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Jedi Knight Muse

Editing During NaNoWrIMo?

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Disclaimer: It's ENTIRELY possible that I am overthinking this, but I'm making this post anyway. If anything, it might form a good discussion.

Okay. So, I mentioned in one of the other discussion posts that I made that I'm 98% positive that I'm going to be a "rebel" for NaNo this year and am just going to continue editing/rewriting/writing new chapters/scenes into my current project, Court of Shadows. I'm getting alpha reader feedback, and have already started going through and taking notes based on their feedback so that I can apply it to the next draft. I'm the type of writer who just does not do well trying to divide my attention between more than one novel project. In the past, I've ended up favoring a new novel idea instead of the one I was originally working on, and the one that I was originally working on gets completely abandoned. I've never tried, but I can't imagine it going well if I were to try and start writing a brand new novel while editing another one, even they're related to each other (in this case, the potential new novel would be the prequel to the current one).

I talked about it in Discord recently, and it was suggested that I continue to edit/rewrite during NaNo instead of starting a new novel, because I've already proven I can write and finish a first draft (even if it wasn't all written during last year's NaNo), and now I need to take it to the next step by continuing to work on editing and creating a second draft. I can agree with this - I can see how easy it would be for a brand new novel to distract me from editing and throw me off of the current "groove" I'm in, just because I can't focus on more than one project at once and I've never tried editing a novel while writing a new one. I don't know if I see it going well.

So then, as I've been thinking about NaNo while creating discussion topics for it, I realized...is it really a wise for me to be trying to edit/rewrite during NaNo? I mean, I'm sure there are people who do it, and are successful, I just...am not entirely sure how I would do it, or how well I'd do with it. I don't even know how I would really account for the words I was editing/rewriting during NaNo, though I would imagine it would probably be the same way I've been doing it for our word count challenge, where I'd do it by the amount of hours I spent editing and then count any new words, too. But then that would probably make validating it even more of a pain.

So I guess the point of this post is...have you ever tried editing during NaNo (not the unofficial NaNoEditing month that exists, but actual NaNo)? How did you do it? Would you suggest that I do it, or am I better off doing as much as I can until NaNo starts and take a break from editing so I can write during NaNo instead of try to edit and then get back to editing in December? I know that each writer is different, and how something works for one person won't necessarily work for the next, but I'm curious as to what people think about this.

(And again, totally possible that I'm overthinking. But if I were going to just start a new novel during NaNo, I'd need to give myself enough time to start researching/outlining for it. At the very least, I can start trying to fiddle with an outline just in case I decide at the last minute to just start a new novel instead of edit, but I want to give myself enough time for that.)

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A lot of people use the '1 hour of editing = 1000 words towards NaNo' formula. So you'd need just over an hour and a half of editing per day to hit your goal. As for being wise, I don't think that is something someone else can answer. Can you handle that much editing for 30 days, or will you burn out? Do you have enough content to work on, or will you run out of story and have to figure out what else to work on mid-month?

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3 hours ago, Penguinball said:

A lot of people use the '1 hour of editing = 1000 words towards NaNo' formula. So you'd need just over an hour and a half of editing per day to hit your goal.

Right, but what do they do when they have to actually validate those words? I'm assuming they'd input the words into the word counter like normal, like 3,000 for three hours of editing or whatever, but then you still have to actually copy and paste something into their validator in order to win once you reach 50k. I guess in my case I'd just copy the original version of a chapter and then rewrite it that way, with new words and just copy and paste those new words into a separate document for validation. Sounds complicated and hard to keep track of, especially during NaNo.

9 hours ago, Penguinball said:

As for being wise, I don't think that is something someone else can answer. Can you handle that much editing for 30 days, or will you burn out? Do you have enough content to work on, or will you run out of story and have to figure out what else to work on mid-month?

That's the thing, I'm honestly not sure. I suppose it ultimately depends on how much I push myself to work on editing between now and November, or if I just slow myself down a bit on it and save it for then, but...I don't see that happening. There MIGHT be enough content to work on during November? But I don't know if I'd be willing to put off trying to write any kind of an outline or anything for a new novel ahead of time and assume that there would be enough for me to work on, only to find that there's not or that I'd get frustrated by editing or something. I mean, I have barely even done anything with chapter one, editing-wise, so I seriously doubt I'd run out of chapters to edit by the time November comes, but I still don't know if I think I'd do well with trying to edit for 30 days.

I suppose it also depends on what happens once I finish going through my notes and come up with a potential, super loose outline for the new draft (with the chapters/scenes that need to be rewritten and added in). I don't think there's enough of those for me to get 50k out of, either, though, at least not right now. I think trying to edit for 30 days would also just burn me out, too. So Maybe I'm better off doing as much as I can for the next week or so, at least until early September, and then I'll shift my focus onto trying to come up with an outline for the prequel.

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1 hour ago, Jedi Knight Muse said:

Right, but what do they do when they have to actually validate those words? I'm assuming they'd input the words into the word counter like normal, like 3,000 for three hours of editing or whatever, but then you still have to actually copy and paste something into their validator in order to win once you reach 50k. I guess in my case I'd just copy the original version of a chapter and then rewrite it that way, with new words and just copy and paste those new words into a separate document for validation. Sounds complicated and hard to keep track of, especially during NaNo.

I would just use a lorem ipsum generator (https://www.lipsum.com/)  Generate however many words you need and paste away.

 

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