Now that it's January, it's time to break out the red pen and edit my NaNoWriMo. Or to be more accurate, paste the whole thing into a new document and rewrite it. I'm overwhelmed by the thought of 181 raw pages.
I wrote my last MG novel one chapter at a time. I rewrote each chapter as I completed it, took that five to seven pages to the Slushbusters, got their feedback, made more revisions, got more feedback, and then moved on. Five to seven pages at a time was manageable. Occasionally I made a change that required going several chapters back and revising, but once I had all the characters and story in place, I didn't have to do that too often. By the time I went back and read it as a whole, it didn't need much revision.
My NaNo piece is different. I've been paralyzed by a fear of how to proceed. The last forty pages especially are confusing. As I ran out of steam toward the end of the month, I wrote a whole bunch of scenes that took place in various other parts of the story. Now I have to figure out where they go. I also want to do a complete rewrite as I read it. I kind of have to, as I changed from third person to first and back again. I want to print out a copy to read, make notes, and then rewrite it. That seemed like a lot of printing all at one time. So I've made a plan.
I started a new notebook to keep track of my ideas. (Don't you just love a brand-new notebook at the beginning of the year? Whether it's a journal at the beginning of the calendar year, or a spiral at the start of the school year, there's something magical in writing those first few sentences in a new blank book.) I've listed all the scenes that are hanging out at the end of the document. This will, I hope, remind me to insert them when I come to the appropriate place. I had intended to reorder them before I began editing, but finding where each of them goes by scrolling up and down 181 pages would be very time consuming.
I am printing out ten pages at a time to work on. Ten pages isn't so bad, right? Lisa sends us ten page chapters all the time. I didn't write in chapter breaks, so I'm hoping to figure those out as I go. Ten pages is the most I feel I can look at and keep track of simultaneously, at least until I know the story better.
So, here I am with my first ten pages and a pencil. I remind myself that I like editing. And now, finally, I'm ready to go to it.