Writing Update: Camp NaNoWriMo and Editing


What is this? A writing update? It has been rather a while since I posted one of these. Seeing as this month is Camp NaNoWriMo and I’m doing rather a lot of writing (well, editing) at the moment, I thought that this might be the perfect time to post an update on what I’m doing writing-wise, how I’m doing, and what I’m planning on doing in the future. Seeing as how there’s progress being made and all.

First things first, as I said, I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month. This time round though, I’m editing a book rather than drafting a new one. Look at me being all responsible over here. I’m really missing the rush of drafting a new book or two during the NaNo craziness, but I’ve got more than enough books that need editing at the moment. The last thing I need is to be writing a new one. November now, now that’s a different story…

Anyway, for Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m continuing my edit of my sci-fi/superhero-ish/retelling novel Snow in the vague hope of actually completing the draft this month. If you’re not familiar with this project, here’s a quick synopsis to catch you up:

Eric: A mutant and the step-son of a mutant, all he wants is to survive in a world that thinks mutants need to have their abilities registered for their own ‘good’ and refuses to let him choose his own path. 

Nicola: Tough government agent and mutant with a useless gift. All she wants is to prove to the doubters that she and her fellow teenaged agents are the equals of any adult team. 

When Eric’s step-father, Hector, takes matters into his own hands in an attempt to stop the mutant registration laws in ways that border on terrorism, Eric and Nicola are thrown together in the desperate fight to stop him. But Eric can’t trust anyone, and time is running out. Nicola and Eric must get past their differences and work together before Hector's plans prove fatal.

Considering I’ve made more progress in one week of Camp NaNoWriMo than I did in an entire month beforehand, I think this method of motivation is working quite well.

How is the editing going exactly? Up and down, that’s how. On one hand, I’m getting a lot of words edited. My Camp average stands at 3,000-ish words a day, which, considering I’m editing and I find that WAY harder than drafting, I’m quite pleased with. However, in those words I’ve had to do a LOT of fixing of problems. Such as a massive plot hole that saw me go all the way back to chapter 2 and restructure most of the book. *sigh* Why must my characters be smart enough to uncover holes in the plot? So that’s been a bit frustrating.

At the same time though, I’m cautiously optimistic about this draft. I’ve put a lot of time and thought into this draft, trying to iron out the worst of the plot problems. And, for the most part, I think it’s turning out pretty well. Which is great, because one of the things I want to do when I’ve finished this draft is find some beta readers to give me some feedback. Well, let’s rephrase that actually. I think I SHOULD find some, because I could really use another few pairs of eyes. But I’m terrified at the same time. I don’t know how anyone ever manages to give a FIRST draft to their betas.

But anyway, that aside, I need some words of wisdom here. Does anyone have any advice for working with beta readers? How have you found yours? Any good resources I could look at? Questionnaires or no? I need all the help I can get here. Any advice would be really appreciated.

So that’s where I’m at with my writing at the moment. What are you writing at the moment? Are you taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo? Where in the writing process are you? Does the thought of giving a book to betas fill you with as much as fear as it does me? Any advice for me? 

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  1. AGH I WISH I WAS IN YOUR SITUATION. I'm probably the only person I know who loves editing - although maybe that's because I edit as I write, so once I finish a draft the editing from thereon out is pretty smooth sailing.
    I'm doing NaNo as well! I'm writing a novella called Heaven Bleeds Fire about an angel who teams up with some demons to take down the Archangel Michael. Since I actually plotted it beforehand (instead of just pantsing my way through like I usually do), it's going pretty well!
    Good luck with editing Snow - it sounds like a really interesting novel. :)

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    1. I think most people would much rather have it the other way round and love editing. After all, drafting happens once, but editing takes so much longer! Editing while you go would probably help make for a much smoother first draft. I don't know about anyone else, but my first drafts are always such a mess!

      Ooh, good luck with Camp NaNoWriMo. That's such a cool concept for a book. I hope everything goes well for you this month!

  2. Your novel sounds really intriguing - I can't wait to hear more about it! I wish you the very best of lock with editing, and I know that it can be draining at times to even THINK about all of your editing work stacking up, but just remember to look after yourself and to take some breaks in between edits, maybe get yourself a treat (for me, hot chocolate) or do something else that you enjoy (art, sports, etc). That's the best advice that I can give you, anyways.

    I've never done NaNo. If I'm honest, I've always been too afraid in case I failed miserably at it, so I never let myself do it. Is it too late to join? Can you just use your own current WIP as an entry?

    1. Thank you Sunset. I really needed that encouragement this morning actually. Editing's being pretty brutal this time round, and it's so draining.

      It's never too late to join in, and actually, if you've never done NaNoWriMo before, Camp NaNoWriMo is perfect for your first one, because you can pick your own word goal, so you don't have to complete the full 50k if you don't feel up to it. Camp NaNoWriMo is also really flexible on what you can work on, so if you want to continue a draft you're already doing, that's absolutely fine. I've actually written a post about the basics of Camp NaNoWriMo if you want some more information. But if you're interested in doing Camp NaNo, you should totally sign up!

    2. Thanks! Your post was really helpful, but if you don't mind me asking (because I know almost nothing about NaNo)...how do you enter? Is there a site you join up to or do you just do it on your own?

  3. You're editing for Camp? Cool, so am I! I'm working on sprucing up my Snow White retelling, Killing Snow. It's my first round of edits, and I'm hoping to get a second one done by the middle of August so I can send out my official call for beta readers. What's your Camp NaNoWriMo username? Mine is Savannah Grace.
    And (though I've never had beta readers before) I would advise you ask if people would be interesting in beta reading for you on your blog. I've seen people get plenty of beta readers that way :).

    1. Hey, nice! It's so funny, I'm also editing a Snow White retelling. Though mine's a VERY loose adaptation. That sounds like an awesome plan. How long does it usually take you to get through a round of edits?

      My Camp username is Jane Bennet.

      I will definitely have to try that. Hopefully someone will be interested in reading it and helping me out! It's one of my big fears that no one will want to read my books.

    2. Well, as long as your book is clean and my mom doesn't mind (I'll have to ask her first), I'll probably be able to beta read for you :).

  4. Sounds like you're making good progress! And the idea sounds cool. Did you draw any inspiration from X-Men? I'm editing too and it's going pretty well. I just calculated if I'd reach my deadline by the rate I'm going and I will. Yays. ^ ^ I'm still working out the kinks with betaing, but I've learned to ask for betas from your blog or from people you know. That way people already have a bit more familiarity about you and sometimes already have a love for your book. I'm trying the questionnaire at the end this go around. I'll let you know how that goes, but I think it's going to help. Also give your betas a deadline and check up on them. I microedit then send microedited chapters as I go to my betas so they get a little nudge with each batch and I've noticed that helps a lot. I hope this advice helps! Keep up the good writing!



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