I signed up for camp again yesterday. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Nanowrimo, this camp isn’t what you may think. It’s my second visit to Camp Nanowrimo and I have big plans for this July.
So now the back story, I originally stumbled upon Nanowrimo almost a year ago. I thought it was strictly a November thing. At that time I signed up to challenge myself mainly. You see I’m not lacking in ideas, its mainly an issue with generating the time in my life to sit down and write. So I poked around the Nanowrimo site last August and got a feel for the kind of dedication it would take to tackle a feet like that.
50,000 words in 30 days or less. That’s the challenge. And that is a deadline that I had never worked with. I planned and outlined and even drew up some story boards of some of the scenes in my novel Nowhere.
You see I have this gift or curse, whichever you want to call it, in which I can clearly imagine my books as movies. I could even tell you camera angles and lens effects in some of them, but I find it difficult in taking these scenes and actually describing what I see in words. Often times it becomes the first brick in a wall which crashes my writing momentum. If I get hung on a word, I stop and dwell on it sometimes even for days.
So planning was key in my first Nanowrimo. The second big thing a definite key ingredient was freedom. I decided that I would clear my head for awhile of all the other characters and books that I often toggle between and focus only on Richard, Steven, Dr. Hays and the events in Nowhere. I would also give these events and characters the freedom to flow from my mind and onto the computer screen in whatever order they came naturally. I didn’t want to force myself to write anything specific. Essentially if I was writing, anything was ok as long as it was material for this one book.
So then November came around and it raced by like lightning. I had one steady week of writing just about every day. I got behind though. I had probably three days that I topped at least 6,000 words that day, and then I had one day that I hit 8,400 words or so. Then before I knew it, the month was over and I was staring at my first completed novel of just over 50K words.
It didn’t take long before I realized that I was writing more, stopping less and working faster. I can now write about 800 words consistently plus eat on my lunch break each day at work. Even though this blog is not one of my novels, I’m about to cross the 500 word mark and I’m like woohoo! go me! even though it doesn’t get me closer to another novel.
The magic thing is, is that the blog and the lunch break sprints are really just conditioning. You see, I’m about to go back to camp and I’m going to rock it! I completed Camp Nanowrimo in April of this year and wrote the majority of a short story anthology that I’d had looming on my brain for awhile. I set the pace on that one at 40,000 words in 30 days. This time though, I think I’m going to shoot for the 50K mark once more.
I’m going to try to play it up here too. I’ll have a cover reveal for my new novel that I’ll be trying to write in the month of July. I’ll give weekly updates too, so stay tuned.
Finally if you’ve been writing, but you can’t seem to make the cheese stick to the bread and melt into the sandwich, then maybe Nanowrimo is for you. It’s a challenge for sure and it will be difficult, but rewarding. Maybe you have this loose plot rolling around up there. Please, I encourage you to jot it down, and use the last few days in June to form an outline. Then in July do everything you can to turn that idea into a great book. If you don’t happen to finish your project at Camp Nanowrimo, that’s ok, Nanowrimo is just around the corner.
Good luck to you always,