Tomorrow I begin a new challenge: Nanowrimo in April. Admittedly, its basically the same thing as Nanowrimo in November. I’m still going to try and write 50,000 words in 30 days, but this time I’m not writing a new novel. I will be revising an old one.
This novel (which doesn’t yet have a title) was written during November of 2014, when I was a sophomore in high school. It was inspired by the movie National Treasure (you know, the one with Nicolas Cage and the treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence). I watched that movie, thought to myself “wow, that sucked” and decided I could write something better.
So I did. My novel ended up taking more of a Pirates of the Carribbean feel, which was great and kind of unintentional. But I absolutely love Pirates of the Carribbean, so whatever.
My story follows two treasure hunters, Sam and Will, who team up with a princess named Gwenna to find this long forgotten treasure. They end up facing hostile natives, corrupt leaders, pirates, and a kraken. I was inspired to research a about Hawaiian culture, and have incorporated a few Hawaiian words and a bit of their culture as well into my story. The whole thing takes place on this island called ‘Eleu.
So yeah. I printed out about half of the first draft I had written (we ran out of ink) and started editing it, making notes on what I need to revise. There’s a lot to revise. This story was the first I had written for real, the first one I had put all my effort into, the first one where I thought maybe I could get it published. So naturally, since it was first and I had no idea what the heck I was doing, it’s terrible. My characters are super flat, the plot holes are numerous and huge, and the dialogue….its not as good as it can be. Its pretty awful actually.
After writing that novel, I tried to edit it a little. I was really proud of it, and justifiably so. I was the best thing I had written at that point. On Christmas Eve, I email it to my sister’s friend’s dad, who is an author. (I asked him if he would look at it first, its not like I just sent it.) He gave me a few specific corrections and a lot of general ones about my writing more than the novel. His biggest thing was “show, don’t tell.” Looking back on it, he was really kind to me. He could have been way harsher or emphasize that I really, really was terrible at describing things, but he didn’t. He just gave me a list of general comments and advice that I could do with what I wanted. And his comments are spot on, too. I’m really thankful for his input.
All the mistakes and problems don’t really bother me as much as I thought they would. I’m just happy I can recognize that there are problems and know exactly how I can fix them. It shows me how much I’ve grown as a writer.
Tomorrow, April 1st, (though WordPress is trying to tell me right now is April 1st, I guess we are in different timezones) I will begin a new chapter in my writing career. I will edit and revise an entire novel for the first time.