Friday, December 25, 2009

Talk of Nooks and Editing

Hello, everyone. I hope you had a wonderful Chrismahannukwanzika! I know my Christmas was lovely. Though I love all of my presents, my favorite is the one I have not yet recieved- a Nook! My mom and I had been discussing the possibility of my getting a Sony Reader/Kindle, and it was between those two for many, many months until I was shopping at B&N one day and saw that they had something, as well. My mom was still pretty gung-ho about the Sony Reader until she began to read reviews about the Nook, and by that point, they had already been sold out for awhile. So I will have it before I go back to school but not before I leave for the theatre festival (it arrives the day after I leave!) I am so excited to (eventually) have this because it will eliminate an entire suitcase when I study in England next year! Seriously, I was despairing over which books I would have to leave behind, because I am the type of person who brings fifteen books with me on a weekend trip to the beach in case I feel the overwhelming urge to read page 47 of this or that book.

But I digress. I am very excited about this and that is all. Because I had a point in writing this blog, and that point is this: I began editing my NaNo novel today.

It hasn't been quite a month since I locked my novel away in the bottom drawer of my desk at school, but I had time today and it's close enough. Additionally, I have people waiting to edit it that I am sure will do a far more thorough job than I am doing.

Editing is an interesting process, and actually, almost a brand-new experience for me. Though I have been writing forever, I rarely ever finish my stories, which is odd because I am a person who does not like loose ends. But, as a friend and fellow writer and I were discussing just today, sometimes reaching the end is what we are afraid of. A work in progress is safe because it's still in progress. But if you type that final word of your novel and think, "I'm done,"... well, that's a little frightening.

If course, as I am learning in this editing process, a novel is not nearly "done" once you finish the first draft. There is SO much work to be done on this story... so, so much. I am not a person who generally makes a ton of grammatical and/or conventional errors, but believe me, they are present in my first draft. I have marked so many things I want to change. For it being my biggest writing pet peeve, I repeat words an awful lot. And I discovered about an hour ago a huge chunk of a scene that I just never wrote. I kept flipping pages, looking for the missing part, and then realised that that was a section of the scene I had meant to get back to and just never did. I would have been so embarrassed if I had sent my novel off with that chunk missing.

As odd as it sounds, as I read, I am realising that plot is one of my weaknesses. I am very insecure in my writing and tend to have ideas given to me that I then work my characters around that story, and I feel safe because it's not MY story, it's just my words put together to form that story. But this novel is completely of my own imagining and I am scared that I have no plot. As I mentioned in my very first entry, I failed at NaNo last year because I didn't really had a plot. I had a few good scene ideas, but beyond that, nothing. And somehow, I feel that even though I have over 50,000 words of a plot of my own creation... I feel like I am in the same situation. Am I the only one that suffers from this insecurity?

However, I have been told on more than one occasion that character development is one of my strengths, and I am proud of that. I feel like my MC is a strong character. There are a number, however- Gloria, Mrs. Grady, Suzanne, Billy, Ethan, and Annie, just to name a few- that I feel can be developed further. Only about two and a half of them are main characters, but I come from the theatre world where there are no small parts!

Tomorrow, I shall finish my editing, including my chapter breakdown, and then I will apply those edits to my novel as best I can. I could rush this and do it in a day, but I am making myself draw it out for a few days. I have promised the novel to my editors after the new year, so I am thinking by the third or so, I will send it out. I am very nervous about their opinions, but I know they will be helpful- and I much prefer pages of notes to a passive "I liked it."

And now I must to bed, for it is late and I am tired. Bonne nuit!

P.S. Another one of my presents was a NaNoWriMo t-shirt! I love it!

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