Pick it up again. Continue counting.

In the last few posts, I took you on the long and meandering journey that has led me to NaNoWriMo this year.

I had a first draft, rougher than sandpaper over volcanoes, but 50.000 words long.
I had a broken premise, and fifteen expert opinions on how to fix it.
I had two excellent classes in September and October.

The classes were Lani Diane Rich’s Making Magic and Discovery classes, and quite apart from the fact that she is a brilliant teacher, I took a bag of money and eight whole weeks worth of time to my book. The money meant that I was now morally obliged to invest the time I needed.

The weeks were spent learning a lot, playing a lot, and having loads of fun and epiphanies. I like them mixed! I will talk about my writing related fun and epiphanies on this blog, but for now, suffice it to say it was worth every penny of it.

Now I had what I needed to pick up my manuscript again in time for…

NaNoWriMo 2011: Spinning Purple into Gold

10) You need magic!
What has Science ever done for you, I ask you? Magic is your friend! You dumped the dumb purple idea, which is a relief to everyone, but now that you finally succumbed to magic, you can explain anything and everything from why the moles are bigger than grizzlies to how they ever managed to build that fricken city into solid rock three hundred years ago. Also you can include glowspitting lindworms in your backstory! Everybody wins!

11) Plot.
This whole endeavour showed me that I am a plotter not a pantser.
I have spent my youth and adulthood reading, I have absorbed all twenty eight seasons and eleven movies of Star Trek, and I know a good plot when I see one. I have spent enough time listening to other writers to know how to tweak plots that I don‘t like, and I‘ve practised it with my favourite writer friend (who also happens to be my twin sister).
So I took some time to plot.

12) Plan to Rewrite.
Since the premise was so weak and I threw it out completely, since Lani and Alastair told me about opening chapters and the many ways in which mine was broken, and since I remodelled two of six main characters, I planned to completely throw out my first draft and start from scratch.

13) Edit your way through NaNoWriMo 2011
Of course, I didn‘t actually delete a single word of my old draft. I‘m a writer, not an arsonist! I kept it all safe, and once my new and improved opening scene was over, I realised that I could reuse most of my old scenes. Sure, I have to scrap every reference to purple, and there are many, but the rest is solid and I can reuse almost all of it. I just have to edit it, and then fill in all the missing scenes that need to fatten my new plot so it can grow… Okay, I promise to stop this metaphor here.

Though really, editing takes twice as much time as writing new scenes, and I only copy/paste one or two pages at a time, so I don‘t even know if I‘ll meet my 50.000 during November.

I do know that my book is going to be about twice as thick, and that I want to finish my second draft this year.