Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020: the end of (this round of) editing

I finished Camp NaNoWriMo! But what does that mean?

In this round of editing, I:

  • Removed content that didn’t fit the plot or structure,
  • added content that would serve the plot and structure,
  • made some decisions about how I refer to people, places and organisations and ensured that I was consistent,
  • did a line edit,
  • read the whole 94K word manuscript out loud to fix lingering grammatical, typo and sentence-pacing issues.

The week before Camp, I removed several scenes that didn’t serve me, blocked out where new scenes needed to go and created a To Do list. That gave me a very good starting position.

I’m pleased that I got this done. Without Camp – without the gamification and the writing buddies to hold me accountable – I think this round of edits would have taken a lot longer.

The next step is Beta reading and all I have to do for that is to a) massage the text into a nice printable format, b) print it and c) identify readers. I have started on c.

Did I learn anything? I’ve figured out that:

  1. If I turn up and do the work, the work gets done,
  2. editing takes a very different mindset from drafting and I need to be hard on myself (or other people have to be hard on me) to get into that mindset,
  3. editing can be fun. There’s a sense of satisfaction to be had in knowing you’re making something better.

And yes, I knew all of these things before. I think I will learn them again during my next project.

When I started this project I had a plan, a year-long ‘this is how we get it done!’ plan which should have seen it finished and another project started a year ago. There are all kinds of reasons why the timeline went to shit (life, mainly) but let’s see if I can get my next project to adhere to the plan.  So: same plan, new project, new year.

But first: Beta editing.

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