One interesting effect of NaNo is the increase in the reviewing comments I make to myself as I’m writing. Since, for the most part, it’s all going straight from my brain to the page in a big messy sprawl of words, and I have some serious OCD issues, I can’t let some things go by without commenting on them. If I’m honest with myself, it’s because I’m afraid I’ll miss them when I’m revising. Some examples:
- One of my main characters didn’t have a last name. For his first full-name mention, I just called him “Cameron Lastname.” The comment linked to this says, “Um…yeah. He needs one.” This got especially fun when his parents came on the scene, and it was “Mr. Lastname did this” and “Mrs. Lastname did that” left and right. Find and replace will be my savior on this one.
- A serious NaNoism (read: awful, typo-ridden sentence that you refuse to fix because doing so will decrease your word count): “Our toes, resting at an angle on the porch floot,* pushed back and forth to move the swing gently back and forth.” I’ll leave you to ponder the beauty of that sentence all on your own, but of course I had to leave a comment for myself, because obviously I might miss such a rotten sentence when editing…
- “She lifted the lid of my old jewelry box, setting off a tinkling rendition of Some Song That Would Play On A Jewelry Box.” Really famous song, yo. Bet I’ve got it in your head now. Of course I had to point this out to myself.
- Next to a truly horrid metaphor, which I refuse to share because it’s just. That. Bad.: “Dear lord. Really? REALLY?!”
- I kind of dropped a character for, oh, 50 pages or so, then brought her back out of nowhere. My narrator said, “With all the chaos swirling around my life, I’d completely forgotten about my tenuous alliance with What’s-Her-Name.” I said: “Or maybe the author completely forgot because she’s been dropping plot threads left and right. Who knows. Could go either way.”
- Couldn’t find the word I was looking for, so just put in a word that I truly hate, “verve”. Comment: “AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH this is horrid.”
- I unleashed the critic in me on one of my narrator’s particularly heartbreaking statements: “Bah. Inane, trite crap.”
- When my narrator was cooking breakfast: “Can you tell the author was hungry? Mmm…potatoes.” It should be known that I promptly went to the kitchen and made myself some french fries.
- And finally, after I said one thing in three different ways in a single sentence: “Okay, think of about five more ways, because this doesn’t slam it over the reader’s head quite enough.”
I think it goes without saying that the editing process for this particular novel should be nothing short of hilarious. Of course, I will say it, because NaNo has made me say everything that pops into my head, and I am one wordy girl.**
*Yes, that typo was in the original sentence–and yes, I left it there.
**This doesn’t flow quite right, moron. Geez. Think of another noun you can call yourself. There must be more than one.