It is amazing how often I have "randomly" (ahem) encountered bloggers or authors just when I needed to hear what they have to say.
I recently came across Kristen Lamb's blog via a link from another blog. (Unfortunately I don't remember which one, so I can't even say thanks.) Her post on not editing while drafting got me through NaNoWriMo this year. Her writing style is breezy and fun. Her advice is clear, concise and easy-to-follow.
I have been studying her series on Structure, in particular Post # 8 on analyzing scenes. It's the scene editing equivalent of diagramming sentences. I blew me away.
This week (before November was even over), I started a total rewrite of my NaNo novel. The new version is going to have almost nothing in common with the crap I wrote in November, except most of the characters and the setting. Everything else is going to be rebuilt from the ground up.
In order to keep my self on track and not spend too much time editing, I've set up the document in two columns. The right column is for the text. The left column is for notes, comments and directions to myself, using the kind of notation system Kristen recommends for scene analysis. Time will tell if that will work for me, but I like the idea of having a place to keep notes on the fly as I go along and also keeping my eye on the conflict in each scene so I stay on track. I have a tendency to get too engrossed in setting and details and lose the conflict. By focusing on it as I write, I hope to make my next draft of this story stronger.
Regardless of whether or not I keep using this particular technique, one thing is sure, I will continue to devour Kristen's posts on a regular basis!