Nano 30 Tips for 30 Days: Day 18: Breaking Your Own Rules

I broke one of my own rules. I went back and added an insert of several pages into a previous chapter. As I worked on the current chapter, I realized that a character I thought was a walk-on in Chapter 10 actually has a much more important part to play in the entire book. So I added a scene. I didn’t rewrite what was there – I fleshed out a bit I’d skimmed over before. And that helped the current chapter.

The piece dictates the process, not the other way around.

But I did not EDIT material – I ADDED material. I changed direction a bit. There’s a difference.

Had I gone back to EDIT, I would have sabotaged myself, doing second draft work within a first draft, and gotten stuck.

Will it change the chapters I didn’t edit? Some of it. I made some notes, so I have possible roads to travel down when I DO the edit, several months down the line.

If you go back and edit while you write, certain sections of the book will be overworked to the point of diminishing return while other sections remain raw. Write an entire draft before you go back and edit, especially doing Nano.

Somewhere in your rounds of edits (and yes, there need to be more than one), you will do a beat-to-beat, sentence-to-sentence edit, where you will rework and rework each piece until you’re done before moving on. Nano is not the time for that. Nano is about getting words on paper, and rearranging them to shine properly after.

Come Write In! at the Marstons Mills Public Library, 2160 Main St., Marstons Mills
Tuesdays 11-1 and Thursdays 2-4 during November.

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Published in: on November 18, 2015 at 5:49 am  Comments (1)  

One Comment

  1. Adding isn’t cheating. You’re doing just fine!


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