Letters from Camp NaNoWriMo — July 19, 2013

After my last post bemoaning the fact that my word count goal wasn’t anywhere near where I wanted it to be, and complaining about stray plot bunnies, I got an email from my friend Stevie (who is going to do a guest post here someday).  She basically gave me hell – in a very nice way.

So, here it is (with her permission), because it’s an awesome primer for what NaNoWriMo is all about:

Also remember that in NaNo, the purpose is word count. Bad word count. Irrelevant word count. Crazy word count. Random porn scene word count. Working a freaking trebuchet into the story for godssakes!

I know that you like to hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else, and you like to do double the word count, two books in one month, complete coherent drafts, all that insanity. But if you get to the end of the month and you have 50,000 words, of some kind, in some document that will one day, after lots of editing and revision and re-thinking and uppity characters not doing what they’re told, be a novel…then you’ve succeeded.

You have a scene for a sci fi story? Good. Write it. Right in the middle of this manuscript. And cut it out later and put it where it belongs. Write it all in brackets if you have to. It’s still word count, it’s still fiction, it’s still progress towards your goal.

There is no shame in being “on par” with the NaNo word count right now. Consider how many people aren’t there…not just those who are attempting NaNo and are behind word count, but those who don’t even attempt it at all. Or, as they like to say about running–“No matter how slowly you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.”

She also said that she hoped that this time I’d take her words to heart. (She knows me too well! LOL)

Later that day I checked for an update on one of my favorite webcomics, and this was that day’s post:


Yeah… some days you just need a win.

Or a reminder that a win isn’t always what it looks like.

And now back to our regularly scheduled update on Book 8 of the Academy of the Accord series.

So, what kind of progress was there?
Well, the good news is that I hit 30k a day ahead of schedule.  The bad news is that I don’t know if I’ll hit 35k today or not. It’s so blasted hot I can’t breathe, let alone think.  I may just pack up my laptop and head for the library for part of the day, except that means getting dressed and it’s too hot for real clothes.

(Speaking of the library, I am now officially a volunteer at the Ford City library:  I adopted the writers’ resources shelves.  This is going to be fun!)

What’s happening in the book?
Well, Draethlen and Terhesh are both conscious now.  It took longer than expected to get to that point, which isn’t a bad thing.  I always worry about running out of plot points before I hit 50k, and while I could take Stevie’s advice and plunk my sci-fi story (or another brand new shiny plot bunny that hopped into my mind yesterday morning) into the middle of this novel, well, I prefer not to.  Yes, NaNo is 50,000 words of creative insanity (or insane creativity) but I would just confuse myself more, and I’m already hacking stuff out of books in this series to rearrange it into other books.  Besides, I like the challenge of making it just one novel that will more or less make sense – after a lot of gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair and wearing of sackcloth and ashes.

(Um, not that I hate editing, or anything…Whatever gave you that idea?)

So,what’s next?

Yhon and Bry come home today – I hope.

Then comes some stuff that is going to be tough to write.  No, it’s nothing emotionally heavy – I  just need to show the characters becoming close friends, and Terhesh finally accepting their friendship, and I’m really not sure how to go about it, so it’s going to be an interesting experience.  And I’m not quite sure yet, but his final acceptance of them might have to wait until after the final scene.  It’s going to be a matter of writing it and seeing how it plays out on paper.  Er, in pixels.  Or whatever.

I do need him to resolve his trust issues by the end of this book, though, as I have them all working together as a close, cohesive unit when the next book starts.

(Gotta love writing a series out of order!)

Speaking of writing – I’d best get to it.  See you on Sunday for a snippet!


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