A Tale of Rewriting (and other things)

For a long time I had this picture set as my profile picture across the Internet:

It’s a picture I took one day because I was so incredibly frustrated that I was pulling my hair out. And then I proved it wasn’t hyperbole by snapping this shot. See, I was pulling my hair out!

Well, this picture is incredibly relevant to my life right now and so I thought I’d just put it out here again. For today. Something about it makes me slightly less pulling-my-hair-out crazy. Only slightly.

But today is Monday, and Mondays are for NtS Updates.

Last week wasn’t exactly an unproductive writing week, but it wasn’t as productive as I would have liked, either. I was under the weather at the end of the week and that was a bummer.

I still accomplished my weekly goal of writing 10 pages or more. I wrote 11 pages. I finished revising the second chapter, and altered the ending point. This has put me in a bit of corner with how to begin the next scene, and I think I’ll be opening a craft book on scene / chapter construction late tonight in an effort to sort it out. If you don’t remember, I’m rewriting my beginning scenes / chapters because I added a new beginning to my novel. I realized the story need to start earlier in the time line, and doing that completely unraveled what was once a tangled mess of main plot and subplot and characterization. So it’s great. But I’m the type of writer who must write linearly, so when I backed up my beginning, I created the task of rewriting the 12,000 words I already had. It’s not exactly hard or complicated — as I said, the new beginning unraveled a lot for me — but it’s also not easy or simple. It’s just different, and different still takes time and concentration.

With August and Camp NaNoWriMo just around the corner, I’ve decided to adjust my August goals to be more task-oriented and specific. I write better when I have check lists (I do everything better when I have check lists), and so I’ve decided where I want to be when Camp NaNo begins and I’ve turned everything else into a task on my check list.

When August arrives, I want to be writing new material. What that means is I need to finish revising my beginning content and I need to have an updated novel outline to work from throughout August. To give you an idea of what my rewriting load is like, I had 12,000 words of beginning content before and I’ve rewritten about 5,000 words into 8,500 words. However, the further I get from the beginning, the less I have to adjust; it was mostly the scenes immediately following the new start point that needed heavy overhauling. What this means, I hope, is that I can finish the rewriting this week. As far as outlining is concerned, my new beginning unraveled a lot of the tangles in my story arc. I’ve jotted down scene notes and characterization notes, and I have a rough order of when these scenes or reveals occur, but I haven’t formally updated the outline I’m using to write. I’ve added a subplot to the novel — thereby simplifying the main conflict and adding a layer of depth — but I do need to sit down and sort out the structure of this new line. In my head, the whole novel is much clearer, but on paper it’s still a mess. I want to clean up that mess on paper, and get it all out of my head so I can get new things on my mind.

Now, a little about you; let’s chat in the comments.

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this summer? (If you’re not, you should really check it out!) If you are, please leave your username in the comments so I can stay up-to-date on your progress; I love being a NaNo supporter and I always have extra sporks lying around. (If you don’t get the spork reference, just ask; it’s from a forum a long, long time ago.)  If you’re doing any writing during August, I’m hosting #WritersHangout on Google + during the month with my friend Justine. We’d love to have you join us! Please leave your Twitter handle in the comments so I can contact you directly with the details, if you’re interested.

And finally, whatever you’re writing, how are you doing with it? Are you having great successful or disheartening failures? I’d love to talk about your writing, too. Mondays aren’t just about me rambling into space. Blog updates are a part of NtS not only so we can keep up with each other, but so we can connect more broadly with the online writing community. I love the support you’ve given me all summer, and I’d love the opportunity to return the support.

Oh, and all week I’m over on NA Alley.

Today I featured #nalitchat, a new Twitter chat about all things New Adult that’s launching this Thursday (7.26) at 9PM EST. Just follow @NALitChat and @NAAlleyBlog to stay current on the details, and on Thursday log in and chat using the #nalitchat hashtag. I’m moderating this week along with host EJ Wesley (who runs all things #nalitchat), and you can stay current on topics and read previous chat transcripts on the NALitChat blog.

It’s my host week on NA Alley, which means I will be there all week and running the associated Twitter account, so basically you can find me absolutely everywhere on the Internet this week.





  1. Wow, this is a long post!

    I’m happy you’re doing so well with your rewriting and I really regret falling asleep right as we were about to war last week. Ooops. At least I met your challenge.

    My novel’s coming along well this week. I’m hoping to hit 31k by the end of the month, just so I can pretend like I was writing at least 1k a day all along.

    You know I’m doing Camp Nano and I can’t wait for our Writer Hangouts. I’ve missed them a lot. And now I’m going to look into changing my Nano name without changing my account.

  2. Glad you got 11 pages down! And more stuff! That’s great!
    I’m on CampNaNo (Juliana_Haygert) but not sure if I’m gonna be trying it or not. I should because I need to write Destiny Gift #2, but my MIL will be here after Aug 22nd, so it depends if I’m fast enough and can get it done by then …

    • Well, the only times I’ve ever WON a NaNo event have been times I won on or before the 20th of the month. I either do it very, very fast or I don’t do it. Pretty much if I don’t cross the halfway mark in the first week, I won’t finish. I’m a bit odd like that.

      BUT WHAT THIS MEANS is that you can totally do Camp before the 22 of August! TOTALLY. I’ll challenge you!

  3. Hi Bailey,

    I am writing in Camp NaNoWriMo this August. I am azurebreeze at Camp NaNoWriMo and at Twitter. I am very interested in Writer’s Google+ Hangout! I have got a newer computer and I should be able to type and be in the Hangout at the same time. Last computer I had when I did the Writer’s Google+ Hangout with you I had to hand write my story because my old computer couldn’t handle both.

    My story is called “Two Step” a story of a Native American woman finding her higher power, herself, and true love. I am going to be a NaNoWriMo rebel as I am going to rewrite this draft that I originally did in NaNoWriMo 2008.

    Please let me know when you are going to do the next Writer’s Google+ Hangout!

    Warm regards,
    Wenona “Buffy” Gardner

  4. Perhaps somewhat thankfully, my hair pulling days are long behind me. Not for lack of frustration, but for lack of hair. 🙂 Camp NaNoWri sounds like great fun! I’ve never done a NaNo as I’ve always been mid-project around that time. This year is lining up a little differently, so maybe I’ll take advantage of the group enthusiasm and jump into a new story with everyone else.

    • Well, I’m a “NaNo Rebel” during Camp months — I go in with a project I’m working on and use the month as a very big boost. I do not, however, validate my word count so I don’t take the “winning” purple bar on the site. So I think it’s fair and what not.

      So regardless of where you are in a project, you should join us. Unless you’re really close to the end — that might be difficult because you wouldn’t need 50,000 words. But I’ll have just the first 10,000 written, and that 50,000 will really help me out with advancing my novel.

  5. I am going to try to do Camp NaNoWriMo this August. I would love to chat with you on Wednesday on Google + Writer’s Hangout! My name on Twitter is Nharley67. Thanks for adding me!

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