Wednesday, November 18, 2009


As I've mentioned before, during all this reading I'm currently doing for Dark Pages Volume 1, the first anthology from Blade Red Press (how's that for a plug), my mind continually drifts back to Inner Voice.

I guess I'm somewhat in the same quandary as KC Shaw and her Bell-Men project. While Kate is powering through her NaNo project and having reoccurring thoughts of Bell-Men, I'm working through submissions and yet Inner Voices remains a constant mental companion.

The latest thought process, which is cropping up more often, is the editing process I have ahead of me, and then naturally my mind carries forward and I begin to think about the submission process and the contract signing and the money rolling in...I'm normal, right? Right? Doesn't everyone do this? Anyone?

The editing thoughts came to the fore again while doing the rounds through my Google Reader. Ms A. Victoria Mixon has published a letter to primarily showcase her ability as an editor, but does so much more for the discerning writer. Many of you will be absorbed in the current series of posts Aaron Polson is running during NaNo, reminding writers about different things they should be including/thinking about during their mad dash to 50000 words. Ms Mixon's letter on developmental editing is a grand edition to those lessons.

As an aside, I remember someone (maybe Mercedes) posting something about another editor providing an editing, critique-type service. Whoever it was, can you refresh my memory please. I'm seriously considering using one of these services once I've finished working through it with my own team of critiquers/beta readers.

And as is my want, this leads into a thought I had about all you NaNo participants who can't help editing as you go (Alan, Bec, and others). NaNo is supposedly about the act of writing; getting words on the page. It's okay to contradict yourself during November. Fixing the inconsistencies is for December and beyond. Making sure things flow is not for now. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, not National Novel Editing Month which would be presented as NaNoEdMo - which sounds way too much like Mork signing off.

But, and this is a pretty big but, if your normal writing regime is to go back and edit the previous chapter with a light dusting of changes before you move onto the next part of the story, then you shouldn't be using NaNo as the time to retrain your brain into just churning out words. NaNo is, IMHO, all about committing time to write. It's about getting words onto the paper but it's more about a commitment to your craft, and that's easier to do as part of a huge group than doing it on your own.

So if you edit as you go, go for it. Just add that time into your calculations so you don't have to worry over it taking away from your NaNo word goals for the day. Accept it as part of the writer you are, and will probably always be, so you no longer need to stress over it and you can plan to include it in your regime. Once the stress of that is gone, the words will flow easier once more, and hitting 50K won't seem such a long way away.

Okay, enough preaching about stuff everyone is probably rolling their eyes over and wishing I'd stop sounding like some sort of self-appointed guru. Not how I intend to come across. Just an opinion you are more than free to disagree with.

Well done to everyone participating in NaNo - regardless of where you're at in the word count race, you deserve special consideration and congratulations for committing time to your craft and getting words on the paper. That is no small feat.


  1. "NaNoEdMo - which sounds way too much like Mork signing off"--LOL!

    With quips like that you can be my appointed guru.

  2. Thank you, thank you - I'll be here for the rest of my life. Be sure to try the veal...

  3. You can be my guru. I'll be in your cult.

    I did have my query letter edited by two different people. Carrie Harris did it on the Ninja Query section of her blog (I was her first Ninja! Hooray!) and then I won an edit from agent Lindsay Davis as a contest prize. They were definitely useful and made my query much stronger. I haven't used a specific service, though. If you do it, tell me what you think. :)


  4. Can't argue when beautiful women are agreeing to be in my cult - break out the cool-aid - whoops, sorry.

    So if it wasn't M who used the service then who was it? I remember reading somewhere (God, I've read so much lately) someone used a free, or very cheap editing service in which they received, what sounded like, some fairly well thought out and soundly reasoned explanations on what was wrong with their work and good suggestions on how to move forward.

    If this sounds familiar - please enlighten me once more. My memory isn't what it once was.

  5. I don't know who mentioned it, but I think Jodi Lee does critiques.

  6. Thanks for the link to Ms. Mixon's letter-- that was a really illuminating read!

    And if we couldn't think about contract signing and money rolling in, I think we'd all throw up our hands and flounce away. Then again, speaking for others is dangerous, so let's change that to "I would just throw up my hands and flounce away."

    Not that I flounce. Er.

  7. Nothing wrong with flouncing - I think - as long as I'm not doing it...

    Jodi Lee has so much on her plate, I dare not ask her to do more. Being the wonderful person she is, she'd say yes even if she didn't have the time, just because she knows me.

  8. I dare you. hehehe It appears as though I won't be rushing Dead Bells as fast as I had thought, and once NaNo is done, I'm putting this file somewhere I won't have to look at it for at least six months. Or at least until FebNo. ;)

    I think my link is on my site, but if you can't dig it up over there, email. ;)

    And I'm not that wonderful, I have skeletons in my closet. Mostly because I ran out of lime and lawn space...