Only one more week left of Camp! By now my brain is groggy and I am not even sure if I am going to finish on time. It has been a long week of trying to figure out “what was I thinking when I wrote this!”
This past week has shown that NaNo is not the best for the mind three weeks in. Words no longer make sense. Scenes are out of order. And word count goes out the window trying to fix the many issues that surround all of that.
As I finish week three, I know that I am so much closer to my 40-hour goal. Currently at 31 hours! Meaning only 9 MORE TO GO!
Even though I will finish my first edit before I meet my hour goal (I only have about 15 pages left), I am still going to continue and start the third edit on Not Like Everyone Else.
Many of the problems that I had during this past week all have to do with my jumbled mind three weeks into NaNo. The problems I face this week:
Why did I write that scene?
One of the first things I came across this week was a scene that was 100% in the wrong book. Not Like Everyone Else is a young adult-mystery book. The scene that I had written was a baking contest… (here’s a snippet of the disaster.)
Deleted Scene from Not Like Everyone Else by Jennifer Leigh
…It is a race to see who has the better dessert.
“You know, chocolate is the way to a woman’s heart.”
“You are spoiling my plan!” he puts his arm over his head like they do in those overly dramatic movie scenes.
“Just get back to cooking.”
I mix the dough and ensure it is the proper texture. Then I fold in the chocolate chips. I look over to see Elliot greasing up his pan. I grab a cookie scoop and a baking pan and begin putting rows of cookie dough on the sheet. Together we put in our desserts. The rest of the contest is all up to the oven.
As we wait for everything to cook, we decide to clean up the mess we made. Mom would have a fit if she saw the kitchen like this in the morning.
“I think you have something right there,” I say pointing to Elliot’s nose.
“No, I do not. You just want to trick me so you can put something onto my nose.”
“No seriously you do. I think you put your head into the brownie mix.” I laugh.
“Yeah right,” as he reaches up to wipe his nose I take my other hand that I had dipped in the leftover brownie mix and smear it all over his cheek…
The main character, Ryan, is not the happiest of characters. In this scene she comes off as playful and happy. Not only does it not fit her character, but the whole essence of the scene does not fit into Not Like Everyone Else.
This is a prime example that NaNo gets to you. Trying to meet a word goal every day, while staying on track to hit that 50,000 words in only 30 days sometimes makes you do really stupid things. And for me, that was writing a baking contest scene in the mystery book.
Is this scene right?
I debated a lot with myself if a scene was worth being included. Sometimes the details were off (see next point), other times the scene did not flow with the story. While I cut some scene and moved around others, it took a lot of configuring to get the storyline in a less confusing order. Now when I go back and read it again will it make sense? I have no clue, but that is what a third edit is for!
Much of this week was spent going back to previous pages of my book trying to fix details. Small things that didn’t mean anything to me at the beginning of the book, but were suddenly important at the end. This includes eye color, hair color, the color/style/type of car someone drives, or a character. Now, most of that stuff is small, and can easily be fixed.
However, a character suddenly appearing as an important character at the end of the book is not the easiest thing to fix. It is not like this character was never mentioned throughout the book. There was just never any meaningful interaction between this character and the other characters in the book. This made is hard trying to rewrite dialogue and add dialogue to make this character fit into the book.
There is only one week left to meet my 40-hour goal, and right now I am still on track to reach it!
What do you think? Do you ever find yourself having to fix details in your book? Let me know in the comments below!