This July I am participating in Camp Nano, with the goal of writing for 500 minutes. I’m doing okay so far with devoting time to writing, but I’ve only written two scenes! Ugh! I think this is because I didn’t have a strong outline like I usually do, so I’m kind of floundering. I’m a plotter, not a pantser!
I’ve started on a new project this month, and surprising to me, I’m back to writing fanfiction! I used to write a lot of Cardcaptor Sakura and Star Wars fanfics back in high school and college, but I haven’t done any in over 10 years now.
Consequently, I’m kind of out of the loop on where to post fanfiction online. I used to use fanfiction.net (my stuff is still there), but maybe that’s not as popular anymore? Of course, I do have this blog as well, but I don’t usually post my writing here, and I’m especially hesitant to post fanfics because of the dubious legalities.
Last month I participated, as I have many times before, in Camp NaNo, which is kind of a spin-off of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, in November. I like doing Camp because you can set your own goals instead of conforming to the “50,000 word in a month” paradigm of NaNoWriMo.
This April, my goal was to write 10 min a day, or 300 minutes total. Good news: I managed 400 minutes over the month. So, yay for winning!
Even better news: I finished a complete draft of a novel!
This novel, which I have been calling Ash and Team, is one that I have been working on since NaNoWriMo of 2013. Six long years. I started this as a practice novel, and I know that actually publishing it would require more research than I have time for currently, so while you will likely never see this story in print (or even in revisions), I still feel really proud of this accomplishment. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end; it has character development; it has some humor and a magic system; it even has some prose that I really enjoy reading.
The draft is about 44,000 words, which is quite short for a novel, but it is after all a fairy tale retelling. Also, I tend to severely underwrite in my initial drafts, so if I ever finished it I’m sure it would be a bit longer.
How did I finally do it? Well…by setting my word count goal to only 5,000 words. HA!
I’ve written more than 5,000 words nearly every month I’ve done NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo, so I had a really good chance of winning this time. But I’m still proud of what I accomplished. And it was still really gratifying to see this on my screen:
My WIP, called Oochigeaskw, stands at 30, 586 words and I’m just reaching the end of Act II or so. I was hoping to get through the end of Act II, but oh well.
I feel like I have a pretty good sense of where I’m going from here, but the scenes coming up are going to be some of the hardest to write. I don’t like causing trouble for my characters! I feel bad when bad things happen to them, just like I feel guilty when I have them express my cynical thoughts.
I tend to underwrite on first drafts, so part of my strategy when I start writing for the day is to go back a few pages, read through the end of what I did last time, and add any more details before continuing on. It helps me get back into the flow of the scene, too.
If I can continue writing 5,000 words per month I stand a good chance of finishing this draft before November so I can start a new project for NaNoWriMo.
My cabin was suuuuper quiet this time. I was in a “fantasy” cabin, but there were only 2 or 3 other people who were active, and I’m not sure anyone else won. I don’t know if this was beneficial to my writing or not.
July starts another round of Camp NaNo, as I continue my quest to finish a draft of a novel.
I’ve been working on this draft for, like, three years now, and I just want it finished! I’m not planning to publish it ever, and I want to be able to move on to another story for NaNoWriMo in November.
So my story is kind of a fairy tale re-telling (a blend of a “Native American Cinderella” and Beauty and the Beast-type), and those kind of female protagonists can sometimes be a little too goody-goody to be interesting. My MC has this problem.
My MC is also in a domestic abuse situation, which I’m working really hard to get right. I’ve recently come to the realization that I need my MC to start lying. Specifically, she lies to her abuser, because one of her false beliefs is that she can control the triggers for the abuse, and she’s trying to avoid mentioning anything that will upset the abuser. This is not only consistent with abuse psychology, but also makes the MC more complex.
So I’m probably about halfway through the first draft, and I have the rest mostly planned out. I just need to write it. Hopefully I’ll do some updates with my word count throughout July.
I’m back from my 11-day trip to Ireland, during which I saw a lot of the country, learned a lot, eat some great food, and met some great people. I’ll post a little more about the trip in general, as well as some specific parts, soon. And pictures. I’m trying to decide if I want to switch to using photos from Ireland for the Weekly Photo Challenges; this week’s “Door” theme would be absolutely perfect for about a dozen photos I took.
Now that I’m back with reliable Internet access/laptop, I’ll be catching up on all your postings that I missed! I’m also doing Camp Nano again this month, for which I’m obviously already behind on my word count, so I need to get cracking on some writing for that.
Lastly, I read 4 books over the course of my travels (long flights…), so expect some reviews in the next few weeks.
I had a great time on my trip, but it’s good to be home!