Yesterday, my mind internally panicked at three things bursting into my mind. One: the weakness of “we’re all in this together after a terrible test” mentality cheer in AP Calculus when we got our tests back. Two: my PSATs, driver's test, choir retreat and library volunteer shift all decide to coincide on today, and three: NaNoWriMo is in fifteen days.
Fifteen days! No amount of coffee can sedate my screaming.
It pains me to say this, but once again, another year passes along where the traditional NaNoWriMo cannot be celebrated because of the escalating constraints crushing my poor five-foot bone structure into a tiny ball. Another reason pops up from the surface: my fifth manuscript of Hidden in the Shadows needs to be edited on time for beta readers in January and for the next installment of the series to be plotted by next autumn. Six weeks have passed, officially allowing me to edit, and by no means is the novel ready, with insert spoilers and insert spoilers here.
Instead, I’ve decided to go along with the Camp NaNoWriMo route and rebel against traditional NaNoWriMo as I edit all the pages and rewrite parts of my novel throughout the entire month of November. GASP. I’m not sure if editing at a fast pace will be beneficial, but there are solely editing reasons why NaNoWriMo editing needs to happen.
// The beautiful imperfect manuscript gets torn to shreds. *flails* A huge predominant fear I had when I was younger was editing my own manuscripts because lots of the stuff that was written was so cringe-worthy to the point that ninety-percent of the time, I had to rewrite so many drafts, but with each time, it became better (with less plot holes)! The fear still lurked on the surface, and it still does. After three years of high school which involved editing pieces for a publishing company and pointing out suggestions for essays to my friends, it’s something I’ve slowly eased into. Besides, the pain of the process can be taken away by color coding all the edits.
// I know it’s going to make my novel turn out better. That’s the main goal of editing and rewriting, right? Even a quote by Philip Stanhopein one of my classes affirms this: "Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well." Most of everything we do in the world strives towards achieve bettering whatever we are doing. Artists understand that our creations should be the best they can be, because there is a piece of ourselves within our work that we feel a small protectiveness over, somewhat like a young child. You love it, but you don’t want it to get hurt. The novel idea’s grown with me for over six years. The final product must come out soon.
(Because face it, IT'S A BATTLE REQUIRING THE WIELDING OF SWORDS AND WANDS.)
// The actual manuscript—there’s a reason why the words “Do Not Steal” are initially on the page. One—I’m super paranoid about protecting my craft. The second reason is more of me indirectly saying, “Please do not read my novel until further notice.” A lot of my friends and family members aren’t novel writers, so unpublished novel + person they carry relations to = exclamation points and begging to read the novel after pestering many times, “What’s your novel about?”
// The pens + the notebook highlighting all the major changes and document updates needed before I externally panic from not understanding the neon green pen scribble. Enough said.
// The outline and small notes. I’m a plotter—the novel process goes smoother whenever I plot most of the main points that happen and then just go from there. When I wrote Hidden in the Shadows, the story has been marinated long enough to understand clearly what the whole plot was going to be. Also, so many inconsistencies come up: for instance, insert name here reacts to insert spoiler here differently than they should be.
// Halloween Candy, because why not? It's probably going to come at me anyway since I'm volunteering at carnivals across town. I’m dressing up as Chihiro from Spirited Away, with Soot-Spirits decorating my shoes and Boh in his mouse form on my shoulder. For a group costume at school, I'm either going to be dressed up as a genderbent teachers or a part of the Inside Out crew.
(Books are dangerous lands to tread through if you don't want to ride a FEELS train.)
It’s been a light reading month, but the good news is that four of these were on my to-be-read pile on Goodreads. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been on my reading list and was a gift on my birthday, rendering five minutes of full-on fangirling, while my copy of To the Bright Edge of the World was signed by the author herself, Eowyn Ivey! If you don't know who she is, she's better known for her novel, The Snow Child (which I highly recommend to read ASAP because it's GORGEOUS). She was super sweet when I met her at a book signing, discussing how she wrote her novels while simultaneously giving writing tips. Rick Riordan was here as well, but because of the crazy number of people who went and of that day’s amount of signed homework, I couldn’t go and was distraught by the fact. Another YA author is coming up here soon….
To those who are embarking on NaNoWriMo for the first time: welcome to this insane plot-filled thirty days where most of the time, we writers are in way over our heads for because the procrastination done is because of either laziness, social media, or a good book that just got released, such as Marissa Meyer's Heartless. It can be painful and sometimes the words that are spurred out feel like gobbly goop at times, but you can get through this, and if you need anyone to rant, do a Night of Write, or just engage in a Word War / Sprint with, just let me know because I'm willing to do any of those with you. We can do this, friends!
Are you doing NaNoWriMo?
If you are, what's your novel going to be about?
If not, will you be snacking on pumpkin pie-- what else will you be doing?
P.S. Posting the q&a at the end of the month because I'm experiencing technical difficulties!