Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Meet The New Boss…

…same as the old boss.

Last year, YA author Peggy Eddleman started something new. NaNoWriMo about to take off, but Peggy wasn’t ready to write; she was in the middle of revising. So she threw an idea out there: 
“We could REVISE 50,000 words in November. Or, we could make a different, personalized goal that fits with our needs better. FINISH revising. CUT a certain amount of words. ADD a certain number of words. Work on the revision letter I just got from my agent. 🙂 EDIT a certain number of chapters. Whatever works. We just each decide what our goal is, then WORK LIKE CRAZY TO GET THERE. And have fun while we’re doing it!”
And so, NaNoReviMo was born. A group of around 20 or so folks who were not ready to WriMo joined together. We kept in touch through the month of November (and beyond) via e-mail. We reported our progress, providing advice and encouragement, and generally cheered each other on. It was fun to be part of, and nice to know we were not alone, that there were others who were struggling with the finishing process known as ‘editing’. Even though I claimed I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo, I ended up spending more of my November NaNoReviMoing (anything can be verbalized, folks) PARALLEL LIVES.
Tara Tyler’s great badge! Roar!
A year later, I’m back at the same spot.
While Barton’s Women was taking a rest back in August, I re-read Parallel Lives and made some notes, found some things that didn’t sit right with me. It’s not huge, in terms of words (i.e., I’m not talking about tearing it down to nothing and starting from scrap; this isn’t a complete rewrite), but it could be huge in terms of agent response, which has been underwhelming so far. I found some troubling gaps and holes that need repair, which in turn will lead to a stronger query and synopsis. The goal is simple: by the end of the month, have the novel revitalized and ready to go (again) to a refreshed list of agents. Simple, right? By the time that’s done, I’ll be ready to take the revising tools to Barton’s Women, and, hopefully, the Next Thing will be firm enough in my mind to start writing. And NEXT November, with any luck, I’ll be revising THAT one.
What about you? Writing, revising, or something else? If you’re ready to revise, consider dropping by Jessie Humphries’ blog to add yourself to the list, and join the ReviMo fun.
Have a great weekend!

15 Responses

  1. I'm doing NaNo itself, but I love this idea. Posting my revisions goals might speed me up, I'm slooooow at revising sometimes! Good luck with your revisions 🙂

  2. I just finished revising a book for what felt like the hundredth time, and it's in good shape now, so I'm trying NaNoWriMo for the first time, hoping to get the first draft of the sequel done. Wish me luck. The NaNoRevMo sounds like a great idea too! Maybe next year this book will still need revision. (I'm not the fastest writer on the block.)

  3. Well best of luck with NaNoReviMo 🙂 It sounds like something that might appeal to me right now. But I'm not going to commit myself to any major goals during my final exams.

  4. I am working on edits for my second book. Grueling stuff. And I'm critting a really riveting, amazing book that is so far out of my league, it's crazy. You might have heard of it . . . it's called Barton's Women.


  5. Good choice, Bonnee. And when those exams are done, no one will blame you if you don't want to look at a printed page for the rest of the month. Good luck on your exams.

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