Now that it’s been a few weeks since NaNoWriMo ended and I’ve done most of the research I needed to do to support that novel I worked on, it’s time to make a first revision pass. On the one hand, I’m really excited about this! How fun to get to go back and look at what I wrote! How embarrassing to see how many sentences ended up being pure garbage! (When I’m knee-deep in visualizing a scene I write with my eyes closed, and I’m never quite sure what that will produce.) What a delight to finally reread and see if the story actually measures up to what I remember, or if it’s terrible, or if it’s got plot holes big enough to fly airplanes through, or if the characters are plastic or wooden or, since the story takes place around a rock band, if the lyrics are so cringeworthy* that I have to run and hide.
On the other hand, the whole prospect makes me kind of nervous. By the way, “kind of” is one of my crutch phrases in writing. It’s there far too frequently, along with “pretty much”, “just,” and wide-spread comma abuse, but wiser brains than mine have said we can’t break bad habits until we recognize them. I consider those bad habits fully recognized.
Since NaNoWriMo ended I’ve read four books — a luxury I haven’t had in a while — and have written quite a bit of non-NaNo-related fiction. I miss the rigidity of my self-imposed 2000-words-a-day goal, and I miss the statistics chart by which I measured my progress. There are other ways to do it, but none that I’ve found as satisfying.
I’m going to start my first revision pass tomorrow. I know there are plot points that developed later on in the story contradicted by the early stuff, so I’ll be on the lookout for those, and make the story progression logical (I hope). I also have a much better working title than the one I used in November. In filling out the post-NaNo survey today, I took great satisfaction in checking off the box next to “I plan to revise this and submit it for traditional publishing” or whatever their phraseology was. I wanted to write something commercial, something less in the realm of what’s considered literary fiction. The real reason for any nerves comes from that: did I manage to meet that goal? I guess I’ll find out.
*Daniel Radcliffe used that word in an interview. It’s since become one of my favorites, even if spell check refuses to recognize it.