So, in these last days of March, before April and Camp NaNoWriMo, I've finally cracked open The Last Song to do some editing. It's kind of funny, when I finished writing it, I wanted to go through it right away and do reworkings and editing. But instead I waited a month and a half.
Distance is good. Distance from your writing isn't quite the same thing as "fresh eyes", but it's as good as you're going to get. And if you're like me, you want your work to look as good as you can make it before you give it to somebody else to read, even if it is your best friend.
There are scenes I'm cutting entirely. There are chapters I'm shifting around. I'm sure Draft 3 will be a mess, and it'll be Draft 4 or 5 before I show it to anybody else. An issue I'm having is The Last Song seems awfully "normal" for the first few chapters, before the urban fantasy stuff really kicks off, and I'm concerned that "too much" normalcy will put off people expecting genre. So I'm putting in foreshadowing, or some shit. But of course it'll probably be so oblique nobody gets it and it'll need to be fixed more. Such is my life.
However, I'm also finding things I absolutely love. Sentences I dig, imagery I feel I nailed. I took two paragraphs from two different chapters and put them together and suddenly, it was just right. So despite the mess it is, because that's what shitty first drafts are for (thanks, Anne Lamott!), it isn't irredeemable table flipping mess, just the regular sort (and to note, cutting and pasting large passages while using a touch pad on a laptop vs. a mouse is rather difficult).
I've also actually been planning my April project, at least in a loose "Chapter 1 has this, Chapter 2 has this" sort of manner. Not a true outline, but a decent enough guideline with where I want the story to go. I "created my novel" on the Camp NaNoWriMo site, with the title Esto Quod Es ("Be what you are") and left the word count goal at 50,000, because what the hell, right? If it looks like I'm not going to make it, I'll bring it down closer to the total I think I'll actually attain. No big. It's camp, much more relaxed than November.
Are you doing a Camp NaNoWriMo project? What are your goals?