Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rewriting During National Novel Writing Month

Please read the entry for Nov. 1, "Trust the Process", which has to do with rewriting as an integral part of writing. I found myself nodding and going "uh-huh!" all the way through the entry!

As sort of a continuation of that well-thought blog, I'd like to offer this quickie on a non-assigned day:

Several fellow members of our local Written Remains Writers Guild (WRWG) plus a few writing colleagues from around the country, have decided to do our own miniature version of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November. If you've never heard, NaNoWriMo participants pledge to try and write 50,000 new words on any one fiction project between Nov.1 and Nov. 30.

I've participated in most of the NaNoWriMos since 2003.

However, right now I have a total of -six- books that need revisions and additional chapters. Three of these six books are actually the three chunks or volumes which will make up the YA fantasy The Gryphon and the Basilisk. The remaining three manuscripts are stand-alones, but they are all fantasy and 2 out of 3 of them are also YA.

It would be ridiculous for me to beginning writing a new draft of something--like the WRWG people and most NaNoWriMo authors are doing this November, given all the revision work cut out for me. So, back in late October, I posted to the Written Remains Writers Guild that I intend to -revise- multiple pages of the Gryphon and the Basilisk. (Rather than creating a new 250 word page every day of this month as the Guild members are doing)

Let me explain a bit about the revision process I have before me. First off, G&B totals about 2 and 3/4 books as I said above. (I don't quite have an ending for the third volume.) Second, I wrote it in long-hand approximately 30 years ago. Eventually, I typed up those pages. And maybe almost 20 years ago, I scanned the typed pages into a file on my computer with a very buggy software scanning program.

The result? In places, the current version of the manuscript looks like I'm cursing at times. The scanning results are that bad. Many, if not most lower case l's came through as number 1's. And so on.

Even though my project doesn't align with the ongoing project of the Written Remains Writers Guild or with the rules of National Novel Writing Month, I've pledged to try to decipher and revise approximately 6 pages or 1750 words per day during the month of November.

Progress report:
My Mini-NaNoWriMo total for two days is 3578 words.

3578-1724 = 1854

(Nov. 1 1724 wds,which was 5 and a half pages) ... (1854 words for Nov. 2, or about 6 and a half pages today)

You can keep track of my progress--and maybe even cheer us all on--by going to Facebook and signing on the the group "How Many Pages Did You Write Today?, maintained by Ramona deFelice Long:

(which may or may not work in this format--please just search in FB for the group)

Go to "Scribblings" my personal blog, for updates about my humungous revision process of the Novel variously called The Gryphon and the Basilisk, or The Behemoth, or The YA novel that intends to eat Delaware:


Finally you might want to Google NaNoWriMo, to see how all of this started. I'm TreeLady on NaNo. I admit that this year I can't participate as NaNo directs, since I am revising and not creating new material. But, hey, I don't see any more half-finioshed manuscripts in "drawers". I think that 6 is my limit.
(This URL may work for NaNo: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/26133 )

Sherry Thompson, author of unfinished novels: G&B vols. 1,2,3; The Peace Bride; Marooned; Da Boid da Tree-Rat ;n da Loser.


  1. Good luck with the translating. I'm in the process of trying to retype the carbon copy of a book written maybe 25 years ago. It's on yellow papee. Sort of makes me feel blind. Not even sure it it's worth the effort but I feel compelled to do this.

  2. I understand where you're coming from, JL.
    There are times when you just can't let a story die. I hope that all of the work repays you more than double once you're finished.