Thursday, 25 February 2010

Needed - one Big Red Pen & short-term insomnia


Right. Enough faffing about. It's time.

Quackenbush, one of the young adult novels I've been working on for the last few years, has been sat gawping at me from the top of the bookshelf for the last four months, ever since I put the Manx Giant to bed and vowed to jump back into QB.

It's at the stage that many writers will understand - first draft almost finished, but in need of the mother of all edits to knock it into shape. An edit so daunting that the mere thought of it has me itching to crack open a four-pack and stick The Good, The Bad and The Ugly on the DVD.

It's not like I've been putting it off. Okay, it's a lot like that. But there has been other stuff on the go, so it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. Yet the fact remains; unless decisive action is taken, the bloody thing will most likely be staring down at me in six months' time.

So, I've made a decision. Well, that's not strictly true. I've been bullied into making a decision, by a writerly friend. Pippa, who blogs here, is a friend from the Skeealleyderyn writers' group. Earlier today she blogged about how she was shedding her procrastinating skin and getting her act together by signing up for the National Novel Editing Month in March, the sister event of the novel writing month held each year in November.

The goal - to log 50 hours editing during the 31 days of March, which, so they say, is a reasonable amount of time to edit a book of 60,000-70,000 words. I'll take their word for it.

I had a go at NaNoWriMo back in 2006 - in fact, QB was the project, and I somehow crawled over the 50,000-word mark with a few hours to spare. I've not attempted NaNoWriMo since, because other commitments haven't allowed. I've never even been to the NaNoEdMo website, but earlier today I found myself having a quick skeet. And then it hit me; this is what QB has been waiting for. And Pippa didn't waste any time twisting my arm.

So I'm going for it. Not out of any great desire to earn myself a little NaNoEdMo badge or logo to stick on this here blog. And not out of a need to band with like-minded souls, because there's more than enough over at Litopia.

No, I'm going to sign up because I just need a focus - a deadline to set my sights on, because deadlines work. I haven't the first clue where I'm going to find the time to do this during March, but what the hell. It's got to be done. So, here we go. Watch this space, and I'll keep the updates coming. Feel free to fire over words of encouragment. I'll surely need 'em...

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