Reverse NaNoWriMo

by | Nov 1, 2013 | Blog | 2 comments

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” – Mark Twain

National Novel Writing Month has officially begun. During the 30 days of November, folks all over the world will attempt to write 50,000 words of fiction. This year I’m a NaNo Rebel since I’m not writing a new novel. Instead, I’m doing “Reverse NaNoWriMo” by attempting to remove 50,000 words from a 193,000 word manuscript.

I enjoy the NaNoWriMo structure and have used it for the past nine years to create or revise. The local NaNoColumbus group, libraries, and the Thurber House host write-ins where others are also working on their books. The NaNoWriMo website offers forums where I go to ask questions, offer tips, or socialize between writing sessions. The website also features a list of published authors who have used the NaNoWriMo structure to do their work. There’s even a special forum for the “NaNo Rebels.”

Since this is my first re-write of this particular manuscript, I’ll be doing a “big picture” edit in which I’m trying to create the shape I want for the book. During October, I reviewed each scene and determined which ones needed the most overhauling. Now that NaNo has begun, I’ll work through those scenes to distill them to the essence of what the book is about. Sometimes this is as simple as removing words and rearranging sections. More often, however, it requires an entire rewrite of a scene, a chapter, or the entire book. It will be good to have the support of my fellow “Wrimos” (that’s what we call folks attempting NaNoWriMo) in this endeavor.

Where are you in your writing process? Is it a time of creation for you or, like me, are you in the throes of revision? I’d love to hear about it.

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