Tag Archives: NaPoWriMo

Camp Update — Sort Of

Week one of Camp NaNoWriMo is wrapping up and I’m feeling kind of “blah.” Editing for Camp isn’t nearly as much fun as writing for Camp so it’s kind of hard to work up any enthusiasm for it.

(Then again, editing isn’t nearly as much fun as writing even when it’s not for Camp.)

So, anyhow, I still have 150 some pages to enter changes to, and two additional scenes that are written but need to be inserted somewhere. And a ton of notes to work through. (No wonder I’ve been putting this project off!)

And, of course, the increasingly evil day job to contend with. I’m seriously about to beg for a steady night shift there.  I could take my laptop, put my current project on a thumb drive, and edit the heck out of stuff.

But since that’s unlikely to happen (plus, as mentioned before, I have trouble sleeping during daylight hours), it looks like I’m going to have to carry on as is for a while.

So far I’m hanging on with NaPoWriMo, too, thanks largely to my dogs (two poems about them) and the weather. (Spring weather in Pennsylvania is always good for poems – it’s totally unpredictable.) It is still early in the month, though, and subjects get harder to find near the end.

I even managed to enter Siobhan Muir’s Thursday Thread challenge yesterday. (And my first draft was only three words over the limit.)

Now if I could just get something written to submit to the Queer SciFi flash fiction contest with a deadline of the 10th… I’m trying, but I keep coming up empty, or with things that will require way more than 300 words.

I should go back to writing haikus.  They are great for teaching economy of words.

Of course, then I’d have to revert back to being wordy for novels.

Seems I can’t win…

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Camp Plans

I know I said I was going to write about family again today, this time about family that you find (or that finds you) instead of the kind you’re born into, but, well…

The bathtub happened.

Tuesday morning, while having a nice relaxing soak, I suddenly realized “Camp NaNoWriMo starts this Saturday!”  (It’s a sneaky thing, time is.)

Which means, of course, that Friday (today) will be my last blog post before Camp.

So, yeah.

Camp NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and…

… and I still haven’t decided what I’m doing.

I was all set to work on the Elven Bard novel but then I started thinking about using Camp to finish this round of revisions of Onyx Sun instead.  I know I’d like to get the Elven Bard novel’s first draft done this year but I can work on it other months and maybe for next Camp and hopefully finish it before November.

And also on Tuesday morning (man, Tuesday morning sure was a troublemaker!) I had a flash of how to start Soraine’s story… (She’s a minor character in Onyx Sun, but an interesting one, and I want to explore her story – which will also give a lot of information on some background events in Onyx Sun, so…)

Then I started thinking about all of my works in progress and thought maybe I should pick 10 of them and add 5000 words to each one.  Or 5 novels at 10,000 each.  But I really don’t want to commit to 50,000 words this month, not with NaPoWriMo happening too and work being beyond stressful.  (Maybe I’ll try that next Camp.)

So, with less than 12 hours to go before the start of camp, I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to use it for Onyx Sun.

But you know, I still have just over 11 hours to change my mind.

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Camp is Coming

Well, it’s been an interesting week, writing-wise.

I was making pretty good progress on the Elven Bard novel (sequel to Song and Sword) and then…

And then a character showed up that I wasn’t expecting and sort of trashed my scene. I have no idea why she’s there, either, but I know I need to find a way to get that scene back on track – there’s stuff that needs to happen in it that got pushed aside because of her arrival. (I think I just figured out how to fix it.  Work in the other stuff before her presence is announced.)

But anyhow, I kept going to see if I could figure out how her being there was going to play out, and then I realized that the conversation I was writing just plain would not have happened in that setting.

But the conversation is important.  It can work into a sub plot that’s been mentioned (and which will be of more importance in the next book) and it makes use of the above-mentioned character (Inizi, for anyone who is curious) but it has to happen in a different kingdom.  (I hate writing scenes out of order, I really do, but this was an accident.)

So I added a bunch of white space before it and will use it when the characters get to the other kingdom, hopefully some time this month.

Why this month?

Because next month is Camp NaNoWriMo and the cabins are already opening for it.

Yes, I’ll be doing it.  No, I’m not sure if I’m going to commit to 50K for it.  I’ll be doing NaPoWriMo again too, and job stress is really getting to me so I don’t know if I can do 50,000 words of novel, 30 poems, and cope with work.

Anyhow, keeping Camp word count separate from your main Word doc is hard enough without trying to work it in around already existing scenes. And since I do want to work on this during Camp I’d like to get caught up to that scene by the end of the month.

I have a 9k word goal for this month, so we shall see.

Of course, I can always work on something else during Camp. It’s not like I have a scarcity of plot bunnies and started novels. (I think my count currently stands at 40, plus I’m sure I’m missing some.) I’d really like to get the first draft of this book wrapped up this year, though, preferably before November so I can start the next sequel then.

Or I can use Camp to finally complete the current round of revisions to Onyx Sun.  That might be a more productive use of it.  Has anyone ever done that? If so, how do you verify it at the end?

 

 

 

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Crazy Month!

It’s only the fourth and I’m already feeling the insanity.

First, there’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’m already behind in word count. (Not very far behind, and I’m off the next two days so I’ll get caught up and build up a cushion, but still, I’m behind already, which is slightly worrisome.)

Then there’s NaPoWriMo.  The struggle is real, folks. Coming up with topics on demand is somewhat akin to torture.

Add in two weekly blog hops which pretty much guarantee next to no novel writing on weekends.

Plus writing two blog posts a week.  (The Wednesday Words posts and the two Snippets posts are scheduled in advance or else I wouldn’t have any sanity left at all.)

(Er, no comments on that last one, thanks!)

And working full time sure cuts into writing time.

Except it sort of doesn’t.  Sometimes I find that I’m more productive on work days than on days off.   There’s nothing that inspires creativity like having to leave for work.

Still, being home would at least give me the illusion of having time.  Unfortunately, I can’t pay bills with illusionary money.

So, on top of those things, what’s eating at my sanity?

Well, I entered Song and Sword (my first published novel) into a contest, which was a big scary thing to do.  I’ve never had children, but I imagine this is how a parent must feel sending their child off to school and worrying about him or her being bullied.

And then there’s a flash fiction contest that I’m thinking about entering. (Deadline is May 1st.)  It has a 300 word limit, which sounds like it shouldn’t be a problem, but I know from experience with Siobhan’s Thursday Threads entries that it takes me forever to cut enough words to get down to the limit.   And I’m still crazy enough to give serious consideration to the idea of entering.

As soon as I get caught up on word count, write a poem, and finish the blog hops…

Sleep is for wimps.

 

 

 

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April Camp and Poetry

Is anyone doing the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo?  I’m such a total NaNoWriMo addict that as soon as I got the email that the session was open I registered.

For those that are camping, have you decided what you’ll be working on? I’ll be finishing Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord, and if I don’t hit 50,000 words with it I’ll work on something else, probably either Hedge House or Book Two of The Other Mages trilogy.

Have you decided on your word count goal?  Mine will be 50k, as usual.  I should do something sane, like set it at 30k, since I’m also doing NaPoWriMo, but I’ve done both before so see no reason to stop now.  Besides, I’m so excited to be writing instead of editing that I can’t wait to get started!  I’ve even requested the first day of April off from work so I can get a good start on the month.

Now, for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, read on.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, a month long ascent into insanity in which participants are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  It takes place in November, and there are events (prep sessions, write ins, parties) hosted by the Municipal Liaison for each region, pep talks from your ML, pep talks from published authors, and a few hundred thousand other people all involved in the same burst of insanity and creativity.  It’s a wild rush and totally addictive.

Camp NaNoWriMo is pretty much the same, except the MLs don’t usually do write ins and such. In addition, for Camp you get to set your own word count goal. And instead of being in a region, you can sign up for a cabin, which is sort of an online bulletin board where you can leave messages and chat with your cabin mates.  You can opt not to be in one, of course, but I’ve met some really great people through the cabins.  (I’ve also been in cabins that are total “duds” — no one is posting and no one is writing.)  You can request to be assigned to a random cabin, or you can choose to be assigned according to various criteria: age group, genre, or similar word-count goals.  If you know others who are participating you can also opt to create a private cabin for you and your friends.

NaPoWriMo is National Poetry Writing Month.  Based on but not affiliated with NaNoWriMo, it is a challenge to write 30 poems in 30 days.  (It is in April to run in conjunction with National Poetry Month.)  A lot of participants post their poems to a blog, and I’m no exception.  Craptastic Poetry only gets used in April, so it’s about time for me to go clear the cobwebs and get it ready to go.

(I should probably mention that both NaNo and NaPo are actually international, not just national.)

Oh, and just for the record, I find the 50,000 words easier than the 30 poems.

 

 

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Re-Railing

My writing and editing goals (along with others) seem to have gotten derailed.

Badly derailed.

But I’m trying to get back on track and moving again.

I have so much I want to do this year that it’s kind of overwhelming, so I’m going to try to focus on smaller pictures rather than the big one.

The big one, of course, is to get The Academy of the Accord edited, beta read, and revised so that I can start releasing the books in January of 2017.

That’s a lot and it’s overwhelming to think about, so I’m focusing on smaller goals.

Like getting the changes to Book 1 entered into Word so I can send it to my patiently nagging beta reader before the end of this month.  I have roughly 150 pages to go to finish it and then a quick once-over and then off to Danielle. I figure if I can do ten pages a day on work days and more on my days off I should be able to get it to her before the 31st.

Then it will be on to entering the changes to Book 2 while I finish the first round paper edits of Book 3. (I’m roughly a third of the way through it.)

And so on.

April is Camp NaNoWriMo (yes, I am thinking that far ahead) so I need to have as much done as possible before then because everything else will get put on hold for it and NaPoWriMo.

And again in July for the second Camp Session and then in November for the regular NaNoWrimo.

And somewhere in there I need to finish the revisions for Onyx Sun and get it released. And finish Hedge House.  And Book Two of The Other Mages.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, which is how I got derailed in the first place.  I need to focus on just one thing right now.  Well, three things.  Finishing the changes to Book One, finishing the first round edits of Book Three, and finishing the first draft of Book Six.  Then I’ll think about the next steps.

 

 

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Facing Failure

I am 9000 words behind where I should be – 11,000 by the time midnight hits, as I doubt I’ll get a thousand words written before I have to go to work today.   And even though I am off the next three days, I am beginning to doubt my ability to reach my goal, which means that for the first time since I started I may not “win” a NaNoWriMo event.

Oh, sure, nothing bad is going to happen if I don’t win.  The sky isn’t going to fall, no one is going to die, and civilization will not collapse.  I will lose my bragging rights, that’s all.

I’m trying to figure out what is going wrong this month, what has made it different than other NaNoWriMos.

It certainly can’t be worse than the first year of C amp when I did two 50k novels back to back.

And it definitely isn’t as bad as the year that I was working full time, going to school part time (in two different directions) and ML’ing for the first time and still (because I couldn’t decide what to write) wrote two 50k novels in one month.  (And in addition, that November started with a battle between my hot water tank and the carpeted basement floor on the first.)

All I can come up with is a combination of my job (part time but very draining) and the pinched sciatic nerve that made sitting for more than half an hour at a time impossible.  (Not to mention time lost for chiropractor appointments.)  And NaPoWriMo, but I’ve done Camp and the poetry challenge before and won.  (I’ve done two Camps and a November with this job, too.)

Burning out?  Maybe.  The 1K-a-Day challenge is starting to wear on me a bit (although it should seem like a downhill ride after this month) and I really want to start editing.

All I know for sure is I’ll be 11k behind by midnight, and staring at the possibility of defeat.

And, like the writer that I am, I am filing away how that feels for future use.

And like the writer that I am, I am not going to quit trying until midnight on the 30th.

 

 

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Math and Words

Okay, so I am 8000 words behind where I should be, and I’ve become somewhat obsessed by mathematics lately.

I’m kind of like that FaceBook meme about insomnia, where you spend the night calculating how much sleep you would get if you fell asleep right that minute.

I’m 8k behind now.  If I get another 5k written today I’ll only be 3k behind, but I’m working the next 3 days and at 2k words per day that puts me 9k behind by Monday night and 11k behind by Tuesday after midnight, but I can usually get at least 1000 words written on work days so that leaves me at 8k behind on Tuesday…

(Yeah.  It’s confusing.  I made myself a chart to keep track.)

And then I check my math looking for loopholes.

And when I can’t find any I panic.

And I only have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and then the month will be over…

But if I write 5k on Tuesday I’ll be 5k behind on Wednesday and if I do 5k then I’ll be caught up and will only need 2k on Thursday…

Next month’s 1K-a-Day is going to look like a walk in the park.

And you know what the really sad thing is?  Next Camp I’ll be doing the 2k a Day challenge again.   And again in November.

I tell myself that it will be easier when I’m not also doing a poem a day.

It’s either that or I have to believe that I’m a masochist.

 

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Camp Ramblings

Well, I didn’t get caught up.

I did make it to only being 9k behind, but then midnight happened.

I’ve learned a few things though.

1) Pain is not conducive to writing.  Fortunately, a great chiropractor and three days off work have done wonders for that.  Now if I just don’t fall apart during the next four days at work, I’ll be all set.

I hope.

2) Smaller chunks of writing help me a lot.  Instead of focusing on writing a couple thousand words I need to just write in sets of two or three hundred – more if I’m on a roll – and then add it to the main doc and take a break for a couple of minutes to sort through the next bit of dialogue or whatever.

3) I am apparently immune to 5 Hour Energy Drinks.  I wanted to pull an all nighter Wednesday into Thursday, but after a lengthy battle to get the outer seal off of the bottle, and steeling myself to drink the stuff, I got a brief rush and an hour later was ready to crash.

4) I really like detailed outlines and wish I had one and I swear that whatever I write for next camp session will have one.

Actually, I did have one.  Well, I had an outline, at least – not very detailed, but an outline nonetheless.

But that was for book three of the name-challenged trilogy, and I finished it on Wednesday.  (Yay!  Now it gets to sit for a while before I start editing.)

And that brings me to a summary of progress made.

The nameless trilogy is done, although I am still going to write the alternate version of book one.

When I finished the trilogy, I gave myself a break from novels by writing a short side story for The Academy of the Accord series. It’s really rough and needs work, but it was a fun little diversion.

Then I skim read what I had written for Book Two of  The Other Mages trilogy and couldn’t believe how much I’d forgotten.  I’m currently working on it and it’s flowing pretty well, considering that there is no outline to speak of.

This is what is currently passing for my outline for the rest of this book. I’m not even sure what I was thinking when I wrote some of it. (The part in italics is actually an excerpt from the current version of Book Three and I have no idea why I put it in this outline.)

 

OUTLINE

  1. Journey to Besembe

          — Go to see Marnetta’s tower. [WHY?]  It turns out to be the one that Katheri knew as Kelennor’s.  [WHAT HAPPENED TO MARNETTA?]

[ALSO, NEED TIME LINE AND AGES.]

          — Undines?

 

III. Besembe

Aithen and Zari not there.
Luthen is.
Sidden is.
Kaeriya is.
Enisha is.  Recognizes Katheri.

 

Time there spent:

Learning more about her Gift

Learning about their path

“They’ve all pulled out of Besembe, then,” Katheri said softly.  “There was some talk of it when I was there, but no decision had been reached.”  She frowned. “They must have done it pretty quickly.”

“I cannot imagine Besembe not being there,” Trebor murmured.

“I know,” Zaren said.  “I was only there this once, and then just briefly and there weren’t any others there, but still, it… It’s home.”

Katheri nodded.  “I got the sense that there were fewer people there than normal when I was there.  And the ones that were there — they were still discussing the best course of action.”

Final test

Initiation

Role of a Priestess (Priestess training)

[STILL NEED INITIATION AND ROLE OF PRIEST IN BOOK ONE]

Still having trouble accepting her own Power
          — advised that she will grow into it and come to terms with it.

Meeting X can be the catalyst that triggers it?
          — or should that wait until Book Three when she has to defend Zaren?

 

Some of that is no longer even applicable, or will need to be moved and rearranged, and something I totally didn’t plan on happening is going to happen in Besembe which will probably mess with book three.

But book three is already such a mess that I doubt I’ll even notice.

So, there you have it.  One trilogy (that has no name but which was at least written in order) completed.  One very rough draft of a short story.  And book two of another trilogy flowing well and should be finished by the end of the month.

Oh, and I’ve managed to keep up with a poem a day for NaPoWriMo.

Now, if I can just get caught up on word count for Camp.

 

 

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April Camp Update: One Third of the Way Through

I am beginning to think that I have set myself up for failure, setting a goal of 60,000 words plus a poem a day this for this month.

I should be at 20,000 words by the end of the day today.  I am currently at just over 10k.  I might get to 15 by the end of the day – if I can stay focused and keep the pain under control.

(I managed to pinch my sciatic nerve yesterday and there is no such thing as a comfortable position.  I might even have to break down and go to a doctor, except that would require getting dressed and leaving the house, neither of which is on today’s agenda.  I have to work the next three days (then have three days in a row off!) so we’ll see how it goes.)

Meanwhile, the writing is crawling along.

Part of me wants to take a break from my current project and write something different, at least for a few thousand words, but another part of me says to stay with the current project because I am so close to finishing it.  (Well, finishing the first draft, at any rate.)

(And by “something different” I mean “start something new” which I am trying really hard not to do this year as I really want to get some things finished.  But there is this science fiction story that has been around for a few years and it is getting increasingly persistent in its nagging.  Maybe in November…)

So far I am doing well at resisting the siren call of the new project, but I feel my resolve weakening.

“You know you want to,” a seductive voice whispers.  Yes, I do want to. But I also want some finished projects to show for this insane challenge I’ve set myself.

“It will boost your word count,” a rational voice insists.  This voice is harder to deny: working on something new and fresh will breathe life into my creativity, make writing fun again – until that book, too, becomes work.

And then where will I be?
Right where I am now, except buried under yet another unfinished project waiting for me to settle down to work.
No thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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