Cannonball Read

Last night, at the behest of my area coordinator, I commenced re-reading my NaNo so that I might begin my edits this month. I only meant to read half (45 of its 91 full pages in Word), but I wound up reading the whole thing. I was up until about two am. The beginning was rough, probably because my creative writing experience is limited and I wasn’t sure where to start. The ending was rough, probably because I was tired at that point and just wanted to be finished with NaNo. The middle, however, was pretty tasty. I did a lot better job than I remembered of doing what I set out to do. So good, in fact, that I forgot to take revision notes for a long time. My short list looks like this:

  • WareHouse —> ToolShed
  • Duan, biodiesel! – Volkswagen Golf
  • lyric/poetry quotes?
  • Prologue needs heavy re-write
  • Change tense to first-person present?
  • Tense issues throughout. Pick one and <u>stick with it</u>
  • Chapter 3 – Sam the Sham lyrics?
  • More of Autumn’s inner monologue
  • Chapter 5: need funnier line from Emily on what to do
  • Room for more scene-setting Beg. Chapter 33
  • Better talents
  • First and last chapters need help

You can see that there is a jump from chapter 5 to chapter 33, so that’s where my story was pretty darn good. Not perfect, but a lot better than I expected to do. Possibly good enough for other people to read. After I fix those tense issues.

When I set out on this wild, weird journey I really struggled with determining what tense would serve this story best. The narrative perspective is limited, and I wanted it to be. I want the reader to know only what the main character knows, and experience her summer as she does. As a result of constantly changing my mind as I was writing, the tense shifts back and forth between first-person-past and first-person-present. I need to fix that. I prefer first-person-present, but I know a lot of people find that jarring. Maybe I don’t care what you find jarring, you’ll read it and you’ll like it!

So I need to fix the tense issue.

Overall, this is not an overwhelming list. The re-read also gave me a solid idea of how I might “sell” my novel in terms of a pitch. Win! I will try to have a rough draft of a pitch up tonight or tomorrow night at the latest, so that you can help me make it better by tearing it to shreds!


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