Monthly #Writing Update: April 2017 #CampNaNoWriMo

Word Count: 4,808

192 words off target but considering how busy I was last month, I don’t mind. This is also going to be a quick update as there is not much to really tell.

Most of it covered my FMC learning a new game. I am still messing with the idea and considering dropping it all together. I am not sure it adds anything to the world but it gave me words at least because of the amount of exposition. Giving up on the game led to me then getting stuck as I had no idea what to write next. I had run out of planning due to me not having thought that far ahead if I am being honest. I started this story with just a concept and planning up to a certain point.

The last week of Camp I was in Cardiff and managed to write a grand total of about 100 words. All of those words were written on the train home and came from me jumping ahead to something that happens later. I added more words on the last day of Camp as I tried to hit 5k but it just didn’t happen. Whether it was laziness, panic or something else, I don’t know. I just didn’t hit target.

This month then is just about keeping going, trying to figure out what to write next in this draft so I can be completing it by the end of the year, per my yearly goals. How is everything for you? Congratulations if you finished Camp and congratulations still if you even wrote a word!

What are everyone planning for this month? Same story or moving on? Any plans to enter July? Don’t be afraid to reply below.

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#NaNoWriMo November 2015: Days 14-19

Day 14: 10,222 words

Day 15: 10,669 words

Day 16: 10,669 words

Day 17: 12,348 words

Day 18: 12,348 words

Day 19: 12,643 words

Obviously from my word counts, I have had a couple of days where life had to take the priority and I was simply just too tired to even turn on my laptop. I know I am looking at similar state of affairs latest this month. That has led to my decision, not to drop out of NaNoWriMo, but rather to chase a lower target of 25,000 words. It is far more plausible.

In my NaNo then, my FMC has revealed herself to be a mage to her friend with benefits partner, fallen out with him, defended him from some processed preachers, became friends with him again, found out her father has died, talked with her partner which ended up with them in bed, before she travelled back to the island to discover her family are still very hostile to her.

So a fair amount has happened and it does mean I have a funeral scene and the fallout of her father’s death to play with as well as heading into the main plot. I might have written myself into a slight corner however with the romance sub plot. My FMC’s friend with benefits has basically announced it is purely the benefits part that interests him, in so far as romance is concerned. I may need to have a serious rethink about that. The changing of the word target does mean I will have to maybe bullet point at the end of the month as I am still working on the Camp story too. (The two stories do focus on common themes though so it is helpful in a way).

On top of all that, I have changed my FMC’s job, again, for plot reasons. She’s now a research assistant at the university college, perhaps working towards a Masters of Research or PhD. It does mean having to rethink the university college part. I mean, brand new universities would focus on teaching right, rather than research? If anyone could give any help or insight on this point, it would be greatly appreciated.

How’s your NaNoWriMo going? On target? Behind? Word count change? Don’t be afraid to comment below.

#Writing Update

d7a3e-writingWord Count: 1,708 Words

It seems like a lot but it’s not really if I am being honest. Most of it revolved around the sorting, my FMC’s house mates all introducing themselves to each other and her assessments of them. I did hit a wall but I think I have pushed past it enough to keep writing in December.

The rest of the week has been focused on my NaNoWriMo, especially as I have had some wobbles over the story. I had considered going back to my story from last November, especially as I have replotted it and reshaped it and I have a better idea of what is going on now in that story. I have decided to stick to my original story after talking it over with a couple of friends. This story is more seasonally appropriate so my motivation to do it will probably be higher. Plus the other story is a rewrite and has a lot of work to do on it so perhaps it is better suited to a Camp session.

With it being NaNoWriMo next month, my posting pattern is likely going to change but how often I will post (and how on target I stay) will depend on circumstance and what is happening in life. But I should be okay, I think. Are you ready for NaNo? Tell me about it.

July Camp

 

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Yes, I am planning to take part and thought I had my idea sorted until today when I had a bit of a wobble.

I was settled to write a science fiction story but I’ve read an article in this month’s Writing Magazine about making criminal characters enticing and likeable so the reader will root for them. This got me thinking about the two thieves characters I like to write sometimes. I have spoken about them before on this blog because I used them for my July 2013 Camp novel. After today, I was really tempted to either rewrite or continue with that story.

I am now thinking that maybe I should put the crime story aside completely to work on later. The reason I am taking that route is because I have looked at previous projects and realised I have been a bit adventurous (for me) in the stories I have tried to write. The reason I wrote them was because they were interesting to me despite outside of my comfort zone. I definitely have learnt a lot from doing it and whilst I haven’t been totally successful with them, I have enjoyed writing them.

As mentioned in other posts, I have had problems with writing, partly out of writers block, as of late since the last session. I just haven’t had a clue what to write. I have had the science fiction idea, revolving around robotics engineers, for a couple of weeks and it’s based on a really old fan fiction about Robot Wars (called Battlebots in the USA). The idea excites me and I want to write it in a new form, especially as I feel I have improved as a writer and matured as a person to really write it. I was a kid writing about adults.

I know a partial issue with it is lack of planning due to not even knowing exactly what’s going to happen in it in its new form and setting. A lack of knowledge of the genre does not help because I am not a big sci-fi reader or watcher aside from Doctor Who, The Big Bang Theory and some Marvel and DC films and TV shows. I do however follow tech and science news because I have an interested so that may help. I have some idea of what’s going to happen from doing some character planning already and from looking at what I had previously written for some idea of the plot but still, there is this big hole in the story I feel from just not knowing what’s going on.

The story feels right though and I feel I need to pursue it to whatever end next month during Camp.

Are you taking part this session? Has anyone else had a wobble on their story idea? Are you fully planned or like me, probably know just enough to at least start? Feel free to comment.

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 15

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Day 15 has made me step back and think carefully about my word count. Mainly due to an article on the Camp front page:  The Camp Guide to Persevering.

I have not been hitting the daily wc for writing 50,000 words as I have noted a few times on here, what with life and generally struggling to write certain sections. I read the linked article and it has made me step back and consider lowering my goal. I’m not sure what to but I am thinking maybe 30 or 35 thousand. Considering the story, I think 30 might be a tad short whilst 35 could be just perfect…maybe…

I will be changing my wc on the website and since I can change it right up until the 24th July, I could still change it back up to 50K. We will see.

Word Count: 21,675 words

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Since Camp starts a week today, I figured I would post about it, explain what it is for anyone not familiar with it and talk about my personal experiences with the events.

Camp NaNoWriMo, for the uninitiated, is the summer version of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. Consisting of two sessions every year since 2011, the aim is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Since it started, the sessions have moved often.

In 2011, the first ever Camp started. The sessions that year were July then August back to back. Some people, including myself, did both sessions. I decided to do the event because I had heard about it before whilst in high school and college (that’s UK college, 16-18) but had been too intimidated. After finishing my first year of my writing degree, I decided to give it a go, feeling more confident and wanting to test my skills and see how far I had come.

I finished July with 50,067. Not bad considering I missed a few days near the end of the month to attend a few local events, including the Great Yorkshire Show. However, I failed August due to various reasons. I felt a lack of planning as well as the turn around being a but too quick contributed greatly. I also had a voluntary job with my local libraries service and couldn’t quite juggle the demands of writing 50K words for the second month going on top of working.

OLL quickly decided that back to back events were probably not the right way to go about it, especially when people around the world in various time zones struggled with validating for July in some parts whilst a new session was starting in other areas of the world.

The following year, 2012, the sessions were June and August. This worked out better and it provided a break for the staff at OLL to sort out the website whilst participants around the world could validate without issues due to time zones, set up their novels and prepare for the next session much easier with a months break.

Again, I did both sessions. I finished June with a respectable total of 50,003 words, having continued the novel I had started in July. Another years study (and planning over the year) seemed to have helped. Whereas I managed to do 3 years worth of story time in 50,067, I only managed 3 months in a similar amount. I took this as a sign that I had improved as writer and I had learned more. Also, trying to avoid the Olympics and having cut down my hours at the library did help and encouraged me to get writing done.

I spent July reading No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty (Review here: https://sleepybookdragon.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/book-review-no-plot-no-problem-a-low-stress-high-velocity-guide-to-writing-a-novel-in-30-days-by-chris-baty/) and planning for August. I had been buoyed by my success in June and decided to go back to the story I had attempted for August the previous year and failed. Planning was essential as the story took place in Winchester, Virginia so, as a Brit who had never gone to the States, I had to talk to some of my friends who lived in Virginia to help me figure out various issues, including immigration.

The planning proved a little too thorough as I had to find 5,000 more words to hit 50,000 words before midnight on August 31st. Still, it was an enjoyable experience and gave me an insight into how I could do the various little bits of research required whilst still writing. I would say it was a learning experience which would help in the next academic year.

This year, 2013, OLL changed the sessions again to April and July. This was probably done to account for the fact that they had wound up Script Frenzy due to declining participation numbers. This is supported by the fact that this year, OLL have created a genre for scripts this year of all kind. short story collections as well as being able to officially rebel (working or editing a pre-existing project) and allows participants to create their own word count goals.

I was not initially going to do April since I was working on my dissertation for university which was due in a couple of days prior to the session starting and preparing and researching for the last two essays I needed to do which had high word counts to match the high level of research required. However, I felt I needed a little something else to do as just a private creative venture as a de-stress. So I set myself a 10,000 word target using the new word count feature, figuring that if I failed to hit it, I failed. I wasn’t exactly trying.

As luck would have it, I did manage, somehow, to do the 10K and get my university work done. It was fun and a nice little distraction for me, especially as I wasn’t trying.

The next session, starting on Monday, 1st July 2013, at 00:00:01 will be the sixth since it’s inception and only the second to include the new content. Whilst the changes are great fun and I can understand why there was a session in April, I feel there was too much of a gap between April and July and it has made some participants, like myself, a bit restless and fed up of waiting for a new session. This is possibly the only thing I would recommend to OLL to change for next year.

So there you have it. The history of both the Camp NaNoWriMo event and my own history.

I am looking forward to this next session, hoping to edit and double the size of my dissertation (which was a novella) and I am aiming to finish on July 25th, when Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch comes out. This also means that I may neglect this blog a little, unless I put my word counts up everyday as a way of motivating me. We’ll see but for now, I need to finish writing my new outline… I’ve been meaning to do it since end of May!