Camp NaNoWriMo Week 4: So, that definitely didn’t go as planned…

Week 4: So, that definitely happened.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will not reach my goal. Which is really to say that I underestimated the editing process entirely. I am actually very okay with that. In fact, I consider this one of the most successful Camp’s I’ve done. Sounds a bit paradoxical, but hear me out.

I set out to try and be further in the process of getting the next draft of my Novel, and I thought that would be a sensible word count goal. What I didn’t understand, probably due to a lack of research, is that editing your own work is incredibly different from helping someone else with their book/story. By the end of Camp, I will have a better understanding of not only the story but of what my editing process is going to look like. Lots, and lots of glitter pens, and probably more sticky notes than I have right now.

As a discovery writer, the variance between one draft and another is going to be rather impressive. My character surprise me all the way through the vomit copy, so it makes sense that when I have known them a bit longer I will need to adjust what they did before we knew each other. I like the idea of revising, of giving my characters the best representation I can, of tiding events so they all make sense, but I do get the feeling it’s going to be a lot of work and need new skills.

And this leads to the thing I am grateful for learning. The skill I need right now is planning. I need to be able to organise the story, so I can set up the small things, make the right promises to my theoretical audience. Because I like telling stories, ones that people will like.

Then I came across this Zen Pencils

Might go hug this horse, she's all fluffy in her winter woolies.

Might go hug this horse, she’s all fluffy in her winter woolies.

, and I realised why I was having so much trouble with the ‘better, not different’. I wasn’t focused on the story itself, on the gift, but on the people I wanted to give it to. I wanted to make it a story ‘worthy’ of being read. But I’m not a mind reader, so the only way I will know if the story is good is to finish it and let someone read it. What matter is the story.

What matters to the story is time and thoughtful crafting to ensure the events, characters, and scenes all make sense. My responsibility is to do what I can to get that to happen, to be true to the story and the characters and make sure that even if people don’t like it, they are disliking it because of their criteria and not mine.

Which means finding all the things that were ‘Too Hard’ in the Camp NaNoWriMo I wrote the vomit copy, and making sure I put them in this time.

Seems like I better go find some more useful tools for planning than glitter pens and a thesaurus.

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