NaNo and other writing FAILS in the month of November

Last month was a dismal writing FAIL for me. I didn’t get any farther in my NaNo book than the 10,896 words I started with. That’s fine, because that novel is going back in the freezer. I will consider revisiting it in 2014. Psych! I will not, it’s pretty terrible.

Not only did I fail to finish my NaNo project (which, in my defense, I said I might not be able to), I also failed to finish my revisions of MB. I really have no excuse for this except that the month got away from me. The truth is, I probably won’t be able to get back to work on MB until after New Year’s, because now that I have my editor’s feedback on AUT that needs to be my top priority (the deadline being December 31 and all).

Speaking of AUT revisions, I’m a big paralyzed. I’m usually pretty good on revisions, but recently it’s been difficult. I could blame it on my computer, which is limping along valiantly but will soon need to be replaced, but we all know it’s not Iphegenia Doubtfire’s fault. It’s my fault. Lack of motivation coupled with procrastination=three weeks until deadline and not a lick done.

Actually, that’s a total lie, I have done stuff. My editor said that there’s a character that needs beefing up, because they become important later on in the story and we need to see more of them in the beginning. Perfectly valid criticism, totally spot on, but I’m a little dizzy about where to begin adding this person into the beginning. So I did what I always do, I wrote a character manifesto.

I had written one for this character earlier, and since I feel like I understand them a lot better now I was surprised at how perfect what I had written about them fit with my current concept, but the manifesto needed to be longer and explain more about the actual events of the novel from their perspective, so I started over. I also brushed up on my psychoanalytic theory from graduate school, much of which I used to shape this character in the first place, and asked my friend Scott to give this character a new car, which he did marvelously. Not to be all Stephenie Meyer, but it’s this, a black Mercedes SLK (in the manuscript right now it says this character drives a black Dodge Charger, so a change is imminent):

2008-brabus-mercedes-slk-11

So, anyway, the manifesto’s not finished but it is several pages long and very helpful. Now I just need to find a way to do the actual meat of the work. To finish my revisions in three weeks, I have devised a plan of sorts:

  • Read the manuscript cover-to-cover, making no notes or changes, just read.
  • Make my editor’s smaller changes (excising repetitive words and phrasing, clearing up small errors, punctuation, grammar, etc.) that she wrote in the manuscript margins to the digital copy on the computer.
  • Go through the letter and develop a plan of attack for every larger change.
  • Implement the larger changes.
  • Read through again for any problems.
  • Email to agent and editor.
  • Fly home for Christmas.

I’m not going to lie, it’ll probably be down to the wire. I leave for California on the night of December 23, so I have 21 days to get all this done. I know I could probably ask for a small extension, but I don’t want to. I think I can do it, if I put my mind to it and don’t get distracted. Hopefully, December will be a writing WIN for me.

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