Wednesday, February 24, 2010

From WriMo to EdMo

I can hear you asking, "Huh? What on earth is this about?"

Until a few days ago, I didn't know either. WriMo refers to National Novel Writing Month, which occurs each November and entails writing a 50,000 word book in 30 days. If you know anything about writing, you know most of us can't create a clean product in 30 days. I've done NaNoWriMo the last two years and just vomited words onto paper.

If you want to do anything with the finished product, like, oh say, submit it, then you need to clean it up. And that's what NaNoEdMo is all about.

National Novel Editing Month happens in March and by signing up you commit to putting in 50 hours of editing during the month.

I did edit work on the novel I wrote in 2008 and entered it into an online contest at eHarlequin. The editor requested the full manuscript and I edited some more before mailing it. It was rejected, but with some feedback, so my EdMo goal is to take that feedback and fix the problems, namely pacing and characterization.

Each week I have to log my hours at the EdMo website, and with a firm goal in mind and a time limit, I hope to whip this sucker into shape and maybe pitch a new and improved version of it at the RWA conference this summer.

I have the manuscript printed out and have a green pen all ready. I like to edit in green because it's less depressing than red ink. Green means go and it doesn't look like something's bled all over your paper (unless maybe a wounded Martian has hovered over the pages).

So... is anyone else up to putting in 50 hours of editing starting next week? Do you have any good editing tips for me?

PS. Also, Trish has picked a winner for yesterday's blog - californiameaghan! Please email SP at to claim your prize.


Michelle Styles said...

Umm I am hoping to have my editing finished by next week, but have been putting in a lot of time.

I would suggest reading Elizabeth Lyon Manuscript Makeover as it is brilliant and gave me huge insights. I is one of the best craft books I have read.

Stephanie said...

Good luck with the editing process. I don't have any tips except just stick with it. It is a TOUGH process but you can do it.

I had to laugh about your green pen because I had just said to someone the other day that I liked to edit using a pink marker because it wasn't as harsh as red ink but was still romantic.

Problem Child said...

I gotta finish what I've got before I thing about editing. (But that's also what my CP is for -- she finds a lot of the issues for me!)

And I edit in red because it's easy to see. I used to grade in red too. I don't care about the psychological harm -- red catches my attention!

Angel said...

Yikes!!! I'm running late today. It's been crazy.

I'm in edit mode now. I had absolutely no clue that EdMo existed! How totally cool!

My suggestion? Put together a list of things you want to work on, to keep your mind fresh on what you will be looking for. Hard copy is good for a read through, though if I'm making extensive changes, I just go ahead and do it on the computer (but it took me a LONG time to get to that point).

I know there are many different ways to edit. Some people take one issues (say, characterization) and go through the entire manuscript looking for just that. Then another pass for sexual tension, another for language, etc. I do that same thing on a smaller scale. I go through one scene as many times as needed, then move on to the next one. At the end of the book, I do one final pass for word issues and formatting. You just have to find what works for you.

If you are hard copy editing, use 1 notebook to put all your notations in (because trust me, they won't all fit on the page). That way all your notes and additions will be in 1 place and you won't be hunting for them later! Nothing is more frustrating. :)

Good luck!!!


Instigator said...

I'm sorry I haven't posted yet today. I just turned a book in this morning and the thought of revisions makes me wanna cry right now. :-) I know it'll come but I'm just not ready to think about it.

But I like the idea of setting an editing goal. It's so much easier to say I'm going to write 5 pages today...much more difficult to quantify editing. Never thought of doing it by time. Think I'll try that next time.