Camp Nanowrimo Project — day four

So I apologize for missing yesterday. I really have no excuse save for not hitting my quota until far too late at night. I’ll try not to let that happen again.

You’ll notice that I’m not starting today’s report with a wordcount. That’s because I currently don’t know it. I spent most of today reworking the last seven thousand words or so of my novel (so everything I wrote yesterday, essentially) because I realized fairly early on today that it simply wasn’t working. Yes, you’re told not to edit during a writing month and to save it for editing, but I’ve decided this month that I’ll fix major structural problems as I go. Having to rework 7000 words is a pain, but it’s nowhere close to having to redo 60,000, as I would have had to do had I waited until the end. Not to mention that trying to keep writing without fixing the issues would have led to another day of painful, forced writing. I write for fun, and when it’s not fun I use it as a signal that something’s wrong.

So I spent most of today rethinking when my main female character would be introduced and essentially unintroduced her and cut all of her scenes. I’ve kept them in a separate document and will be reintegrating them when I get to that point in the new version, but for the moment they’re sitting nicely in a document of their own. Which means that I have no idea of how many words will be reintegrated because I’m not there yet. If you go by the new version I’ve dropped down to just under 20,000, but if you add in the scenes that I cut it puts me at 26.5k. I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to log, if anything. Hopefully by the time I finish tonight I’ll have reintegrated everything, but at the speed it’s going that may not happen until tomorrow.

It’s interesting that, after so many years of essentially not having a dictatorial inner editor, this one has chosen to show its face now, during the very month when it should be kept away at all costs. I think it represents both my investment in the story and an evolution in the way that I view my writing. Living with a fellow writer whose inner editor is far more vocal than mine has meant that I’ve spent the past several months listening to them talk about various revisions of their current work in progress. I’ve heard characters added, removed, made more important, made less so. I’ve discussed with them different ways to write scenes or which scenes to move around. I’ve actually learned a lot more about editing from talking with my roommate than I have in any of my English classes. Apparently hearing about editing first hand has rubbed off on me more than I thought, because here I am, reworking an unfinished draft in a way I would never have done even last year.

Then again, this is definitely proof that this story is talking to me properly. It ground to a halt towards the end of the day yesterday and this morning flatly refused to keep moving unless I fixed the problems. I do love it when novels come alive on me like this, so I can’t be too upset with it. And definitely the prose I’m writing now was better than the stuff I was attempting to squeeze out yesterday or this morning. It’s just frustrating to make so little progress in terms of overall wordcount when I’ve invested so much of my time today in working on the project. Ah well, it’s all still part of writing and, really, when I’m ahead even for my adjusted goal, I think I can afford a day with little concrete progress in terms of wordcount.

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