NaNoWriMo Day 8: The Red Pen and Writing a Summary

c. 50
c. 50 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did what I was warned not to do. Faced with the prospect of hitting a wall or writing off blindly in the wrong direction, I printed out the pages of my novel so far, and read them with the red pen.

Gasp!

I know. I know.

Some takeaways. After basically 7 days of free writes, I held in my hands something that did not exist at all before November 1. Something I had mostly written in a daze of fatigue. Barely conscious ramblings. It seems uniquely my brand of crazy. It still needs a lot of work. I can already envision rewriting it several different ways, (different viewpoings, different times) but I guess where I wasn’t so sure about the whole NaNoWriMo exercise before, I am now sold. This is a good thing.

The next thing I had to admit was that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing with my story and editing it is going to take a really long time. Much more than an hour or two. I worked through 12 pages before I threw in the towel. I did not type in the edits. I’m not sure when I will do that, maybe in December, maybe tomorrow. But my promise to myself is, I cannot, absolutely CANNOT edit one single word before I meet my daily quota of 1700 words. After that, I can do whatever I want.

But the fact remains that I’m still lost. So how to fix that? I decided to write a summary of the plot under the words: What My Novel Is About.

That helped. Now that I’ve been working on it for a week, I have all these ideas roaming around in my head. And, I have to say, it’s a little far fetched. I’m not sure what to make of that. I think that’s what I was after.

Writing the summary at this point was a good idea. It gave me the breather I needed and helped me get a handle on all the things I’ve got going on. It helped me discover potential for developing in new directions that I had not seen before. I found an interesting side story. The side story, in itself, might be a better story than the one I’m writing. But we’ll see. It’s all still open.

Happy Writing and Happy Friday!

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