What Went Wrong

It’s pretty obvious how you make your zero draft readable, right? You highlight everything and hit delete. Then you pretend that it never happened.

Okay, so not really. At least not for me. Then again, I’ve only done NaNo once and therefore have only ever had one draft zero. I’m also pretty sure the process I did didn’t work out super well for me.

My first mistake was that I started editing about five days after I finished the draft. Yes, I started with the sections that I’d written back in May, but that still meant that I didn’t ever actually take a break from it.

Still, it was pretty awesome to slam down the double spaced two hundred plus page manuscript and see it sitting there impressively on the table. That was the first moment where I accepted that I actually was a writer and that maybe this dream wasn’t that crazy after all.

My next mistake was that I didn’t read through it and just make notes in a separate notebook before I began making markups. So once again I was left with not quite knowing what happened and how.

And my next mistake? I didn’t make an outline. Of any sort. So by the time I got to the end and realized I had to go back and make edits earlier on, I had no idea where those scenes happened.

Still, I think between hand-writing the edits and then typing them up, I managed to make a fairly decent dent into the readability of the novel. The problem was that by the time I finished typing the edits, I was so sick of them that I took an eight month break from it.

This time when I go back and make edits. I’m going to make an effing outline.

Cuz, you know, I heard those things help.

At least, that’s what all of my high school teachers kept telling me.

At the age of six, Eliza was certain of two things. The first was that she had stories to tell. The second was that she had no talent for illustrating them herself. Talent or no, she still wrote and illustrated her first book, one that should be located and locked away if only to prevent her parents from embarrassing her terribly by showing it off alongside baby pictures. Now she spends her days writing stories that she isn't embarrassed to show off after a little bit of polishing.

 

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