It's been a long time since I've done any work my NaNoWriMo manuscript. I've heard it's good after you finish the first draft to put it away for a month or so and then start working on it again after that. Of course, editing it right after the first draft is written gets the project done quicker, but whoever said publishing was a quick process?
For the first time in a long time, I was able to attend my writing group. I submitted the first five pages of the story and I was anxious to hear how it would be received. And by the end of the night, I had my answer--everyone liked it. It was rough, naturally, but they all had very encouraging things to say and insightful recommendations.
And so, on Friday I began editing. It helps so much to have input that you don't or can't see when you write the words the first time. I spent much of the day editing and to be honest, I'm not sure if I spent more time editing those five pages or writing them in the first place.
I haven't had a lot of experience editing. It's something I want to do more, to get better at making a story the best it can be. I used to think editing was just tweaking something, fixing a typo, changing a punctuation, doing work without making major fixes. And maybe it is, for some. Not for me, not on this story. I found myself considering some big changes. It almost felt like I was writing a new book, mostly because when I originally wrote it, I was trying to get as many words down as possible.
The artwork in the above photo is compliments of Shanna, a writing group member. Through art, she offered some suggestions. It's the kind of personalized help you can get in a writing group. Don't know if I'll use it, but it's nice to have the option.