#NaNoWriMo Inspiration Strikes: Editing Will Be Required

I was in the shower this morning when it hit me. The reason part of my story was struggling to come together yesterday is that I gave some of the crucial backstory to the wrong character. This realization will help me restructure some important elements of the story and build a stronger arc for the protagonist. It also suggests a theme that is meaningful to me, inherent in the story, and reasonably subtle. All this is good.

What is not so good is that half of the scenes I have written will have to move to different settings or involve different characters.

I need to take this idea and use it to improve my story. I need to take it seriously and work into what I am doing consciously. But, I am on a roll and moving forward with getting the story down. I don’t want to break that stride.

My solution is that the first thing I will do when I open my manuscript in 10 minutes will be to write some notes about the changes that I want to make at the beginning of the manuscript. I will then continue writing new scenes. I will continue writing as though I have made the changes.

If I were simply interested in word count, this would keep my word count up. I also believe that the momentum to tell the rest of the story is precious. My internal editor is useful, but I must control it for now.

I am not interested in producing words for words’ sake. I need to move forward on my bigger goal of a complete first draft. I know that this change will require substantial editing when I get to editing. But that will come later. In the meantime, I will make very general notes of what changes I need to make and then press on.

If I make the mental shift to editor-brain now, I will not only not make my NaNoWriMo goal, I may also break my progress to the larger goal of a complete first draft.


About Kate Arms-Roberts


Posted on November 10, 2010, in This Writing Life. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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