So National Novel Writing Month is officially over as of 11:59 last night; welcome to the last month of 2011. Since the challenge is completed and November is now behind us (I sat on my duff for the last few nights recovering from the stupid shingles) it’s time to sit down and actually read my manuscript – a task I’ve put off until tonight because I wanted to give myself a little distance from it so I could look at it with a fresh, critical set of eyes.
I’m not the world’s best at revising and rewriting: back when I was writing poetry I came up with this idiotic excuse for not revising… I told everyone that I wanted to catch the words raw, and record them as they occurred to me – it was something Jack Kerouac used to do, and I suspect he did it for the exact same reasons I did… laziness. Some of my poetry club mates thought I was being conceited, but they were wrong… I was being lazy.
And did that laziness benefit me in any way? Not an ounce. In fact I began to believe my own bullshit so thoroughly, I would whip off poems in my notebook and read them during our sharing sessions mere minutes after crapping them out on the page. They were horrible… every once in a while there would be an inspired line or two, but for the most part it was all garbage.
Essentially what I did for the NaNoWriMo challenge was spit out the story on to the page… the exact same thing I used to do in those best-forgotten poetry days (I don’t regret writing poetry, I regret not taking it seriously and not producing much better work than I did); however, this time I had a bit of a plan and that plan included an extensive review and revision of the work… and that begins tonight.
Wish me luck…