Camp NaNoWriMo 2020: Revision Progress
Photo by Christy V.
One of my favorite authors Jo Whittemore mentioned, recently on Twitter, a quote from Margaret Atwood that she found insightful with revision: “Revision means re-vision. You’re seeing it anew. And quite frequently when you’re doing that, you see possibilities you didn’t see before…” It’s helped me at the start of Camp NaNoWriMo, where I’m taking the opportunity to use this month’s session to revise my novel for the third time for publication instead of creating something new.
Originally I had plans to write an update last week as I got started with Camp NaNoWriMo, but I took the opportunity to enjoy my birthday weekend at home and also on my novel. I’m already flying past 10,000 words revised, thanks to feedback from my friend and co-worker that has made me view my novel anew. You can see my progress on the NaNoWriMo website throughout this month, where I’m also interacting with fellow local writers and getting motivation. Normally, I focus on the big aspects first but those were going to take more time. So I did the small things that I could quickly complete first and that made it easier to focus on the big things that would take time. Just a reminder, everyone has a different way to write, and revise, even writers change their own setups over time. I’m thankful that most of things that I need to improve have been easy. I believe that comes from all the planning I did before I started writing the novel.
I started planning out my novel with figuring out my idea in my journal. So paper and pen, and then I moved towards the computer to really detail my plans with figuring out the story, the characters, the timeline, and the setting of certain areas. So that helped make the story have a solid foundation. My first revision focused on making sure everything worked. I did most of it on my own. I only received feedback on the first chapter, and had a friend read a few chapters. It gave me enough to view my novel with a different perspective, but with this second revision, I received feedback on the full novel, and it really provided me an idea what works and what needed to be improved.
Since I checked off almost everything early on, I’m focusing on adding more details with the characters, the setting, and a bit more on certain aspects that happen in the story. With this feedback, I’m going through each chapter with my manuscript in a Google Doc, where it outlines per chapter and move around easily, and keeping track the short synopsis of each chapter and word counts by chapter and full manuscript with each draft on a Google Spreadsheet. My system works for me, but like I mentioned before, there might be a better version for you. You’ve got to experiment and continue to do so.
I’ll do my best to update my progress in the next few weeks. I’m determined to win the upcoming unpublished novel contest for a chance to get published. Submissions are due in September. I think I’ll get everything done in time with my progress so far. Keep me motivated with your support. I really appreciate all the support from my incredible team that always makes me a better writer.