Camp NaNo and Revisions

This week has been interesting. I connected with another writer on the NaNoWriMo forums and we did a novel swap and decided to become critique partners. She’s awesome (and her novel was fantastic! –I’m so glad she wanted to continue on as CPs) and she had some great feedback for my novel. While she liked it, there’s a LOT to be done to get it ready for the query process.

As a result of that speedy critique, I’ve modified my goals for July. I’m still doing Camp NaNo, but I’m only aiming to write half of a novel. My goal is to finish the new novel by September 1st, which will allow me a little more wiggle room to also work on my revision. So far this week, I’ve written about 5K words on my new project (need to do about 1500 before I head out for the weekend), and I also revised the first seven chapters of Visions of Darkness. The changes I had to make weren’t huge, but they made a HUGE difference in the pacing and tension of the story. I’m very happy with how things are changing.

Alright, my lunch break is about over so I should wrap this up. My final thoughts this week are as follows:

  1. Don’t be afraid to adjust your plan. Things aren’t always going to work out exactly like you thought. Be flexible and don’t give up!
  2. If you can, find a critique partner. I can’t tell you how amazing it’s been this past week to work closely with another writer. We both write YA Fantasy, and we both have similar critique styles: we point out what we like, but we’re also blunt about what doesn’t seem to work. I feel like I have so much more clarity about my novel after having talked with her. I really recommend it when you get to that stage.
  3. Enjoy the little surprises drafting throws your way. Here’s a short list of the things I learned about my new story this week that I had not planned AT ALL:
    1. My characters curse a lot
    2. Genevieve is apparently from England…even though she’s in the US military (not sure how that’s going to work)
    3. Lily has a history of shoplifting
    4. And apparently the female students have to wear super girly uniforms at this school (which Sara is NOT thrilled about).

Alright, that’s it for me today. Have a wonderful weekend!

-Isabel