After I successfully completed NaNoWriMo (see more about NaNoWriMo here) by writing 50,000 words in one month, I signed the NaNoWriMo Revision Contract.

I did it!  I, Rhonda Kalkwarf, pledge to edit and revise my manuscript.

I swear to undertake the unluxurious process of editing the first draft of my novel. I understand that this process can be messy and disheartening, but ultimately just as rewarding as writing it all the first time.

I have replaced all creative implements (pens, pencils, keyboards, touchscreens, quills, and hunks of charcoal) at my workspace with destructive ones (erasers, backspace keys, white-out, and comically large mallets). I will refine and chop sentences, paragraphs, and chapters with impartial ferocity.

Above all, I promise to regard my novel with a critical but not cruel eye, for it is a work of my one-and-only imagination and deserves to be made even better.

Because I’ve been very public about this journey, people often ask about my progress. Well, here’s what’s been happening.

After I finished writing in November, I set the manuscript aside for a month. My goal was to be able to look at it with a fresh perspective.

Once I picked it up again, I cut ruthlessly. I took out each scene and character who didn’t advance the plot in some way. It was hard to part with some of those, but I knew it was necessary. My 50,000 words shrank to 42,000. Progress?15279774_s

Since then, I’ve been going through the book and adding depth. After NaNoWriMo, I had a book skeleton. Now I’m in the process of adding the organs, muscles and skin.

I’ve cleaned up scenes I wrote before and I’ve added new scenes when I realized there was more to the story. I’m filling in descriptions of characters and settings. In a previous blog, I described when I played with Point of View. I keep working on the flow of the story to be sure it flows well and will be interesting for a reader to enjoy.

I just passed the halfway point of doing this. When I finish, I’ll go through it again. I’ll probably do it again after that. Before I send it to be professionally edited, I’ll send it out to Beta readers for feedback. It’ll need to be proofread, too.

My goal right now is to have this first pass completed before November 1. I’ve been thinking about doing NaNoWriMo again this year. There are a couple characters who’ve started dancing in my head. We’ll see.
Thanks for following the journey! I welcome feedback and suggestions.

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If you’re new here, you may want to scroll down to the bottom of the page to start the story at the beginning. If you don’t have that much time, check out the “About the Journey” tab at the top of the page.
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4 thoughts on “

  1. Hi Rhonda,

    I saved your e-mail so I could go back to the NaNoWriMo part of the message. Wow. I applaud you. Even when I write a message on e-mail I redo it a number of times!

    Hope you and John are well. You will see Bon at Tuesday golf if it doesn’t rain.



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