Camp NaNoWriMo Returns in July and I’m Bringing Conflict With Me

Hello again, old friends! It’s been a month or so since I made it back from my first successful trip to Camp NaNoWriMo and came home with a winner’s button. Since then, I’ve been alternating between some casual editing on my unfinished Boyfriend Experiment manuscript (aka going through and just removing the “fluff”) and reading up on the craft of writing. I picked up quite a few reference titles during the Austin Book Store Crawl on Independent Bookstore Day, April 29th, and on a shopping spree over Memorial Day weekend. I cracked the cover on my Writers Digest book Writing Monsters, and I’ll definitely get back to it when I return to my other fantasy novel (there’s a really nasty shapeshifter dragon bad guy in that one). The other WD book I picked up, Elements of Fiction Writing – Conflict and Suspense, basically confirmed my suspicion that my current work-in-progress is going to need a bit more of a rewrite than I originally expected.

According to the book, “the stakes in an emotionally satisfying novel have to be death” and “somebody has to be in danger of dying”. That somebody is your main character and s/he’s in jeopardy either physically, professionally, or psychologically. Now, when your MC happens to be an immortal, that makes thing a bit more tricky. Fortunately, Reese believes the cure to his curse is mortal death, so that’s in line with the psychological aspect. Maybe I’m not as far off the tracks as I thought.

Yet when it comes to conflict, I think I can do better by this manuscript. It needs some work on its pacing at the beginning, in order to get things zooming along to the all important middle. We’re on the countdown to the breaking of the curse, and I’m sure Reese can hear the ticking of the clock in the background. Still, unless I bring back the ex we haven’t seen since Reese scared the crap out of him by coming back from the dead, I’m not sure who my late-novel antagonist will be to add those elements of conflict. Well, external conflict anyway. I’m sure my leads will have many things to argue about between now and the start of the eclipse regarding how each believes the curse will end should all go as planned.

In any case, I will keep you guys up-to-date with letters home from Camp in July like I did in April. I’m also excited for my very first homemade writers retreat, which Meagan and I created for ourselves (we even came up with our very own swag!). It will happen smack in the middle of Camp this month, so stay tuned for additional updates from the Texas Hill Country.

You may also want to check out the Curse of Camlann excerpt page between now and July 1. I’ve updated the page with a scene from last session so you can see where our knight and lady have landed.

Here’s to another winner session, a great retreat, and all the words we’re all going to write!

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Camp NaNoWriMo Results

Okay so I realize it’s been over a week since I’ve checked in with you guys, and there’s a perfectly logical explanation for that. You see, after hitting my word count goal of 15,000 at lunch on Friday, April 21st–yay me!–I was all ready to tell you guys about it. But Meagan and I had another writing session scheduled for Tuesday, so I thought I’d wait until then to see what my final final word count would be.

Unfortunately, pain in the form of migraines and back aches had me feeling awful so I had to cancel my meetup with my BFF, and no blogging occurred. Fortunately, I’m feeling a lot better now. In fact, I have officially validated my word count and I am excited to share this with you:

CampWinnerBadge

That is the official winner badge for Camp NaNoWriMo 2017, and I’m very proud of it. Especially since I’ve participated in Camp before but never reached my goal, it’s a nifty little keepsake. I’ll be checking out the store to see what other goodies I can get to celebrate; you know me, gotta have the swag. *grin*

Since it’s still frelling early on Sunday morning (my cat decided I was not about to sleep past 6:55 AM this morning), I’m going to continue to celebrate by binging some more Chuck (I’m on Season 2, disc 4) and just enjoying the rest of my weekend. Stay tuned, however. I’ll be keeping you guys in the know on my upcoming retreat with Meagan and on any further writing adventures between now and then.

Happy writing to you all, and congratulations to everyone who also reached their goals for Camp NaNoWriMo 2017!

Hitting the Home Stretch at Camp NaNo

Snoopy_happycampingHappy Tuesday, my awesome fellow Campers! It’s the second-to-last weekday work session with my BFF, and boy howdy was it a good one. We met in the mess hall as has been our plan these last three weeks, and after a bit of dinner we brought out our laptops and got to work. M was only one page away from her Camp goal of 30 pages written (she’s doing flash fiction, if you remember) and by the end of the night, she’d finished that last lone page and won!

If she wasn’t my honorary sister, I’d totally call her a brat for beating me yet again. Okay, I’ll probably call her a brat for real later on, but I can’t really begrudge her the victory. I myself had a pretty fab writing night! It was one of those days when the words just flowed like mystical waters from my brain to my fingers and onto the Scrivener page. Tonight’s session netted me my largest word count yet (over 2,000 you guys!) and I’m now only 1,657 away from winning myself.

Easy, peasy, y’all.

If you don’t hear from me before next Tuesday’s final work session here at camp, it’s because we’re preempting our usual Saturday work session to spend the weekend back home. You see, I invited myself along to M’s youngest’s birthday party at the bowling lanes, and I plan to have some fun attempting to throw strikes (which will probably ed up being unconverted splits) before getting back to the keyboard for that final sprint to the winner’s circle.

You never know, though… I might get inspired and fit in an extra mini-session at lunch on Friday just to see if I can’t crank out that last little chunk I need. After all, what I’ve go left is less than I usually do in a day during November, so it’s totally doable don’tcha think? I know I sure do!

Camp Stats

Days written: 11
Daily word count/goal: 2,058/500
Word count to date/target: 13,343/15,000

A Successful Day at Camp NaNoWriMo

Hello, Campers! It’s almost the weekend, and I can tell you it’s been a busy week! As I mentioned in my last post, I did pretty well on Tuesday at my writing session with M. Last night I did attempt to write, but I was in my comfy place and the distractions around me proved too hard to resist. So after a measly 148 words, I called it a night and spent the evening streaming Netflix after discovering the wonders of wifi that reaches to all corners of your cabin instead of stopping at the doorway to your bedroom.

Now today was much more satisfying on the writing front. As I didn’t have plans to meet up with friends at lunch, I took the opportunity to write and came in with a respectable 605 words, which is one day’s worth and a little bit. I also decided to avoid the hassle of the traffic crawling by outside my workroom window and stayed at my desk to see if I couldn’t build on my earlier progress. With the help of my novel’s playlist soothing me through my earbuds, I ended with a nice daily total of 2,000+ words. Woo hoo!

For a moment there I thought my word count was a bit higher, but apparently there’s a discrepancy between OneDrive’s Word app word count and Scrivener’s. (Interestingly, the Word app on my laptop matched Scrivener to a word.) I guess I’ll go back to just using my laptop full time rather than fooling around copying things back and forth. Alas, since the latter is the application of record, I took the hit and the lower count. Still, I managed four day’s worth of words in one sitting, and if I keep this up, I”ll surpass my target in no time. =]

I’ve got another work session with M on Saturday, but I also have the chance to write tomorrow as well so stay tuned!

( P.S. M and I have officially booked a cottage for our very own summer writer retreat. I created that nifty milestone countdown you see beneath the Camp one to keep me motivated and to keep you in the know. More to come, I promise! )

Camp Stats

Days written: 4
Daily word count/goal: 2,095/500
Word count to date/target: 4,760/15,000

Hello from Camp NaNoWriMo Day 1

Well, it’s day one of camp and I’m already ahead of the game. I met my BFF for the first of our work sessions today, and after a little catching up to see where I’d left off, I managed to crank out a respectable word count. So I’m calling it a day and heading out to the bonfire to make some ‘Smores with my friends before turning in for the night.

I don’t know if I mentioned what goal I’d set for myself during April. I plan to write 15,000 words (that’s 500/day in case you were wondering), which should be pretty easy to accomplish especially if I’m true to form. (I’m a rather prolific writer once I get going, as this novel’s enormous word count can attest.) Granted, you might think 15k is a rather wimpy word count to work toward, but that’s the whole point. I’m attending Camp this time around not to crank out all kinds of crap, but rather to get me back in the habit of writing again. I also get to color in a book on my bullet journal page’s bookshelf for each 1,000 words I write, and I really want that thing filled up with colorful book spines.

Thankfully I have two really good friends who will be there for me and cheer me on. Heck, I think my BFF is even scouring her house for her pom-poms later tonight so she can keep me motivated. =] I can’t promise I won’t be embarrassed should she whip them out of her backpack and start waving them around, but I can promise to keep going on this novel until it’s FINALLY finished. I even started brainstorming endings last week just in case I got that far.

I have no idea which ending I’ll choose, but at least they’re there written down in black and white should I need them.

Stay tuned for more tales from our cabin at Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ll see you soon!

 

NaNoWriMo 2016 Comes To An End

Well, hello, beauties. I’m going to keep this short and sweet, because the following image says it all:

nnwm2016win

I managed to fit it two writing sessions today, one this morning and one tonight. Sometimes, I found myself doing a little editing (and telling myself out loud to stop it), but I soldiered on. I didn’t stop even when I knew I’d hit the 50,000 goal but finished the scene. That’s when I did my happy Kermit dance, texted Meagan and sent out the tweet.

There’s still work to do on this novel before it’s finished, as I think I’m now about 75% done with it. I’m also hoping some of the habits I started during November will continue on into December and the new year.

So for all of you still plugging along, I wish you speedy fingers and vivid imaginations so that you too can join us in the winners circle!

NaNoWriMo Day 25 – Back in Action

Merlin's Cave, Tintagel
Merlin’s Cave, Tintagel

After time away from the blog, I’m back to let you know I’m THIS close to winning this thing we call National Novel Writing Month. I’ve been writing off and on this week while on my Thanksgiving vacation, all the while navigating my holiday duties. There have been choir rehearsals and games of Scrabble with Mom where words related to the holiday get triple the points. My bestie and I also had two back-to-back writing days, which helped catapult my word count much further that it might have been otherwise.

She’s managed to win already, by the way, while spending a couple of days at her in-laws to boot. So yay for Meagan!

Not to be outdone, I booted up the laptop, got out my lap desk and outline, and got to work. Okay, yes, perhaps I got a little distracted by the movies playing on the free preview weekend premium channels in the background. I still managed to crank out 3,168 words during today’s session, which was more than half of what I had left to write.

So I leave you with an image of Merlin’s Cave where my characters went adventuring today, and words of encouragement for any of you who aren’t quite as far along. Don’t give up! I know I’m not going to, especially when I can see that winner’s circle so close in the distance. Even if you’re a little farther away from reaching that elusive 50,000 mark than I, each and every word you write is one step closer to getting there.

Trust me. Even if you haven’t finished your book, and it’s looking like this will be the third year in a row on this one with “the end” still a ways off, keep writing. We’ll get there I promise!