editing NaNoWriMo Novel 1

Back to My First Novel.

Scene Setting Novel 1, Jan. 2009

You might have read my post about how I have trouble focusing on just one goal.

So of course that leaks into my novel-writing. Since 2007, I have been penning novels. None of them have set titles yet; I just keep naming them Novel 1, 2, 3, and so forth.

In early 2009 I became really really motivated to get my first novel revised and ready for submission to agents (read all about that over in the “Novel 1” Category).

But, as with my side projects, I became distracted and the progress on that novel has halted.

Now I am making a point to myself to really work on this novel. When I wrote the first draft in November 2007, I was so elated to know that I could complete a novel in that whole month (thanks to NaNoWriMo’s encouragement). And, I really liked the plot. So I don’t know why I have stalled with getting the manuscript polished down.

Today is the day I start improving from square one and getting myself past that “first-draft” doldrums phase.

editing observation

Finally Revising & A Clutter Realization

Well, well.

Looks like I have not been able to keep up with my blogging schedule the past few weeks (supposed to release posts on Tuesdays and Fridays).

Instead of feeling guilty about the irregular schedule, I need to re-think which days are best for me to post. At the end of the last post, I thought about starting to post everyday again. Then, the next day came, the next, and the next…and no posts.

This morning I finally tackled a story I had originally written early last year. After the first read-through, I was impressed with how the story went along in only the first draft; however, I notice that the draft has more telling than showing. So, I dissected the darn draft with a red pen, which is my pen of choice for self-editing. Even though people think of red pens negatively in terms of corrections, it helps me focus on what I can improve.

Something else I’ve noticed about myself this past week: I collect way too many things. I’m not talking about just physical things, but also digital. It’s time to declutter and free up my physical and digital space…which will in turn free up my mental/emotional space as well.

I enjoy Saturdays where all I need to do during the day is work on writing and website design.

editing goals rant

More on Goals & Editing Pet Peeves

May is just around the corner, which causes for me to feel anxious about re-evaluating my time and my goals. I’ve probably been in this steady state of doing little-to-no writing because I haven’t been focusing on concrete goals lately. Instead of saying “I will write for xx minutes today,” I’ve just been thinking “I need to write, period.”

It’s not much of a motivation booster if you ask me. All those goal-setting worksheets, articles, etc. that I’ve read/worked on over the years have always said, “Make your goals concrete and realistic.” I thought maybe the Poem-A-Day Challenge would kick me up from my writing rut a bit, but I’ve fallen behind on the challenge a lot this month. Perhaps it’s a sign that I’m not quite as interested in poetry as I’d like to be.

On another note, lately I’ve noticed that one of my big writing/reading pet peeves is when supposed professionals make bad typos/grammar mistakes. It happens to the best of us, but where was the editor or peer before the article/writing went out? I find that when I edit others’ works, sometimes I’ll notice the grammar/spelling mistakes more than the actual writing itself. It bothers me that much–I remember reading a paper in college for peer review and I felt in true disbelief about how my colleague was able to even gain admission into college. Really, the paper was poorly written–a lot of run-on sentences, grammatical errors, etc.–I felt bad when I gave the paper back to my peer because it had all red marks over it.

Meanwhile, this leads into another pet peeve of mine: when I ask for constructive criticism from others, but they simply return my draft back saying “Wow, really good” or “Nothing needs to be changed” or something else along those lines. Often times, these people might just be too lazy to say much or really put effort into the editing process; other times, they might be so clouded in judgment (and maybe automatically put a halo over my work) that they tend to not see the loopholes I’ve left in my draft. The most helpful writing advice often borders harsh, yet has enough evidence to back up the criticism. I’d rather someone tell me what I need to work on more than to tell me that I don’t need to change anything anymore. I know I’m not a perfect writer, and, in general, everyone always has something they can improve upon.

#amwriting challenge editing goals poetry

Craving spontaneity & Setting Goals

Today seems to be a day where routine is simply thrown out the window: I have a list of tasks that I’d like to complete for the day, but it seems I just don’t feel like doing it. During this whole past week, I’ve been feeling restless again and craving spontaneity.

I’ve also found myself crawling out of some dark mazes with renewed inspiration for writing ideas. Yesterday, while proctoring a test at work, I suddenly found a long-incubating idea sprout forth from my mind and furiously wrote down the whole thought. The incident made me realize that I should really bring a bigger notebook along with me from now on, for future moments like this one.

An hour ago, I caught up on this past week’s prompts from the Poem-A-Day Challenge. Poetry is one area of writing where I feel I may never truly excel in, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still write for the fun of it. Probably the whole point of the P-A-D Challenge is to hone my craft a little more, but I find that I’m just writing for the sake of writing. It’s that whole NaNoWriMo mindset–just get the words down. However, I have been posting my poems on each day’s thread at the challenge, so, unlike NaNoWriMo, I’m showing those rough drafts to the world. Raw, unfiltered poems: I suppose it’s my specialty.

Speaking of community challenges: I signed myself up for the 2nd annual Writo de Mayo over at the NaNoLJers community. What makes Writo de Mayo different from NaNoWriMo is that each participant sets his/her own goals for the month of May and strives to meet them for the month. I tried participating last year by attempting to finish Novel #2 that month; however, it was much harder for me to pull the motivation through the month since I didn’t have others posting their word counts, fueling me along. I still managed to make some progress on that novel, but not enough to finish it off that month. This year, I intend on completing Novel #4 in May and also pumping out 50 hours of rewriting for Novel #1 (which would have been an appropriate goal for last month, NaNoEdMo, had I not been so distracted by other things).

So there, I’ve set out my goals for all my blog visitors to read. Now I must follow through with these ambitions and put them into action in the coming weeks.

editing Novel 1 Scribd

Moving Forward on Novels & More

Happy Valentine’s Day; what are your plans for the day?

This past week has been another busy one, but I’m happy to say that I’m still making strides in my writing. Just this morning, I reached 10,000 words on Novel 4, which is pretty good for writing this outside of NaNoWriMo. I also finished shuffling my plot in the original manuscript for Novel 1 and completed some character worksheets. The next step is to write character sketches/background stories for the main characters; then, it’s time to rewrite.

It seems that I continue to receive more hits on Scribd for my short story, “Riches to Rags,” which is very great publicity. Stay tuned for more updates over the course of the next few days.