In November, I wrote a novel novel-length THING.
On December 1st*, I felt immense relief and deep, personal satisfaction.
On December 2nd, I entered the 6 stages of grief PTSD (Post Draft Stress Disorder):
- Talking about how much I hate what I wrote
- While secretly fantasizing about how superb (imaginative, yet readable, yet funny, yet brave, yet unexpected, yet deep and touching, yet best-selling, yet critically-acclaimed) it is
- But knowing even more secretly how this is completely NOT TRUE
- Deciding it was a good experience and I learned a lot but I will never look at this particular lopsided story aberration ever again. It would be the kindest thing to do, truly. Best just to move on.
- Remembering that brilliant first draft of that *other* novel I wrote 3 years ago, which would totally TOTALLY be less work to revise–only two weeks, okay a month, tops–after which it would be a best-seller, yet critically-acclaimed, yet funny, yet heart-wrenching, yet…see #2.
- Talking it all over with Ashley Hope Perez on a freezing cold morning run, and deciding that the wisest course is to suck it up and REVISE** what I just wrote.***
This morning, I sat down to try to make a plan for THE GREAT NOVEL REVISION OF 2013. I got out my trusty notebook, wrote today’s date at the top of the page and the word, “Plans,” which I underlined 3 times to emphasize my sincerity and determination. And then…
Yeah. Exactly that. Because you know what? I’ve never revised a novel before. I have no idea what happens, or how long any of it takes. But, you know, learn by doing and all that. Thanks to Nos. 1 & 3, above, I have some ideas about where my story is lacking. And I’ve identified some resources that I think might help:
- GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict, by Debra Dixon. Recommended by the wise ladies of my local RWA chapter, IRWA.
- Steps 1-3 of The Snowflake Method, by Randy Ingermanson
- “How Chuck Wendig Writes a Novel,” by–yup–Chuck Wendig
- Chapter 2, “Characterization: The Inner Life” & Chapter 3, “Applied Characterization” from Noah Lukeman’s The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life.
- Writing Excuses, Episode 6.2, “Internal Motivations”
- “A Simple Approach to Revisions,” by Cathy Yardley (Just found this one today. HT to Sterling Editing’s weekly link round-up.)
Did you write a novel for NaNo? Did you write a thing? A half-thing?
Are you going to do anything with it?
What’s YOUR plan?