Hey everybody! Every year there’s two different sessions of Camp NaNoWriMo. The second session is coming, which is in July.
But wait, I’ve gotten ahead of myself. I haven’t talked to you about what these things are.
NaNoWriMo is a National Novel Writing Month that occurs every November. People all over the world try to write a novel for at least 50k words in one month. The excitement each year is almost palatable. You’ll see all kinds of think pieces on blogs, videos about it, and so much more. You’ll find sprints on Twitter and NaNoWriMo Facebook groups are all of the sudden on fire, there are so many people posting and chatting it up. On the NaNoWriMo site you can create a profile, measure your progess, talk on message boards, and chat with friends who you’ve added, who are on this crazy ride.
With Camp NaNoWriMo, the atmosphere is absolutely different. The buzz is more of a murmur like the crickets at the end of a summer’s night. You don’t have a friend’s list in Camp NaNo, which I think is an unfortunate oversight. But, instead of friends list, you can join a cabin. You can get put into a randomly, join a friend’s cabin, or create a cabin and invite people yourself. (See how the whole camp thing comes to play?). In order to join a cabin, you first need to create a project. You have to choose a project type (novel, short story, script, etc…) and then your goal which measured in either words, hours, minutes, lines, and pages. With the added bonus of being able to encourage your cabin mates, the Camp option is a really flexible alternative.
Some writers find the flexibility helps them along and others like the madcap mayhem of a 50k word month. I like them both for different reasons. I use the Camps to finish projects and NaNo is to start something new and really dig into it for a month. I am trying to establish a daily writing routine and doing the NaNo events definitely helps.
How are you doing? What have you been up to this month? I’ve been working on a novel and I feel like I’ve established how I’ll be writing novels, or at least the next few, when I’m free falling without an outline.
This month for Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m working on a new novel. Camp NaNoWriMo is a challenge that happens in April and July. You set your own goals, whether it’s page number, word count, or hours written. And you can work on whatever project you want. It’s the much more laid back version of NaNo. And since I could make any goal I wanted, I decided to see if I could push it to 70k.
Seventy. Thousand. Words.
In one month.
I am often a very optimistic lady. And I like to stretch myself with my goals. I like to make things challenging. I like to try hard to get there. If I don’t make it, I’ll end up with a nice clutch of words regardless. That’s how I’ve looked at this challenge.
I wanted to write two novellas in April. One for Blood Roses and the other was going to be an erotica based off of the short story I started on here, but didn’t finish Just One Night. Two stories that I had good ideas for that would be relatively “easy” to write, which is why I decided to just discovery write them.
Meanwhile, the story decided to morph and shift into something that I didn’t even know was brewing up there! It’s a fun one. I’m having such a good time writing it. I’m tapping into ideas that I haven’t explored before, but that I’ve been interested in. I can’t wait to see how it ends.
That’s not to say that I’m giving up on Blood Roses and Honeysuckles or the the cozy mystery. Not at all. The plan now is to publish the three of them by the end of the year.
So keep on a lookout for those updates.
Like I said, this month, I’ve been working on the new story, which has shaped into more of a thriller than a cozy. I’m totally discovery writing it. I wanted to have freedom for it to go any way possible and to see what would happen. I didn’t want to be hindered by any expectations for the story.
What I typically do, when I’m writing a story this way, I’ll start the story and do a lot of word sprints. I’m writing down the first ideas that I have, learning my MC as I go along.
After I write a few chapters, generally speaking, my brain will start to throw scenes that are out of order. Ideas that do not fit yet, but are intriguing. I write them all down. I use Scrivener, so I can move the ideas around. I have a file that I’ve called “Spare Scenes.” That’s the catch-all shop where I put all of those spare ideas.
As I’m writings, I often have questions that I need to answer so that the story will make more sense. Those questions, I type in the document and make them red and increase their font. At some point, I take all of those ideas and add them to a different file. I labeled that: RED Questions. I paste them into the file and then I add which chapter I pulled it from so that I can go back to look at the context. With these questions, I’m able to figure out what I need to research, what isn’t work, what I need to build up in the beginning so I can give my readers a good path to follow.
After I’d written about 15k words, I moved things around so that I could
Then I’ve been having chatting sessions with my Mathmagician. I told him the story because telling the story out loud helped me to hear what I missing. It also helped me to know what I really enjoyed. And this book discusses cryptocurrency, so I talked to him about that aspect and what I need to research. It’s really helpful to know what I don’t know. Does that make sense?
Like I said, this month, I’ve spent a lot of time doing writing sprints. I’ve also been hosting them on my channel where I’ve co-hostd with a friend. The last one will be this Thursday 4/26 at 7 p.m. EDT on my channel. Below are the videos that I’ve already hosted. You can retroactively write with us.
This first week of Camp NaNo went by like a flash for me. I started off with a bang, but then health-related issues popped up and I wasn’t able to write as much and be as productive as I wanted to be. I had to remind myself that I can’t measure my progress and my health by other people’s standards.
This was my latest vlog for Week 2. I talk about my writing process, I ask you a few questions, and I added some fun edits that do include flashing lights. If you’re sensitive to that, you may want to skip the library section of the video.
As I predicted, I’ve let some dust build up here as I worked on my novel for NaNoWriMo. Let’s knock down the cobwebs and dust off this place, shall we?
I won NaNoWriMo! I won the day before Thanksgiving during my #writestuff virtual write-in that I hosted with Burgess Taylor and Amy Tasukada. Here’s our write-in. If you still have some words to write, you can write along with us. Or you can check out my awesome (which is pretty debatable) victory dance.
I’m kicking around the idea of doing a weekly video of my editing process for this novel. Would y’all be interested in seeing that here? I’m still debating it, but leaning toward- sure. It’ll keep me accountable and I think it’ll help me to realize what works for me and what doesn’t. I edited my poetry collection and The Reverie Journal’s collection, but I haven’t edited an entire novel that was mine. I’m excited…and nervous. I talk about it a bit more here:
I also, verified my novel on camera, showed off some of my baking skills, and basically was all smiles for Thanksgiving and turkey day eve. I hope if you celebrate Thanksgiving that you were surrounded by loved ones and good food. (I suppose that’s just a good hope in general, Thanksgiving or not.)
That about lets you know what’s been happening on this little bit of the island for the past few weeks If you want to ask me questions for a Q&A video, plop your questions in the comments. I’d like to do a Q&A video sometime later this month.
How did your NaNo go? Did you refocus your energies on something else? Did you hit your goal? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing about your journeys.