How You Know You're Revising For Camp NaNoWriMo

How You Know You're Revising For Camp NaNoWriMo

Telltale signs you are editing your project this month
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Camp NaNoWriMo has begun! July is National Novel Writing Month's second writing challenge of the year, and any dedicated novelist, script-writer, comic artist or general creative spirit knows what this means...

WORK. Also, productivity. And of course, a little panic. But if you have explored all the facets the new website has to offer, the real gem comes when you choose 'Revision' for your month-long project. Out of all the options for creating a project, Revision is the only one where you know this month is going to be nothing like anyone else's experience with Camp NaNo.

Why? Well, here are some of the oh-so-telltale signs.

1. You must plan for a plan for a plan...

Have you seen Inception? Prepping for a NaNo Revision challenge is sort of like that, but instead of a dream within a dream (within a dream), you must form a plan to figure out what your plan is for your final plan (for the plan). Don't have an outline? You'll probably need one now. No story notes? Well, you will have some shortly.

But the best part? Planning for a plan is part of your word count. If you gotta sit there for forty-five minutes daydreaming of a better outcome for this scene, it still counts as work.

2. Your "word count" is now "hours."

The Camp NaNo site now allows you to log hours spent editing instead of converting hours into words. This is simultaneously satisfying and a tad frustrating. I used to log 1,000 words for each hour when I did editing challenges in the past, which meant that 500 words equaled one half-hour. Now there's no way to break up the whole hour, which means one must stay rooted for sixty minutes before getting to watch the progress arrow move. On the flip side, it's even better for getting more work done.

3. You spend most of your time reading.

It's a guilty pleasure of mine to read my own writing, but it's also an all-out torture session because I spend most of my time with my face in my hands thinking "this is why I edit." (Having to re-read something terrible you wrote can drive one to banging one's head off the table).

4. You're probably editing a project you've edited before.

This is especially true in my case. This month, I'm revising the book I revised last July, which I also revised November 2015 and which I started writing way back in March 2013. It's like it won't leave me alone.

It's like I'm being stalked by my own book.

Someone free me.

5. Sometimes you just have to yell at your own characters.

Most of the time, this involves me gesturing wildly at the screen and making high-pitched noses while screeching "Why wouldn't she have noticed that he has a metal arm? That is VERY noticeable!" before returning to banging my head off the table.

Anyone revisiting a book knows what it's like to watch a character descend into a spiral of illogical choices followed by inconsistent dialogue followed by a big choice which takes the book in a direction it probably shouldn't have gone. Which is why we're editing.

6. No matter how messy it is, you will always love this project.

Despite having to wrangle all the little details along side the big-picture stuff, you will always be in love with your project. This is something you threw your heart into when you started, and which you're bleeding the last of your creativity onto now. Someday, when it's completed in the distant (or not-so-distant) future, you will look back on these days and remember how much effort it took for you to craft perfection. All the hours spent changing dialogue, all the grammar you had to correct, all the big life choices you had to force upon the characters -- you will look back fondly and say "this is why I write." It's for the love of the whole process.

Any banging of heads on tables will (eventually) become endearing, too.


So until July 31st, all of us 'Revision' writers will be plugging away at our projects, hour by hour, line by line. Never give up on a project because it seems too big or daunting. No matter how many mistakes you think it has, it will always have that spark of YOU which distinguishes it from the rest of literature. Stick with it. Create your masterpiece.

Cover Image Credit: Patrick Tomasso

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15 Texts We'd Get From Dogs If They Had Thumbs

"If you're reading this, send Milk Bones."
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Let's be real, anyone who has a dog knows that it if we could, we would text our dogs all day long. If they could text us, our thread would look something like...

1. "Are you coming home soon?! Let's go out!"

2. "So not to be weird... but you never ended up answering me last night... Am I the good boy? Idk I just want to be clear on our relationship I don't want to be lead on if I'm not."

3. "The cat is being such a bit** I literally can't stand her"

4. "Hey, just wondering, are you going to wear those black booties tonight? If you are, I'll chew the zipper out of the brown ones instead."

5. "Okay, so don't freak out, but something not so chill happened on the rug..."

6. "Are there any leftovers in the trash? I'm not gonna get into it, I was just curious. Love u."

7. "If you're reading this... bring Milk Bones."

8. "Hey, what's for dinner tonight?! Purina again?"

9. "Miss you!!"

10. "Are you gonna eat that food on the counter or is that for everyone? Asking for the cat."

11. "I LOVE YOU"

12. "OMG, I can't wait for you to come home on break! Can you sleep in the guest room tho? Mom said I could have your room when you moved out. Love u!"

13. "Ice cream date later?!"

14. "We should go for a walk I need to get my ass back in shape for summer. You should be my workout buddy!"

15. "Netflix and chill tonight?"

Cover Image Credit: Salon

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Poetry On Odyssey: Hustle and Bustle This Holiday Season

"...Have conversation, turn off the cable..."

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It's Holiday season,

Time to be freezin'.

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it,

Don't stop now, you can't quit.

Numerous trips to grocery stores,

Pure mayhem when you walk through those doors.

Shelves bare,

You're ready to pull out your hair.

Long check-out lines,

Or delayed airlines.

Prepare and cook the turkey low and slow,

Wait for that golden brown skin to glow.

Place the gravy and cranberry sauce on the table,

Have conversation, turn off the cable.


Before you know it, Christmas is here,

The classic songs are music to our ears.

Yet we all dread the trips to the mall,

To find the perfect gifts, big or small.

The Christmas Tree Lighting floods TV stations,

With singers from all generations,

The scent of candy canes fill the air,

We wish the day runs smoothly, Lord, hear our prayer.

Lots of wrappers and bows cover the floor,

As we obsess over our presents more and more.


New Year's creeps up on us,

Throwing a party is always a plus.

Streamers, noisemakers, food,

Who knew planning the perfect party was of this magnitude.

The line at the liquor store gets longer and longer,

Because of the stress in picking a champagne or sparkling cider.

Deciding to prepare finger foods or a five-course meal,

Why not get take-out? DEAL!

Clock counts down from ten.

As the clock strikes one, we've made it to another year, AMEN!

Glasses clinking,

People drinking,

"Happy New Year,"

We cheer.

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