So this is my (extremely) in-depth video about my editing process, and how you can create your own editing process, too! This is how I’ve edited each and every book I’ve written since early 2013, and it’s been effective for me!
Give it a watch (when you have time), like, share, and subscribe! NaNoWriMo is almost at end – time to start thinking about editing!!!
NaNo is nothing more than an excuse to write. You can write 50k. You can write 5k. If you’re doing it in the name of NaNo, you’re doing it write. That’s the point. To write. So you don’t need to plan out a huge novel right now – you just need to take it step by step and go at your own pace.
Hell, 1,667 words is a lot each day. My average, when I’m in full-on novel mode, is roughly 1,200 a day. Me, someone with 6 books under his belt, averages 400 fewer words per day than NaNo “requires.”
You don’t need to sign up to the website to do it, either. You can keep your own track. Yes, maybe “officially” doing it would help keep you in check, but at the same time, it might also garner unwanted stress that will inevitably make you feel guilty if you find you can’t keep up.
Writing is hard work. 1,667 is a feat for anyone to pull off, writers and non-writers alike. Especially when you’re *actually* writing a novel, not just something you’re doing for the hell of it to “say you did the challenge” like I know many people do. But that’s why I go slow when I write. Because I *am* thinking about the book and choosing my words carefully and whatnot. If I didn’t, I’d either bust out a “book” that made no sense at all, or I’d sit there every day staring at a blank screen not knowing what to put.
The point is, writing is up to you. NaNo is a challenge. Something to say, “I wrote 50k+ in a month.” But really, the act of writing and getting out the story YOU want should come first.
It’s like running a marathon. Not everyone can run a marathon. Some people train year-round. But whether you’re running 10 miles a day, or 1 mile, at least you’re running.
You run a marathon for the challenge, not because it’s required of you as a runner. That’s what NaNo is. You officially do it for the challenge, not because you’re required to as a writer.
To everyone who IS doing NaNo this year….GOOD LUCK!!!
i feel like im writing all dialogue and no action and i have no idea how to make it better and fix it. Advice?
Some writers write that way. Have you read the Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness? It’s a fantastic example of that style of writing. It could be the style of your story.
If you’re not happy with it you have a few options.
You can write all the dialogue you’ve got and when you’re finished, go back and write in the actions and the movements in the scenes. Sometimes dialogue comes fast but scenes and actions take some time. Get all the dialogue out and go back and fill it in.
Write place holders for action, and fill in later For example:
“Okay, let’s go running.” (Moves across room for shoes and coat)
When you’re not writing, spend your time reading your favorite authors / action scenes. Study how they move their characters and how the dialogue works with it.
Diana Gabaldon once said that she writes action into every three dialogue exchanges. It helps to keep the reader’s attention. For example:
“Okay, let’s go running.”
“That sounds great.”
She picks up her keys and spins them around her finger, “After you.”
I know this can be challenging, but you can do it! Don’t fight it, just get it written and any and all changes can be made when you’re done!
It’s week 2 and for a lot of writers, we can get a little stuck in this stage of Nano. The shininess has worn off and it’s starting to become a chore.
Little did I know, that with the recent Election results, that chore would be made that much harder. In the moments after the election when I cried at home with my dog, I wondered how I could do something so self indulgent as writing a book, a fantasy book for children. With all the things that will happen to the future of our generation, how could I assume that fiction would be worthwhile to anyone.
My heart broke that night. I had been ahead in Nano up until the next day, where I stared at the ceiling and wondered what was going to happen.
I knew that he would be giving a speech, I knew that she would be giving a speech, and I didn’t want to hear about any of it.
I was teaching at 9am the next morning, and as much as I wanted to stay in bed and pretend that the whole thing was just a dream, I couldn’t. I had to get up and act like an adult for my students.
To say I was in an irritable mood is generous.
After class I went home and crawled back into bed. I still didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t even turn on the radio on the drive home for fear that someone would say the words “President Elect Trump”
But here I am. Back again, being an adult. The world didn’t stop that day and the words couldn’t either.
Self indulgent as it is. I care about us, I care about the future and fiction is one of the few ways we can impart wisdom for our future. My dumb fantasy novel may feel unimportant, but that night I found my theme. “Save a world that doesn’t seem to care about you, because it’s the right thing to do.”
If you get stuck, take time out and think of the unmade decisions in the draft. Make a list, and begin making those decisions. And if you don’t know enough to make them yet, do the research, even if it is just emailing a list of questions to a friend you think might know these things. You may even want to make lists at the end of each writing session: what needs to be researched, and what decisions need making?
If you have a paragraph or two that is just how you want the novel to sound, print it up and put it somewhere you can see it. Read it before you begin writing to put the tone in your head. There’s what Sigrid Nuñez calls “the tone that makes everything possible.” The tone that seems to make the writing come all on its own. When you find that tone, keep it handy. Somewhere you can read it easily to get it back.
Draw the characters. The cities. The maps. Give them color. Give them depth. Give them landscapes.
Whether you’re famous or just starting out, if you can give readers something more than just a book, you will capture them forever. Give readers a world to explore. If you give them an image to connect the characters, the cities, and the worlds to, they will become that much more engrossed. They will flip to those maps and study them relentlessly. They will memorize every detail of the characters’ faces. They will know exactly where the characters are at all times, and that will make the experience of reading so much more REAL.
A book is not just words on a page. It goes beyond those words, into the emotions, into the memories, into the lives of the readers. Creating a world beyond the page will draw in more readers, and deepen the connection your current readers already have with your stories.
I have something to say to those of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year and are discouraged by the election.
Whatever you do, don’t stop.
The world needs your novel. Now more than ever, the world needs your novel. We need novels about queer people, about POC people, stories about triumph and loss and relationships and love and friendship and heartbreak. We need novels written by and for trans people, Jewish people, ace people, the list goes on.
We need something to keep us going, something to make us feel, something to show that we are still here and we’re not backing down.
The world needs your novel.