As some of you may know, I participated in NaNoWriMo in November. NaNoWriMo is short of National Novel Writing Month, an international writing challenge where you write 50,000 words of a new novel in a month. I did not know whether I had the energy, stamina and creativity to undertake the challenge, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. So I signed up in June and started plotting my novel. By the end of October, I had a fairly detailed and polished outline and I was ready to go. Despite a full-time job, two exams at the beginning of the month and two young kids to take care of, I saw the end of November with 75,000 words. I went on to write another 17,000 to end my novel with roughly 92,000 words.
That was just the beginning. As everyone on the forums had warned me, the first draft would be a rough draft, editing would be essential. So yesterday I took my stack of paper that represents my novel, a red pen and I started editing. I only got as far as the first chapter that evening, but it was better than nothing. I felt rather proud of myself: I did not have to change that much. Considering I am quite hard on myself, it made me feel good. Then came today, and the second chapter. Suddenly I don’t feel so great anymore, I had to cut multiple paragraphs of rubbish that had no place in my novel. I will not be replacing them with anything else, so I have just reduced my word count. Yikes! Seeing all those red scribbles does not make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
But I will go on. I will make it to the end of my novel with my red pen and my hard-nosed attitude and hopefully by the end of it, I will have taken out all the rubbish and put in some more good stuff. Then it will be ready for my beta readers, who will undoubtedly have more suggestions and constructive criticism. But I will not give up until I have a good, polished novel that I can be proud of. Whether I will then try to find a publisher for it or publish it myself is something I have not decided, but I would definitely like to share it!