NaNoWriMo Day 19: Time for editing

by AA on 19 November 2011

I managed to get ahead of my word count quota for NaNo, so I’ve spent the last two days imposing some editorial oversight on the draft.

This turns out to be a fairly different process from self-editing Realms Unreel, because I never wrote anything close to 35,000 words without interrupting the process for editing. I don’t know the exact proportion of writing to editing sessions for Realms Unreel, but I’d guess I’d do a serious edit every time I added another 5,000 words to the manuscript.

But for the NaNo novel, I had 35,000-plus totally unedited words as of my first editing session yesterday, and I didn’t have a plan about how I was going to start editing. What I ended up doing was teasing out the various subplots that have emerged in the course of the free-flow writing. Each block of text that was related to a specific subplot went into a Scrivener manuscript folder for that subplot. At the end of this subplot sorting, I had identified six distinct subplots.

I was pretty happy to find that the unfiltered material flowing onto the page for the past several days falls fairly natural into these distinct threads. For each of these subplots, I then wrote a chunk of text for each subplot that charts the arc of that subplot over the course of the story.

From here my plan is to start breaking up the subplot material into different scenes and work on cultivating the somewhat unusual point of view required for each scene.

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