Friday, April 25, 2014

Another One Bites the Dust

Today’s the 25th of April, and a few hours ago, I just finished my Camp NaNoWriMo goal.  Actually, I exceeded it.  For the month of April, I wanted to revise my Blue WIP, which is now tentatively titled, The King’s Councilor.

The final word count is a little over 65,000 words, which is almost 6,000 more than the previous draft.  And there were quite a few changes – again.  However, this is one of the most painless revisions I’ve ever had to do.

Revising is one of the things I enjoy the most.  There’s always excitement when starting out, writing the first draft, getting the words on the page, but there’s something different when it comes to revising.  It’s almost like the chance to go back, live the story again and fix it.  How many times would I love to be able to do that in my own life?  It’s the chance to delve even deeper into my characters, to explore roads that I hadn’t seen on the first journey.

Plus, being a homebody like myself, it’s always nice to be somewhere familiar.

When I say painless, I mean this is the fastest I have ever revised a draft. 

A previously edited draft

With my first WIP, way back, I began working on a major revision.  It included changing the POV from 1st to 3rd person (personal preference) and fixing an ending that just never quite felt right to me.  It took almost 5 months of grueling rewriting, fixing and of course, lots and lots of colored pens.

As I’ve continued writing and revising, I’ve noticed a definite increase in my productivity.  First drafts read like 2nd or 3rd drafts of previous works.  I can focus more on the big picture before going into a revision, which decreases the work that I’d have to do later.  Even this WIP, which was a disaster of a first draft (due to my attempt at pantsing), this is only the third draft, and it already feels ready to go out to critiquers.  And the novel I wrote in November will probably need even less revision.

So what’s up?  Have I actually improved without realizing it?  Have I picked up the habits I wished I had when I first started?  OF course, this is all biased opinion, but I feel like I have.  I’m learning what to avoid, so I don’t even put it in the first draft.  That means I don’t have to take it out in later drafts.  I’m learning to add details when I first started out, rather than throwing them in as I revise.  It’s all a matter of practice and hard work.  Really, really hard work.

So while I have critiquers tear up this draft (I love you all!) it’s time to move to the next novel.  Or maybe even start a new one.  The possibilities are endless.