Editing Update: Get It Done

Well, it’s July 6th, which means I am technically back at Camp NaNoWriMo for the second summer session. (I’m the ML for my region, so I sign up for every event.)

This is my favorite kind of camping, because it doesn’t actually involve me leaving the house and/or sleeping on the ground in the woods, surrounded by all the creepy crawly whatevers that this godforsaken swamp state has to offer. (Plus, I can still eat s’mores if I want to…)

The first camp session was in April. My goal then was to edit 50,000 words in Full Circle. I ended up with a grand total of 70,000 edited words. Of course, as Full Circle‘s word count is well over 70,000, I still had (have) a long way to go. And though it may not feel like it, I have continued to work on the edits since April. But, alas, as they’re not finished yet, my goal for July’s Camp session is exactly the same. Edit yet another 50,000 words.

This time, however, the process is a little different, because the editing is now based on the Labor-Intensive Editing Shit List. When I started working on this list, back in June, it was 44 pages long. As of July 1st, it was down to 34 pages covering 31 chapters. As of the writing of this post, it was down to 33 pages covering 27 chapters.

So while my goal on the NaNoWriMo website is listed as ‘Edit 50,000 words’ because that’s how the website works, my true goal is to just get through those 33 pages and 27 chapters, regardless of how many words it takes.

Because here’s the thing: I don’t know how many words that will take. Words will be added, words will be deleted. I still need to somehow fix the villain arc and the woefully underdeveloped subplot. That one pain-in-the-ass character is still being a pain in my ass (Seriously, dude. I let you live. What more do you want from me?). And yet, there’s somehow still more.

I may need more than 50,000. I may need less. (Though, less does seem less likely for some reason…) I may spend the entire month just making this face:

You know, like I’ve been doing since this month began. (And this year. And decade. And lifetime…)

Though progress is (slowly) being made, I keep bouncing back and forth between ‘I’ve totally got this’ and ‘I’m far too stupid to write this book’. Yesterday, I was firmly the latter. Today is feeling slightly less hopeless.

So far, anyway.

So that’s my goal: get through 33 pages of notes covering 27 chapters by the end of the month. If I make it, great. If I don’t…well, then, August will be a perfectly fine month to finish these edits. Or September or October or however much longer this project will take.

But for the purposes of logging progress (or the lack thereof…) on the NaNoWriMo website, I recorded Full Circle‘s word count before I started on Day 1 and then, at the end of each day, I noted (or will note, as the month continues) the change (if there was/is one). Here’s how it’s gone so far:

Starting Word Count: 227,006

Day One: 227,504 (+498)

Day Two: 227,486 (-18)

Day Three: 228,124 (+638)

Day Four: 228,532 (+408)

Day Five: 228,605 (+73)

Clearly, this will not be my most productive NaNoWriMo experience ever.

So far, anyway. There’s still plenty of time to change that.

What are you working on this summer?

Be safe and well, all.

20 Commentsto Editing Update: Get It Done

  1. Maybe you need a reward system? For every chunk you get done, you get a s’more. 🙂

    (This would not work for me because then I’d have to substitute “rolling” for walking in my miles challenges.) 🙂

  2. You’ll get a good portion of it done though.
    I’d never camp in a tent. Bugs and critters. And humidity. Enough said.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      Oh yes. Humidity. Though I’ve gotten much more tolerant of it since my arrival in the godforsaken swamp state, it’s still so much better to avoid it.

  3. Jemi Fraser says:

    I love the way your brain works – and I bet you’re be happy with the result when it’s all done!

  4. 70,000 words edited is a great achievement!

    I love the title ‘Full Circle.’

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      It was a pretty decent achievement. I don’t think I’ll be able to do it again this month, though.

  5. Ah, the pains of editing. I felt your post, as if I were experiencing it myself. Likely because I’ve been there.

    You can do this! I’m cheering for you!

  6. J E Oneil says:

    Whew, that sounds exhausting. I never really pay any attention to word count when I’m editing. Kind of glad for that now.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      I’m only paying attention to it now because of the NaNoWriMo angle. Mostly it gets ignored until I reach the end of a draft. 🙂

  7. Liz A. says:

    I’ve always wondered how to “count” editing. I mean, it’s not like every word gets touched…

    Camping. Ick. I need a full working bathroom. I mean, a cabin in the woods with full plumbing and a bed wouldn’t be bad, but that’s not considered camping.

    Good luck. You’ve got this.

    • M.J. Fifield says:

      Yeah, I have no idea if I’m counting the editing correctly. In April, I only counted completely edited scenes/passages. This time, I’m jumping all over the place and tweaking a little bit here & there, so I’m looking more at the overall manuscript word count.

      And also yeah. I definitely need a full working bathroom. I might be open to the cabin in the woods thing, though. So long as there’s indoor plumbing, wi-fi, and chocolate… 🙂

  8. You can do this! Happy camping and writing!

    I’m working on too many things at once… but most days this makes me happy so it works.

  9. Best of luck! May your progress come easily!

  10. tara tyler says:

    a painstaking process indeed! i don’t know how you do it. epic fantasy takes so much dedication, and the finished product is so worth it!

    i think it’s time for me to make my own “labor-intensive editing shit list!”
    i still have all the notes, and they sparked some ideas, i just need to sit down and do it – maybe i should do my own editing camp by putting up a tent in my back yard… my neighbors would think i’m going through a midlife crisis! haha
    keep at it! and i will too!

  11. I love the editing process, but there are points when it feels impossible. It’s not, and you’ve got this!

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