. The written word isn't a finite resource; total rewrites might take about the same amount of time as picky little tweaking, and result in a much better final product.

Your game plan may vary, but do have one. None of us can afford to spin our wheels for 50 hours.

Your Assignment

Do you have something big that could use 50 hours of reworking? Dig it up!
Go visit nanoedmo.net and check out the rules

Listen to the show, 18 minutes


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 24th, 2010 11:14 am (UTC)
Great to hear you're doing EdMo! I've done it the last three years and found it very useful. I can find myself drifting and getting slow and lazy when I'm editing, so giving myself that goal and a bit of competition always helps.

This is the first year I won't editing my NaNoWriMo novel from the previous year - since I still can't look at that without whimpering. I'm working on editing a novel draft I wrote last summer. I've already started in fact! Done the "big picture" stuff and started the line edits, though I've only completed two chapters so far and started the third. I'm looking forward to the EdMo effect making me up my game there.
Feb. 24th, 2010 11:35 am (UTC)
Yay, I saw you over there on the forums. Fifty hours seems like a LOT of editing time. My mss might be flawed enough to need it, though.

Although I don't usually time myself, so maybe fifty hours really isn't that much.

NaNoEdMo rules don't seem as strict as NaNoWriMo. It looks like I could dump project A and move on to project B mid-month without violating the spirit of the event.
Feb. 24th, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC)
How long are you usually able to devote to writing work daily? 50 hours across 31 days actually only works out to 1:36 minutes a day. And if you can manage at least 2:10 a day you can take weekends off and make it to 50 just doing the 23 weekdays in March! Or get way more than 50 hours of course. :D

I think I got more than 50 the first two years. Last year I made it to 50, but only just! I had a bad week two due to a big fandom kerfuffle.

Personally I don't like to make things too tight, in case of emergencies. I build in an assumption I'll have at least couple of days when I can't get the usual hours, for whatever reason. So any chance to get ahead of schedule, I'll take.

Feb. 24th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
My "usual" is actually changing dramatically as of 2/25 when I'll be quitting my day job.

My plan for my new 100%-writer life was to spend a good 3 hours writing, 2 on publishing/admin and 1 on correspondence, and let the rest of the day go where it seemed to need to go.

I guess I just don't see myself as editing quite that heavily...but like I said, maybe I do and I'm just not logging hours. I used to try not to count how many hours I was working because if I stacked up my income and saw I was making $2/hr, I'd probably get discouraged and quit. But now that I'm up to minimum wage or so, I can handle knowing how much I'm actually working. I think.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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