I went into July’s Camp NaNoWriMo with a plan: re-write New Devil, my third book to publish. Today, I am going to share what the goal was and how well I did.
What Did I Work On?
The goal was to do the second draft of the second version of the book. You might recall, New Devil is the very first book I wrote for National Novel Writing Month in November 2004. It was inspired by a dream I had and was written when I was broke and a bit angry. When I revisited the book a few years later, I ended up giving it up because I couldn’t get back to that frame of mind to edit the story. It turned out, that was the best decision for it. Then I realized it was a great entry into my White Council series. Last year I did a complete re-write. Instead of editing the angry story, I embraced that my main character was unlikeable, but had a story to tell. She wasn’t the hero, but she wasn’t the anti-hero or villain either. She was just, unlikeable!
When I went to edit it this May, I realized it lacked balance. You dislike the main character too quickly and why read her story if she was a jerk? Well, there was another person’s story to tell and inserting her into the story as the other POV allowed me to give the story better balance. It would require effort, so instead of just editing her in, I blended my edit with a new write of the other character.
On top of that work, I had to deal with my struggles to introduce the rules of both my universe and my Hell. Exposition, while sometimes necessary, can be boring. I struggled with it last year when I did the re-write, but I solved it with an amusement park ride. If you are friends with me on Facebook, you may have seen my post with the cheesiest song I could come up with for the ride. It worked much better. Also, a second main character helped me deal with the universe better as she was one to ask questions, more than the other character was.
I ended up working on more than just New Devil. I got the edits for Phi Alpha Pi back in June. I had thought I would wait until August to make those edits, but sitting on the couch with the dog does not make it easy to write. It does make it easy to edit. I ended up starting the edits and getting about halfway through the book making corrections.
Additionally, there were two shorter works that got published. Newsletter members got to read one of the two: Emma’s Hour story. I also wrote a personal essay for our next issue of Mill Pages (volume 2 is out now, did you know?). I am really excited about all of the things I worked on this month.
How Did I Do?
With everything I worked on, I got over 60,000 words processed. I say processed instead of written because I didn’t actually write new words. Words were removed, words were read, and words were added. I got through most of New Devil and had some nice break throughs. The decision to add a new narrative point of view really helped balance the story better. It does make one character a bit less likable, but that’s fine because the other one is super sweet and lovely. My edits of Phi Alpha Pi are really moving along quickly. I am pretty sure I will be ready for beta readers in September! The shorter content was nice and the essay is ready to be cleaned up. In the end, I got through 62,070 words (exactly).
I can’t wait to share all of this with everyone! In the comments, let me know if you would like to help edit content as a beta reader. You get to tell me what works and doesn’t work for you in the story. Everyone who doesn’t think Emma would say she “has to pee” will probably be a good beta reader!