announcing NaNoReVisMo!

In honor of November's tank-like determination to actually happen despite INTERN's fervent wishes that it be cute, silly October forever, INTERN is announcing a new Month as an alternative to the imminent National Novel Writing Month that gets people into such a frenzy at this time of year

It's National Novel REVISION Month, baby, and it means business.

It occurs to INTERN as she types this that someone has undoubtedly already thought of the idea of NaNoReVisMo, and there are probably something like five hundred active cells of the NaNoReVisMo underworld in a thousand different cities (yes, five hundred cells in a thousand different cities. You do the math!)

But let's ignore that for a moment and forge ahead as if were a semi-new idea. Humor INTERN? Yes?

So. NaNoReVisMo.

Here's how it works:

You open a first draft from your (no doubt monstrous) desktop file of first drafts. Maybe you read it all the way through once, just to get in the mood. You start to feel daunted, overwhelmed by the task of fixing all the fix-its and rewriting all the rewrites and cutting out all the six-page speeches about the collective unconscious you wrote in because you were reading a lot of Jung at the time. You start to feel like your manuscript is hopeless—OR WORSE: fine just the way it is.

You almost close the document and walk away (OR WORSE: bang out a query letter and start submitting your first draft to agents and editors as is).

Then you notice the word written on the back of your hand in permanent marker: REVISMO!

Heartened, stoic, determined, terrified, you go back to your computer, open that file, and plunge yourself into the filthy, glorious work that is revision.

Repeat daily for a month.

End of month: you emerge with a manuscript that is more cooked (possibly all the way cooked), more beautiful (possibly really beautiful), more finished (maybe really finished), and more saleable (maybe actually saleable!)

Sounds good, right?

NaNoReVisMo is also the six-month anniversary of when INTERN first started taking on freelance manuscript critiquing and editing projects from the Hire INTERN sidebar on this page. It has been nothing but delight and extreme brain-pleasure, and she plans to continue offering her services for a long time, because it's much more fun than doing anything else. ANYWAY, to celebrate NaNoReVisMo and the whole art and delight of editing, INTERN is going to be posting about the 8-10 most common criticisms/fix-its/rewrite notes/whatnots she encounters in fiction and memoir manuscripts.

She is also going to pull out one of her own blighted first drafts and hack that sucker to pieces.

Much love to all, NaNoWrimers and NaNoReVisers alike! Godspeed!

Comments

  1. Intern -

    brilliant idea. Patent it and then become rich.

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  2. NaNoRevisMo shouldn't be an alternative to NaNoWriMo, it should be and additive, or a follow-up.

    Say in December or January, and all NaNo winners are required to take part in NaNoRevisMo before they can query (or even send it out to unsuspecting betas).

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  3. Good advice. And yes, there is a National Novel Editing Month (March) already, but yours has a cooler name. Revismo sounds like the name of a magician. Or a pharmaceutical. Either way.

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  4. Nice idea. At least if we can't do NaNoWriMo we can be in the same spirit. If I can't handle NaNoWriMo this year (due to a 2-month old beneficent dictator living in our house) then I will NoReVis along with you.

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  5. Thank you, Intern! I look forward to reading your discovered criticisms! :-)

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  6. Okay, I did think of something similar to NaNoReVisMo, but NaNoReVisMo is sooo much more succinct. Mine is "NaFiReWriAfCamMo" (WIP title: After Cameron). LOL. I like REVISMO better for writing on my hand!

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  7. Fab idea and exactly what I'm doing! Looking forward to your advice.

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  8. I could see these two NaNo's working together in conjunction--Hoozah! What a wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/New Age Ritual celebration. Hack away at creating a 600-grit sandpaper rough draft in November and fine tune (or aggressively prune it like a banzai) in December.

    This could be the next "Festivus," the holiday for the rest of us (from Seinfeld)!

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  9. *humors INTERN*

    But really, this is great because I'd been planning on tackling a revision project in Nov instead of a new novel. Whee!

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  10. November 2005 was my first NaNoWriMo.

    November 2006 was NaDoWriBuFeBaAbItMo (National Don't Write But Feel Bad About It Month).

    November 2007 was NaFiThDaNoMo (National Finish The Damn Novel Month).

    November 2008 was NaNoReVisMo (although I thought of it as NaNoEdMo... Editing Month).

    This year, my first novel is on submission, and I'm actually doing NaNoWriMo again! Hooray!

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  11. OMG I love this! I have been so jealous of everyone doing Nano because I am revising my WIP and I can't multi-task, plus I'm determined to finish. This is EXACTLY what my November looks like- I'm going to repost on my blog:-)

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  12. Hurray! I'm really glad to see you haven't abandoned this blog and I love the direction you're taking it in - was this move predicted by the plot robot?

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  13. I love it.
    I can't do NaNoWriMo and stick to the rules because I'm on deadline for 2 books, and 50,000 words of pre-first draft blathering won't help. But I can do NaNoReViseMo -- and it'd be nice to get credit for it, if only inside my own brain.

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  14. Love this idea! Definitely count me in. Oh, and I just found your blog today (don't know how I missed it--what's WRONG with me?) so I'll definitely be following now. Thanks!

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  15. As you suspect, there are people who use a Nano-model to revise. The one I know about is Nanoedmo, which happens in March (nanoedmo.net). I find, however, that revising is so much more difficult to measure in a satisfying way than first-draft writing. It's hard to come up with something that matches the beauty of that goal of 50,000 words. Nanoedmo asks you to complete 50 hours of editing, but I confess that in my last attempt many of those "hours of editing" would be more accurately described as "hours chewing my fingernails." Good luck with Nanorevismo!

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  16. Yay! Would love to read the critique posts from you. I have no clue where to start. I already switched the POV, which was no easy task. And that didn't even involve the storyline...just grammar. Bleh. I actually toyed with using two different POV's since it's two storylines intertwined. I think that may be a nightmare. One from the reader's view, and the next chapter from the protag's view. Oh..I need more than a month.

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  17. As a matter of fact, there is a Revismo--in December, for those who want to revise their crazy Nano novels. But frankly, I like the idea of being able to revise while others are writing. That way you still feel a part of it.

    Just discovered you recently, Intern, but I'm glad I did!

    -CA

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  18. Frickin awesome timing! I can get into this! Okay, You're inspiring me to pull out my first novel. I wanted to anyway, but not with any kind of clear goal or timeline.
    THanks for the organization here!
    :-)

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  19. Creative A, December is actually "Finish the Novel" Month, where you are supposed to add another 30K to the original 50K for a more publishable length of 80K. And then you leave it alone until EdMo in March.

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  20. Shocking. Brilliant. I'm in.

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  21. Would it be somehow cosmically wrong to do NaNoWriMo and NaNoRevisMo at the same time? Because last year's NaNo is crying for revisions, and the one from the year before is *this close* (pinches fingers really, really close) to being ready to query, but also a WHOLE NEW IDEA is begging to be Nano'ed this year. Yeah, I really, really like mulit-tasking. Cool idea!

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  22. I have a question. What is a publisher's slush pile? I thought all Mss were represented by agents and submitted to invidual editors who were in contact with the agent and in agreement about the Ms that is being submitted.

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  23. Anon 10:56: a slush pile is the pile of manuscripts that do *not* come from agents (or come from fake agents). not all mss are repped by agents...lots of people send their ms directly to the publisher without finding an agent first!

    kat sheridan: not cosmically impossible! that would probably be fun and super-productive...when you get tired of Book A, just switch to editing Book B!

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  24. I'm in! This is exactly what I need to do. Gotta get my baby dressed up and ready to head out the door!

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  25. Okay, I sure hope I am not double posting here/ My first comment appears to have been eaten - blogspot does not like my blog address!
    I'm in, I already planned to spend November rewriting a monster mess of a first draft category romance, rather than creating yet another monster mess, though the temptation is strong.
    Looking forward to your comments on the process, Intern.

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  26. I love NaNoWriMo, but I do think it is begging for a sister holiday, maybe in January after the manuscript has sat for a bit-- where we do nothing but revise a certain number of pages every day.

    NaNoReviseMo: Sign me up. Then there should be a NaNoReviseAgainMo in March. Because, one pass probably isn't going to do it...

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  27. I'm totally doing this, I think we should have a special nanorevismo button!

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  28. I'm in. And the question about slush piles reminded me of this humorous piece about what not to do.

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  29. NaNoEdMo seems about right to me - you do NaNoWriMo; you spend three months in a dark room waiting for your fingers and your brain to heal; and then you start the repair work in March. Makes sense to me!

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  30. Sign me up! I was passing on NaNoWriMo this year anyways, because I've got too much revision work to do. You read my mind.

    Can you create a counter to keep track of how many words we DELETE each day/week/month? Anyone who cuts a manuscript in half wins?

    Or can we count how many adverbs or tag lines we delete?

    How many times the cut and paste function is used?

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  31. I am actually blogging about my month long experience with revising a manuscript instead of doing NaNoWriMo, so I just love this idea. I did NaNo a few years ago the book was published, and I kind of like the process, but now I'm with a book that just needs to be rewritten, so that is my challenge this month.

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  32. That's what I'll be doing this month.

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  33. Okay, I'm psyched. I've got a YA to finish so ...adelante.

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  34. I am so with you! Revise it, Sister!

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  35. NaNoReVisMo. Excellent.

    Some books need a lot of Revismo!

    That is all.

    Doctor Query

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  36. November for me is NaNoRevisMo! HAHA! Glad to know I'm a part of this great company....

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  37. Great idea! I'm revising right now anyway, but will really help me stick to it.

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  38. For writers in the midst of something, who don't want to quit that project, just because, this is an awesome idea.

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  39. Love it, I'm referencing this on my blog!

    http://writerwise.blogspot.com

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  40. Ooh, count me in! Like a lot of other folks here, I'm in the midst of revising and jealous of the NaNoWriMos with their creative fun and their smug superiority about tackling their projects. I could use a parallel goal. Word count be damned, I'm just going to shoot for being done with my novel revisions by the end of the month.

    *gulp*

    Come to think of it, that's actually a much nmore daunting task than writing 50,000 words in a month. :p

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