My main goal for Camp NaNoWriMo is to spend at least 50 hours editing my novel, Mime. I currently have an incomplete rough draft of 70,000 words.
Now I say edit, but a more accurate term might be revise, more accurate still might be re-write but let’s stick with revise. Whichever the case, 70k is a lot of material to work with. It takes me several hours just to read through it.
My strategy, as advocated in Theodore A. Rees Cheney’s Getting the Words Right, will be to start at the macro scale and work down to the micro scale. I don’t intend to get to the micro scale within April, but the strategy is the same.
Here, in all it’s nerdy glory, is my plan. Complete with weekly buzzwords.
WEEK 1 – RE-STRUCTURE
- Identify the major changes that need to happen and start moving things into place.
- Start filling in the gaps with new material.
- Start marking up the material with smaller changes to be implemented later.
- Create a new outline which reflects the new structure.
Week 1 objective
To have a strong idea of the final structure and how to achieve it, and to have started making the required changes.
WEEK 2 – REBUILD
- Finish implementing the major changes identified in week 1.
- Focus on drafting new material to fill in the gaps.
- Progress with marking up the smaller issues.
Week 2 objective
To have a substantially complete draft with a clear plan to generate the remaining material.
WEEK 3 – CONSOLIDATE
- Finish drafting incomplete or missing scenes.
- Focus on resolving issues created by the re-structuring process and smoothing transitions.
- Take another look at pacing and make changes to fix any major issues.
- Continue marking up problem areas.
Week 3 objective
To have a complete draft with no missing scenes or awkward transitions. The novel should now be one complete piece, ready for more detailed editing.
WEEK 4 – IMPROVE
- Work through the new draft focusing on the smaller issues identified earlier.
- Improve character voice, scene tension and overall pacing.
- Edit for sentence structure, style, grammar and spelling.
- Create a new chapter structure.
Week 4 objective
To have a complete, revised draft in which most issues have been addressed if not resolved. This draft should be ready for review.