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Brace Yourselves: Camp NaNoWriMo Is Coming

23 Mar

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Well, it’s that time of year again. I debated for a long time over doing Camp NaNoWriMo this year, and the lure of the challenge is just too much for me. What I like about Camp is the ability to set your own word goals, and yes, mine will be lower than the norm.

I’ve been struggling with writing lately–actually, I’ve been struggling with keeping on top of just about everything. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve felt like I’ve had far too many things on my plate, and when my head’s spinning around a million miles per hour I tend to get absolutely nothing done, which just adds to the stress.

The past couple of weeks, however, I’ve stayed more or less on top of deadlines, pushed a few unnecessary things off my plate, and have been succeeding in turning off the laptop some time before bed to get in a few chapters of reading, which has, for the most part, helped out with sleep. The result? Amazing, supersonic bursts of creativity that I don’t think I’ve experienced since high school.

The result? An idea for a picture book series (now I just need an artist). Revisiting the dreaded Thesis yet again. A page-long summary of a brand new story idea that struck me one evening, causing me to rush to Nameberry to find the Perfect Names for some shiny new characters. Plot twist: I’m not actually doing any of these for Camp, but it was nice to have an actual idea and be able to think about fiction for a while!

So, here’s my plan. I’m going to be rewriting the novel I did for Camp last year. It was called The Foxglove Alliance then, and I’ve renamed it The Taddin Stone now (tentatively) to reflect the changes I hope to make. I feel as though I’ve planned it out a lot better this time, and hopefully the writing will be easier. But… plot twist #2: I’m writing long-hand.

Say what? Yeah, I don’t really write long-hand. But I already started the rewrite in this shiny new notebook that I have and still haven’t typed it up. I’m sort of afraid I’m going to lose momentum if I try. So I’ll be writing this NaNo out for as long as I can stand it. What this means is that I won’t have a hard and fast word count until the very end, which also means no daily updates on my NaNo progress this time around. But hey, if I’m writing, I’m writing, am I right?

What I like about long-hand writing is that you can easily edit, add things in, and cut things out as you’re typing it up. I like to think of it as a “free” editing session, because you were going to have to type it up anyway, so why not make a few tweaks here and there? Long-hand writing is always my go-to when I’m feeling stuck, partially because I know I get that chance to edit right off the bat. If you’re stuck, try it out–it’s saved me many times!

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? What will you be writing this time around? What’s your word goal? Any tips and tricks to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2013: Day Thirty COMPLETE!

30 Apr

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Ahhhh…. that light feeling you get when you’ve completed word count. And that aching feeling your head gets after banging it against a wall when the word count validator says you actually have another 300 words to go…

So, I finished my word count at 50,159 words. I always like to write a little extra for margin of error when it comes to validating it. Once again, I was just rambling and getting words down on the page. I’m not sure if I’m going to look at this day’s count when it comes to editing this monster, considering it’s going to be completely ridiculous, but whatever.

Anyway, I go to validate it and the validator says I’m at 49,735 words! It’s never been THAT far off before. 400 word difference? Maybe some of you will think I didn’t win, but I said screw it and copied my last few paragraphs and re-pasted them on to the end of my novel. I trust Word’s word counter more than theirs. I mean, Word’s word counter was good enough for my college professors, so it should be good enough for NaNo, too.

But I’m DONE! Finally! That’s a burden gone. How many of you completed your goals this month?

How many words did you write today? 1920
How long did it take you to write them? About an hour. Yeah, I was typing fast.
How many Facebook breaks did you take?  Just one once I got going!
How many characters have you killed off to date? No one today.
How many NaNoWriMo Angels have you murdered? None today, I just had to keep going.
Have you stopped using contractions yet? Nope.
What was today’s reward for finishing word count? Breathing. Or at least it would be if I could breathe. (stupid cold)
Cups of Tea: None yet, but I’m about to go make one.
How many pieces of chocolate were consumed? If I wasn’t sick, I’d say ALL the chocolate. Alas.
Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 50,093 (according to my cheated validator)
Words to Goal: 0!!
Days Remaining: 0!!

As always, feel free to comment below with your own answers to this survey (or post it on your own blog!) 🙂

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2013: Day Twenty-Nine

29 Apr

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I think today was even worse than yesterday in terms of sickness–I have been stuffed up literally all day, unable to breathe through my nose at all. This has resulted in massive headaches and (yet another) feeling of utter exhaustion, and nothing was helped by any medication. It was weird. BUT I struggled through my last TIFO article for the month and word count for today. The end is in sight!

Once again, I’m not entirely sure what I wrote. I’m not sure if that’s the cold meds or the quickness with which my hands are flying across the keys, but I remember feeling like there were some good moments in there with the fluff, so that’s something.  Have I mentioned how much I want to re-structure and re-outline this? Ugh!

Well, tomorrow is the last day… I reckon I can make it.

How many words did you write today? 2399
How long did it take you to write them? A couple of hours. I didn’t do it in one sitting, but like… three little sittings, so it’s hard to tell.
How many Facebook breaks did you take?  Too many to count. That, and YouTube. I think I’m addicted to YouTube.
How many characters have you killed off to date? No one today.
How many NaNoWriMo Angels have you murdered? None today, again! I was too busy trying to think up words to take them away again.
Have you stopped using contractions yet? Nope.
What was today’s reward for finishing word count? Watching the newest episode of Arrow!
Cups of Tea: Two.
How many pieces of chocolate were consumed? None. D: Craving it though. Did have some Anzac biscuits, which are oatmeal cookie type things.
Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 48173
Words to Goal: 1827 (I think we know what my word count is tomorrow!)
Days Remaining: 1

As always, feel free to comment below with your own answers to this survey (or post it on your own blog!) 🙂

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2013: Day Twenty-Eight

28 Apr

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As you all saw, I ran into a plague-related problem, and not in my novel. I’m still hacking up a lung but the exhaustion bit’s petered out, so yesterday I not only *practically caught up* to the word count I needed, but also wrote one TIFO article and half of another. Productive day! I’m planning on pushing through another 2000 words (3000, if I can manage) today. It was looking a bit dodgy there whether I would finish, but the competition always drives me forward. I couldn’t be so close and not complete 50,000 words!

Anyway, gave MC and The Prince lots of soul-searching time in the last few thousand words. I don’t even know what I’ve written, but I hope it was good. I guess we’ll see when I reread it later.

Excuse me while I reach for (yet another) tissue.

How many words did you write today? 3687
How long did it take you to write them? I have no idea… I was on so many cold meds…
How many Facebook breaks did you take?  At least three or four. Plus a lot of YouTube breaks! I went on YouTube a lot.
How many characters have you killed off to date? One. The Emperor might have not-so-accidentally gotten poisoned.
How many NaNoWriMo Angels have you murdered? I don’t think I was capable of finding the backspace key, so I’m going to say none!
Have you stopped using contractions yet? Nope.
What was today’s reward for finishing word count? Sleeeeping!
Cups of Tea: Three, all mint with honey. Pretty good. Soothed my throat a lot!
How many pieces of chocolate were consumed? None. Husband said I couldn’t eat chocolate when I’m sick. D: (Now he’s complaining because he wants chocolate and he’s sick!)
Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 45774
Words to Goal: 4226
Days Remaining: 2

As always, feel free to comment below with your own answers to this survey (or post it on your own blog!) 🙂

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2013: Day Twenty-Four

24 Apr

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Write or Die Session #1:
855 words in 13 minutes.

Ahh…. today was a much better day. I didn’t get everything done that I planned to–I had to work early, which meant waking up at 5:30 (aka: Still A Zombie). I only worked for a few hours and was planning on going to the police station to get my fingerprints re-done for my visa, but I ended up getting home and sleeping for a few hours, and then sleeping again later in the afternoon. It did WONDERS for my stress levels/overall mood!

I’m still not incredibly happy with what I’m writing, but that’s pretty much how I feel every NaNo month around this time, so that’s nothing new. Having passed the 40k mark today, I feel like I’m so close I could practically taste winner-dom. And then there will be plenty of time to edit and re-outline later.

Pretty much just wrote a back story for MC’s personal guard/friend today, so it was fun to explore the character. Again, I’m writing in huge monologue chunks which obviously won’t be the way it would be presented in the final draft, but it’s nice to get out what needs to be known eventually. I’ll find a way of reworking it later.

How is everyone else doing? Are you seeing the light at the end of the tunnel?

How many words did you write today? 1741
How long did it take you to write them? Roughly half an hour.
How many Facebook breaks did you take?  One, plus an additional Pinterest break (so many things you can make out of pallets!)
How many characters have you killed off to date? None today… at least not directly.
How many NaNoWriMo Angels have you murdered? None today yet again!
Have you stopped using contractions yet? Nope.
What was today’s reward for finishing word count? Watching another episode of Friends.
Cups of Tea: None
How many pieces of chocolate were consumed? A sherbet fruit and a few Anzac biscuits (because I’m so patriotic), and I’m thinking about diving into this white chocolate again soon. White chocolate+Anzac biscuits = HEAVEN.
Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 40,783
Words to Goal: 9,217
Days Remaining: 6!!

As always, feel free to comment below with your own answers to this survey (or post it on your own blog!) 🙂

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2013: Day Twenty-Three

23 Apr

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Write or Die Session #1:
613 words in 11 minutes
Normal, strict, 500-word goal.

Write or Die Session #2:
630 words in 10 minutes
Normal, strict, 500-word goal.

Write or Die Session #3:
697 words in 12 minutes
Normal, strict, 500-word goal.

Today I wanted to quit. Today I allowed every stressful thing in my life to catch up to me, from writing NaNo to my visa application to thinking about what to have for dinner and everything in between. I have been going crazy attempting to keep everything in my head and having reached a point in my novel where I have to ask what’s happening next, and I’m writing things I know won’t be included in a rambly sort of way just for the word count, I was like, “Why am I even doing this? Why don’t I just stop?”

And my husband said I can’t stop because I’m going to be more stressed out at the thought of not finishing than I am about actually completing it. It doesn’t even take that much time when I  do Write or Die! I just keep dreading it.

I once listened to an author speak at a bookstore where I was working one summer. I can’t remember who it was–we had an author in each week for three or four months during the tourism season–but he was talking about his writing process and how he would reach a point where he just didn’t want to do it anymore. His characters didn’t know who they were or what they were doing, his plot was laying in pieces on the floor, every word he set down on paper sounded like trash. So he called up his agent and told her he was quitting, and his agent said, “Oh, good, you’re at that stage, are you? I sense another bestseller.”

Apparently this happened to this author an awful lot, and usually the novels that he hated the most were the ones that shot to the top because he had to put a lot of work into those novels. I assume that the agent ended up talking him through his problems and convincing him that he was not crap. Anyway, I don’t have an agent, but I am at That Point, so thinking about that story helped me feel better. Maybe it helped you feel better, too.

How many words did you write today? 2037
How long did it take you to write them? 33 minutes
How many Facebook breaks did you take?  One
How many characters have you killed off to date? None, I wrote some stuff that came before the big ol’ mob thing I was writing yesterday.
How many NaNoWriMo Angels have you murdered? None today again! Three days in a row.
Have you stopped using contractions yet? Nope.
What was today’s reward for finishing word count? Finishing another TIFO article. Then maybe a nap.
Cups of Tea: One
How many pieces of chocolate were consumed? Some white chocolate and a few ANZAC biscuits.
Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 39,042
Words to Goal: 10,958
Days Remaining: 7

As always, feel free to comment below with your own answers to this survey (or post it on your own blog!) 🙂

Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2013: Day Twenty-Two

22 Apr

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Write or Die Session #1:
620 words in 10 minutes
Normal, strict, 500-word goal.

I’m at that point in the month where I’m like, “Can this PLEASE just be over??” I think part of that feeling for me is spurred on by the inner editor who wants to rewrite so many of these scenes that I’ve written in the past few days. It also wants to outline a bit more and really get a handle on this plot which is starting to crumble along with the characters’ intended development… oh, well. Nothing for it but to wait until May!

Today I wrote a huge chunk of backstory as told by The Guard. I wrote it in one huge chunk, like a monologue, because it was nice to get it down on paper. Obviously that isn’t the way it’s going to be in the finished product–I’ll be breaking it up a bit. Probably even put some of the explanation earlier in the story, told by other people. Who knows.

It’s so early in the day to be posting this… only just noon. But I doubt I’ll be coming back to it tonight. My brain needs a break! So here’s the survey.

How many words did you write today? 1962
How long did it take you to write them? About an hour or so.
How many Facebook breaks did you take?  Two.
How many characters have you killed off to date? None today, unless you count a bunch of people dying in the flashback… in which case, “hundreds.”
How many NaNoWriMo Angels have you murdered? None today. I’m on a roll.
Have you stopped using contractions yet? Nope.
What was today’s reward for finishing word count? Getting another TIFO article done, watching the Thrones, and finishing my book.
Cups of Tea: None yet, but I intend to have one while watching the Thrones!
How many pieces of chocolate were consumed? None yet… but later hours hold promise.
Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 37,005
Words to Goal: 12,995
Days Remaining: 8

As always, feel free to comment below with your own answers to this survey (or post it on your own blog!) 🙂

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