A is for April #AtoZChallenge

First day of April, first day of the A to Z blog challenge and first day at Camp NaNoWriMo. Already there are shades of my long ago camping days with the Girl Guides – my part of the cabin looks a mess and I seem to have missed the events because I’ve had my nose in a book, although this time the book is mine, mine, all mine. I’m still getting to know my cabin mates, and most of them were still in bed when I got up this morning. My aim for the month is to revise the novel I wrote in NaNoWriMo last year.

I haven’t the faintest idea how to measure the revision/editing progress. The number of red squiggles per chapter? The number of words deleted? The number added? On the camper info board, I’ve opted for the number of hours spent on the task, but even that’s slightly spurious. What counts as editing? Luxuriating in a bubble bath, thinking about the novel? Drinking coffee wondering where to start? Stroking the pile of paper that may or may not become a book one day? Buying a new notebook and a set of red pens?   If the answer to any of the above is ‘yes’, then I have made terrific progress today. If the answer is ‘no’, then I am somewhat behind the pace.

Things I have done today which IMHO definitely count towards editing progress:

  • Read through the draft and highlighted the clichés (rather too many for comfort)
  • Identified an inadvertent name change of one of the minor characters
  • Made a pile of post-it notes with ideas for filling in the plot-holes
  • Made a list of things to-do
  • Looked at the page count of some of my favourite novels and worked out how many words there are in each one. My 73,000 word manuscript seems rather paltry by comparison.

So after making a start on the revision process, I am closing my books for the day and turning my thoughts to cocktails. When I signed up for camp, I offered to be the cocktail maker for the cabin. And as it’s a literary camp, I have temporarily eschewed the Boston’s Bartender Guide for Tim Federle’s Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist.   As it’s our first night in camp, I think something fizzy and celebratory is called for. I was going to prepare the Adventure of Sherbet Holmes for my fellow campers. This comprises berry sherbet, ginger ale, blueberries and champagne. I have no idea what berry sherbet is, the quartermaster has no ginger ale in his stores and I ate the blueberries for lunch. Champagne it is then.