The thoughts and work of Sam Witt

Camp NaNoWriMo – Go Big – Day 7

Go Big - A Camp NaNoWriMo Adventure - Day 7

Well, that was an intense week. Lots and lots of words, lots and lots of scrambling around to get writing time into my schedule over the holiday, and lots and lots of doubt that I was going to get this done.

Well doubts, I’ve got just two words for you:

Suck. It.

After a super-productive weekend I was afraid of a Monday-morning slump, followed by a Tuesday-morning “I give the fuck up” tantrum. This sometimes happens to me when I bite off more than I can chew.

But that isn’t what happened. I kept up a good writing pace yesterday and I followed that up today with a two-fisted round of editing and revision. I’m going to go take a victory lap and have a beer now, so let’s keep this short.

DAY SEVEN: My Work Here is Done (Part 1)

Whenever I write at a blistering pace I’m always concerned it’s going to be kind of shitty when I go back to revise the flood of words. Given that I’d written more than 26,000 words in about four days I was really dreading this round of revisions. I figured it would take me to full days to hack my way through and make some sense out of what I’d written but, hallelujah, that was not the case.

I give most of the credit for the ease of this revision to my outline and to my Dragon.

I used Libbie Hawker’s book on outlining for the first novella and found the whole experience pretty exciting. It worked out very well, and that strong foundation gave me the confidence to push through my story even when I was having some doubts. Thanks, Libbie!

After writing a little over 100,000 words using dictation, I think I finally have the Dragon trained to the point where I can rely on it to convert my text-to-speech without filling pages of gobbledypoopyfuckall. From a rough guess, it gets over 98% accuracy, which is better than most people (including myself) can do while typing at top speed. After this, I’m never going back to typing entire drafts, though I’ll still use the AlphaSmart and my laptop when I’m outside the house or dictation is not feasible. Believe it or not, your family does not appreciate when you walk around the house the tape recorder in your hand dictating terrible stories about terrible people.

So, yeah. My work on the novella is officially finished.


I just finished printing out the whole first episode of this new series and have walked it across the house to my first beta reader. She did not look amused that I woke her up by dropping 100 printed pages on her stomach, but don’t sign up to be one of my beta readers if you’re not gonna be committed.

Provided she doesn’t simply throw the whole thing in the trash out of spite, I imagine she’ll wrap up her read tomorrow and I’ll have her notes by the time I get off work tomorrow night. I’m pretty confident the notes won’t be extensive and I’ll be able to finish my second round of revisions before I lay my head down to sleep.

Looking forward

My editor might get the book as early as Thursday, which gives him a couple of extra days to dick around with it and mark it up with his evil red pen and point out all my plot holes and ridiculous grammatical mistakes. Hopefully, the lessons I’ve learned from him during my past couple of books will make this a much less painful process for him and he won’t have to remind me again about the difference between further and farther, or why I need to knock off putting spaces around my em-dashes, or why I need to stop moving locations in my series around willy-nilly. Editors earn their money around these parts, you see.

And while Jason is hip deep in my frothy prose, I will be grinding through the next manuscript. If I can keep up the pace, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll actually be done with the next book before he’s done editing the first book. Should that occur the whole shebang might be done before I really even feel like I got started.

And if that happens…

Well, look. I already started this month with one ludicrous project. You don’t think I’d really be dumb enough to throw another log on that fire, do you?

Do you?

You do, don’t you?


About Sam

I am the author of the popular Pitchfork County series of horror novels. I also write a newsletter with great reading suggestions and free fiction.