Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018

In hindsight, I recall in my prior 2018 NaNoWriMo post for April how I was confused about it being so early. I still don’t know why there are two, but the more, the merrier! The only things that have changed since April’s camp NaNoWriMo are that instead of being in four classes, I’m now in three for this summer semester, and additionally, I won’t be working on the novel that I have been for the past two NaNoWriMo’s.

To get into my Senior Development class for the winter quarter, we have to submit a portfolio of at least two works during midterms of fall quarter. Fall quarter is when I’m set up for the first half of writing a feature film, and most other people in my graduation year have already taken this awhile ago. So, I have to make up for lost time and write a feature film over the summer, so I have something to graduate with.

Therefore, my July 2018 Camp NaNoWriMo goal is to write 110 pages of a feature script for this action-packed suspense/thriller I’m writing, Double Bind. One assassination goes wrong when the targets have fled the country and have instead placed their estranged daughter in their home. To make matters worse, a different assassin is hired to kill them both. They have to work together to survive this ordeal and find out who’s behind all of this.

I’m already at a full 17 pages in three days, so things are going pretty well. I worry about how I’ll do during the second act, but I’m sure I’ll be able to fix any issues that arise. And in regards to my previous NaNoWriMo novel, I wasn’t able to finish it last month, and I’m not entirely sure when I will, but I’ve got some time in the next few months that I’m sure I can hunker down for the last few chapters. If you’re doing Camp NaNoWriMo, I hope your progress is going smoothly, and if it isn’t, it’s only day four, so don’t lose hope on catching up!

Camp NaNoWriMo 2018 – Results

When I posted my last blog, I was a little over a thousand words behind my planned pace. It was also midterms for me. For the next few days I wrote about a thousand words a day and pulled ahead of schedule to complete my goal on the 29th! (Which you could’ve seen ahead of time if you follow me on twitter. 😉)

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In April, I wrote 21,403 words towards my work in progress novel Obscura. I tried to finish it for NaNoWriMo back in November, but that crashed and burned about halfway through. This time, I was able to come back from the mini-crash halfway. It helped to have a smaller goal where I had to write about 666 words a day instead of 1,666 words per day. I found I was most successful when I made it a part of my routine to write an hour or so before going to bed.

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As happy as I am about meeting my goal, I still have a couple of scenes left to get done. I estimate I’ll have about 10,000 more words before I finish the book. It would set the book at about 60,000 words. While I usually aim for 70-75 thousand words, I already have an idea what I’ll have to edit and also rewrite certain sections. Of course, I’m currently editing my novel What Darkness Does, so I’ll save Obscura for after that.

I hope everyone did well on their goals; even if you didn’t finish, you still have more than you started with!

Camp NaNoWriMo 2018 – Weeks 2-4

There’s a reason this blog is late as well as any updates; I haven’t been able to sit down and write for almost the entire first week! Moving took more energy out of me than I imagined. I was so close to 10,000 words –my halfway point– that I felt that I wouldn’t post an update until I at least reached that goal.

I hit it Wednesday night after four nights of being unable to write. The only other writing I managed to do that week was about a hundred words the day before moving, and about a hundred words the first day of my moving process. I had some time to sit down and focus while waiting for the Comcast guy to arrive and setup my TV and internet.
Immediately following that, when I finally got to getting back on track, I got hit with some sort of upper respiratory infection that has given me a low fever since Friday. I had time to write at that point, but my energy and concentration was focused on being able to breath and stay upright.

I missed last night, since I had to catch up on schoolwork that I didn’t have very much energy to complete over the weekend. Otherwise, I’m at about 14,000 words when I should be at 16,000. I’m not too worried about catching up; the past few days (with the exception of last night) I’ve been writing about 800-1,000 words per night. Now with midterms out of the way, I’m confident that I can catch up and finish on time or maybe even earlier. I look forward to finishing this novel, and finishing this marking period of classes since wow 20 credit hours is doing a toll on me.

I hope everyone else’s Camp NaNoWriMo experiences are going better than mine!

Camp NaNoWriMo 2018 – Week 1

I don’t know how I’m doing it, but I’m managing to keep up to pace with my word goal. In my first week, I wrote 6,061 words, with a goal of 4,662 words if I went to my predetermined pace of 666 words a day. On average, I’ve been writing about 772 words per day. I generally spend around 30-45 minutes each day to focus on writing my novel, which is a lot considering I have a course load of 20 credit hours a week. My time between getting assignments done and packing to move is very sparse, and I expect to be tested in the upcoming week.

In November I was thrown off my groove from some things, but one of the more prominent being finals. Midterms are approaching. However, I only have one formal midterm test to take. I expect that I might slump a little this weekend with my moving situation, but thankfully I’m ahead right now to hopefully deal with that. I have a couple of other things that are popping up — because when else besides when I’m doing a monthly challenge— like applying for more scholarships and for a potential peer tutor job.

When it comes to writing the novel itself, I’ve discovered that I’ve been shifting different scenes back and forth. While they logically are in better order and my plans are rough touchstones, I worry about keeping track of everything that still needs to be paid off. I usually allow flexibility so certain things can arrive naturally while I’m writing, but it still worries me as I move forward. I think that’s my overhanging sense of general anxiety, however, so I will pursue 20,000 words nonetheless!

Camp NaNoWriMo 2018

Remember how in a little blog post back in November I revealed I didn’t actually finish my NaNoWriMo novel? I decided to finish it for Camp NaNoWriMo! I was about 29,000 words in, so my goal is to write about 20,000 more words to reach the original NaNoWriMo goal. Due to a crazy amount of pop up issues and events in November, I hadn’t accounted for them to plan around them. In April, I’ve already planned out all of my assignments and when I’m doing them plus about how much time it’ll take to complete them. I may have an overfilled 20 hours a week course load, but I’m up for the challenge.

What is NaNoWriMo? It’s an acronym for National Novel Writing Month (in November), and also a nonprofit organization. The goal for November is to write at least 50,000 words of a novel. There’s also Camp NaNoWriMo, which is where you can set your own goals; whether it be editing or a different amount of words. It typically takes place sometime near the summer (although it’s a little early this year if you ask me; can’t go “camping” if it’s not summer).

For this, I’ll be continuing a novel I’m working on called Obscura. A major issue I had where I left off of writing was how to get between major plot points. I can’t just go from little events to something catastrophic, so finding the incidents to build up to the climactic scene was what I focused on solving in the past few months. Now that I’ve got almost as many events as I had already written, I feel confident enough to continue.

Despite the fact I have three lecture classes and a studio, so far in the first couple days of writing it hasn’t been too difficult. Although I might be overestimating for the difficulty level from being the second week of classes, I don’t think it should be too difficult to find time to work on this project of my own. Because I want to write about 20,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo, I would need to write about 666 words per day. This takes me about half an hour on average, and so far I’ve been able to accomplish such. Because it’s been only school nights so far, I’ve been holding off until my homework’s done to write. It’s a block of time I’m sure I can devote for the rest of April, however, I can see being mentally overloaded from classes to be a potential issue. I’ve only written Sunday and Monday’s additions, totaling 1,845 words. I look forward to working on this for the next month and coming out with a solid first draft after having fixed the issues I was struggling with before.

NaNoWriMo 2017: Ending Thoughts

I already knew the third week was going to be the toughest. I had my finals, birthday, and traveling arrangements that took up large chunks of my time. I thought I’d be able to write on my birthday, but I was very mistaken. I had devoted three hours to studying for my American Art History exam for my 8am class the following day, and while I wished I was writing, I got a 95 on it so it was well worth it. I was exhausted for the rest of the week between traveling and getting with the groove of things.

I didn’t write from November 15th until November 18th, cutting out the three days I had gone ahead by working hard in the first week that I had been saving for the end of the month. Uh-oh. I was able to write about four hundred words on the eighteenth, and promptly gave up. I couldn’t grab back the energy I had to continue writing the novel, and even though I was just about to get to one of the most exciting parts, I couldn’t pull through.

In other words, I burned out. When I challenged myself in July to finish my book I had been working on, I had written many other short stories and worked on other projects while working on my main one. I also didn’t have school. This time around, I only exclusively worked on the one book, and also my school projects. Once I stopped writing my NaNoWriMo book, I begun writing various other projects and short stories to declutter my brain. It was relaxing, and in hindsight, I could’ve potentially used a twenty minute warm-up before my writing session each day. I feel like that could’ve helped in some aspects.

I’m not sure if I will ever be able to finish NaNoWriMo in November. It’s such a loaded month mixed with exams, traveling, and also my birthday. Of course, I’ll try, try again, but I doubt it’ll be as easy as sitting in a cabin doing only writing for three weeks. This summer I’ll be taking a summer semester at my college (now that I’ve changed my major, I have a tiny bit of catch-up to do) so I’ll be interested to see if I can win with Camp NaNoWriMo.

As for the novel I started in this month, I have left off at 28,562 words. If I can, I’d be interested in finishing it in December or January. I feel like I need a bit of time away from it before I come back ready to finish it. The second act could use a bit more of events to lead to the climax. I doubt it would’ve been 50,000 words in the first place, but I guess we’ll just see when I do finish it!

NaNoWriMo 2017: Week 2

Procrastination is dangerous. So is a Netflix account. I’ve continued my binge watch of Bojack Horseman (now on season 4, episode 3) but ALSO added Lost, where I’m on season 2, episode 14. Whenever I don’t feel committed for a 40 minute episode of Lost, I turn to a 20 minute episode of Bojack Horseman. It’s a terrible cycle of procrastination that has disturbed both my writing schedule and my sleep schedule. I now know when the sun comes up in the morning for the adjusted times from Daylight Savings. Yikes.

Despite those setbacks, in week two I’ve managed to write 13,147 words, for a total of 25,216 words. I wrote more than the first week, although that’s the hope considering it was only 5 days long compared to 7. Being halfway done is a miracle compared to the amount of things I’ve done instead of writing this week, not only via Netflix but from cleaning and the new Sims 4 expansion pack as well. And finals, which are an especially important thing I need to focus on.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to continue at being ahead this week considering my birthday is Wednesday and I have to pick my mom up from the airport, I have my finals due on Thursday, also we’re driving back home on Thursday for 6 hours, and then Friday I have a doctor’s appointment. My hope is that I can continue to keep strong and write in the night at the very least.

Without giving away any kind of spoilers or too many details, I’m excited to delve deeper into the mystery of the story I’m writing. I’m a bit worried I might’ve overestimated the big climax and the following events. I foresee this novel being around 180 pages, which is my general goal besides 50,000 words. Whenever I edit it, I can add as much as I want. I’m continually adding different parts as I’m going, which is a relief.

I’m already halfway through, so I hope I can finish out solid enough! To everyone else working (or procrastinating), good luck!

NaNoWriMo 2017: Week 1

This is my first time participating in National Novel Writing Month, and it’s interesting to say the least. The challenge is to start a fresh, new novel and write at least 50,000 words towards it within the month of November. In order to complete that goal, participants would need to write at least 1,667 words a day. There is a certain culture among recurring NaNoWriMo participants that is incredibly inviting. There’s local write-ins, Facebook groups, and many  advice articles from established writers provided on the website.

I decided for once I would conquer my greatest fear; writing a book that didn’t have any supernatural or sci-fi elements within it. It had to be pure realistic fiction. I live for writing and creating sci-fi monsters and weaving in supernatural elements of horror. This time around, however, I wanted to see if I could devote myself to something that was a bit out of my comfort zone. Quite honestly, real life is just as terrifying as —if not more than— fictional monsters, so I wanted to encompass that within my book. It took days of documentary watching and researching.

So for the first week of NaNoWriMo, I’ve started off ahead. Like I said in my YouTube video, I wanted to supersede the average goal during the first two weeks to prepare myself for when life gets in the way. For the first two and a half weeks I’m still in school, meaning I have a schedule to work with and keep rigid. Once I return home, I know for a fact I’ll get stuck with getting anything done while there’s chaos surrounding me. On the 27th some of our family friends are visiting and we’re going to Disneyworld until the end of November, so I need to finish significantly early.

My first day was great; I got out 3,272 words. It was a Wednesday, which means I didn’t have class. I devoted the whole day to getting into the story and developing the first and second chapters. I found that word sprinting for the rest of it really pushed me to get what I wanted out as I went with the natural flow of things as my brain couldn’t edit continually. There was only one day where I hadn’t gotten at least a hundred words more than my goal, and that was day two, Thursday. I had my 8am class and then had to go to a Savannah Film Fest event for Women Writers of Horror and SciFi. (It was amazing, to say the least.) I only had 1,731 words that day, but I made the minimum so that’s all that mattered. I almost managed to double down on Double Day, but I fell 200 words short of that.

At the end of what I constituted as my first week, I have 12,026 words completed, where the target goal would’ve been 8,335. The hardest part so far has been getting ready to commit for the day. I’ve been binge watching Bojack Horseman and as much as I love the show, I need to stop putting it in front of my writing. On days where I don’t have my 8am the following day, usually I’m up until 2 in the morning writing because I start at 10 or 12. Writing at least 1,667 words usually takes me about an hour and a half to two hours.

I give myself too gracious of breaks in between sprints, where an originally five minute break can turn into fifteen minutes of social media, two episodes of Bojack Horseman, or an hour long conversation with my roommates about childhood nostalgia and how I still cry laughing at a video of my best friend accidentally punting a soccer ball directly into my face and how my head launched back while she frantically runs over —in slow motion, thanks to video editing software— to check if I’m okay and my mom wheezes.

So, to those of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year, good luck going forward! I’m sure we can finish if we focus. Just stay on target so November 30th doesn’t hit you like this soccer ball hit me. The smack into my face echoes still five years later.