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!

Advertisements

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

Saturdays at Camp NaNoWriMo Rock

SnoopyWS_campingIt’s April 15th and for most people–including myself–that usually means you’d better have your taxes done or an extension filed. (Thank goodness for tax deadline hitting on the weekend because between you and me, I haven’t located all my documents yet and I need the extra couple of days.) This year though, it more importantly means we’ve hit the halfway point of Camp NaNoWriMo.

In between the usual camp activities this past week, I did find time to write during my lunch break and clocked in at least a day’s worth of word count. With the holiday, we had a free day yesterday for Good Friday, and Mom came to visit me at camp and I took her with me to my extra day of ceramics. If you’re in need of a writing break, you can check out the pics I’ve posted of the finished pieces Mom and I have done during the last three years over on Flickr. You have to promise you’ll get right back to work afterward though; I don’t want to be responsible for you missing your word counts! =]

This past Thursday I hit another milestone–I finished Heroic Journey Step 9 and also the third to last page of my outline. It felt pretty good to hit that minor step, considering I’ve been working on this thing for quite a while now. Every day I’m that much closer to the Big Event that is my book’s climax, and it’s exciting to see if it will go as planned (a.k.a. follow my aforementioned outline) or if something will take the story off on a tangent. I’m hoping my characters will stick to the script, because frankly I need them to tell me if I think how this thing is going to end is how it’s really going to turn out. I have quite a list of possible choices I can choose from, and I have one that’s pulling ahead of the rest of the pack. Still, I think it’s going to take Reese and Rowena to tell me how they want their story to end. Fortunately, I’m 10,000 words closer, all because of Camp.

I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see, huh?

Camp Stats

Days written: 9
Daily word count/goal: 1,542/500
Word count to date/target: 10,667/15,000

‘Twas a misty, rainy day at Camp NaNoWriMo

Well, I don’t know about you folks, but the last couple of days here at camp have been rainy and drizzly and down right overcast. Not the most conducive weather for writing if you ask me. Fortunately, I persevered both yesterday and today and got some serious word count in.

On Monday, my original lunch plans were to take a break and play some Magic: The Gathering with my non-writing friend (for the sake of camp, let’s call him a counselor) were thwarted by his new schedule, so that actually freed me up to sneak in my daily word count goal. I didn’t have any plans for lunch today either, M being busy with a visit by her hubby, but didn’t relish spending another day trapped alone in my cabin at my desk. So I headed out into the sprinkles, got myself some food and took a moment for myself and headed back to the cabin. I had to tuck my glasses underneath my sleeve and slip my phone in my pocket so they would be safe from the now-drizzle that accompanied me back.

The Fates were also very kind to me in that they gave me a shorter than usual drive to meet M at the cafeteria for another work session, so I had a little time to relax before diving back into my story. As happens sometimes, I got to a good stopping point but I was just THAT MUCH shy of not only another 500 increment but another 1,000 mark that would also allow me to color in another of the 15 books tracking my overall word count goal.

It’s becoming clear to me that having not only a writing plan but also a writing schedule really does work. This bodes very well for the retreat M and I are planning in July, as we’ve already got that all worked out. So stay tuned for more from Camp, and as M’s husband said, “Good writings!”

Camp Stats

Days written: 7
Daily word count/goal: 1,510/500
Word count to date/target: 8,263/15,000

Okay, this Camp thing is kinda fun

Happy MinionsHappy Saturday, my fellow campers! I come to you from another successful writing work session with my BFF. We’ve spent a productive couple of hours in the camp’s cafeteria, and although M finished up her writing before me, I beat her on overall word count. I admit, I’m getting a significant amount of pleasure out of that! On most days, she wallops me on such things, while I am still the Queen of overall project words written.

It’s actually kind of amazing how much I’ve written on this project, and I’m still learning where the story goes. It’s true I’m working from an outline–c’mon folks, I’m a planner extraordinaire–but it always fascinated me to see what ends up on the page from my notes. What might be a sentence fragment in my writer’s notebook often ends up as almost 1,500 words typed into Scrivener. Kind of like tonight.

Anyhoo, I’ll keep this short because a) I’ve got a yummy grilled cheese and fries for dinner that’s calling my name, and b) it’s Saturday night so I think I’ll end the day streaming some Netflix as I relax into my evening.

Happy writing, all!

Camp Stats

Days written: 5
Daily word count/goal: 1,383/500
Word count to date/target: 6,143/15,000

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

Just Another Day at Camp

SnoopyWoodstockCampingHello again, my friends. I’ve emerged from my cabin for another day of writing after having hidden myself away for a couple of days. Sunday was a little more traumatic than expected as I ended up spending time hiding under my bunk bed during the the tornado warning and thread of damaging winds that blew through Austin that morning. Once the threat had passed, I decided an afternoon binge marathon was in order and immersed myself in catching up with the episodes of “The Flash” including the awesome “Duet” that I’ve seen at least four times now since it aired.

Monday was a work day, and a busy one. It ended with the last of my birthday dinners at Maggiano’s (mmm, calamari) and sorting all the lovely new Prismacolor colored pencils I’d gotten as a gift from the parents. My new owl Oliver kept me company, as did Molly.

Fortunately, I’d already planned to meet up with my BFF for a camp writing work session tonight, and I wrote much better than I did on Saturday. I even managed to play catch up and get ahead of the game. You know, it’s so much easier to have a word count goal of 500 words a day instead of the 1,667 in November. It’s also so easy to get ahead that I’ll have to be careful that I don’t slack of in the interim.

Here’s hoping I’ll keep my momentum going into tomorrow, even if I’m likely to get distracted for the rest of the evening with my pretty new colored pencils. ;]

Camp Stats

Days written: 2
Daily word count goal: 500
Word count to date: 2, 575/15,000