Life vs Novel Revision

Misquoting Carlos Castaneda at the end of 100 Happy Days.
Misquoting Carlos Castaneda at the end of 100 Happy Days.

One of the entries of my 100 Happy Days blog describes novel editing. Chiefly because I have found this book that encourages me to write through the challenges of ignorance, emptiness, and doubt. Other editing books talk about cutting and hashing and improving grammar. All fairly useless to me because I am terse and make vast unconscious assumptions about the reader. I need to add writing to clarify (to myself as well as the reader) what the heck is happening.

Editing was moving along great while I visited my mother. I edited during her regular afternoon nap. Then “life happened” during the weekend I visited my son and his family where there is no napping. After that, I was preparing to return home. Back at home, I spent time settling in while attempting to see the future and make plans for a move.

Today, I will head out to the library and resume editing in a serious environment. I’ve had a lot of time to contemplate my editing process and understand more fully how I rely on daily motivation and encouragement (which I am getting from this book). Even if I don’t follow the day’s advice, I still get going and words get edited. Looking forward to one day finishing up The Unicorn Rescue and moving on to the real novel in my life.

Novel Editing Progress

Still reading the “90-Day Rewrite” by Alan Watt. I will be starting on a different day than the book (each chapter is a day). He suggests making an outline on the first day which could take me a couple days. I think I’m better off making an outline half-way through or at the end.

I do like the suggestions to consider options, and to be true to the story and not the plot. I’m about 72% through Alan’s book. I hope to get to editing in a week or two. Or as soon as my new (refurbished) iPad shows up.

Draft Selected for Editing

2014 NaNoWriMo novel draft working title
2014 NaNoWriMo novel draft working title

I’ve read 90-Day Rewrite up to the action part which requires answering specific questions about the novel draft and keeping a rewrite mantra in mind. To do the action part, I’ve selected my most recent draft because the story is nonsensical and will be easiest to edit. Also, I have the least at stake in this novel and will have fewer qualms about making radical changes.

In preparation, I have created an ePub version and will read it on my iPhone like any other book. I know the draft is full of crap and horrid errors and omissions. I am prepared to make the adventure. Wish me luck.

My book is a work in progress . By maintaining a spirit of curiosity, everything I write, rewrite and edit either belongs, or is leading me to what ultimately belongs in my story. I am uniquely qualified to write this story , and through this process I will not abdicate authority over my work to anyone, including agents, publishers, family or friends. This does not mean that at some point I will not ask for feedback, but I will not make changes without first checking with myself that the changes serve what I am attempting to express, even if I am not able to articulate it. My impulses and hunches are precious assets. If one’s critical opinion does not ring true, regardless of the source, I will disregard it. I trust that what I am expressing is valid because my impulses are valid.

Watt, Alan (2012-06-26). The 90-Day Rewrite: The Process of Revision (p. 58). The 90-Day Novel Press. Kindle Edition.