As it turns out: I love Camp NaNoWriMo. Maybe not as much as I love NaNoWriMo in November, or maybe I love it differently, but I do love it. Camp NaNo reminds me of my early years on the internet, when I hung out on LiveJournal and communicated with my friends in the way we all loved best: through text. We blogged, sure, but we also shared stories there. Fanfiction and original fiction, it didn’t matter, because we were doing the thing we loved, we were writing. I’m still friends with some of those people, and I have the fondest memories of that time in my life.
My cabin for Camp NaNo is a bunch of friends I met through an online writers group. I haven’t met any of them IRL, we’ve only chatted through the group Discord server. But we’re all doing that same thing we love: writing. And we’re all cheering each other on. In that way, it feels a lot like those golden days of LiveJournal.
Unlike years past, when I’ve attempted to write new projects during Camp NaNo, this year I’ve used Camp NaNo to rewite a novel. This year is also the first time I ever won a Camp NaNo. Coincidence? Maybe, but it’s also possible that rewriting/editing during Camp NaNo is a more doable thing for me, and that’s now something I know and can investigate further, so not only did I write a bunch of words, I also learned something about my ever-evolving process. And there’s always NaNoWriMo in November to dump words into a new project.
So far my plan to write during my lunch breaks has worked wonderfully. The task of hitting my daily word count feels so much more manageable when I sit down after work and already have 200-300 words. Right now I’m in the middle of my plot, all kinds of things are happening and I’ve been able to get higher word counts than the bare minimum—which certainly helped when I didn’t write at all on the 4th. I’ll keep doing that as often as I can since I know that my momentum is likely to slow down later in the month, and a buffer will hopefully help me win and let me do it without undue stress.
- Weekly Word Count: 6,248/5,649
- Current Word Count: 6,248/25,000
- Manuscript Total: 43,500/80,000
Looking at that last number right now, I’ve just realized that this draft is now longer than the entire first draft of this book, which was a little over 41k words. That draft had the main plot structure pretty well established—the bones were all there—but didn’t have a lot of descriptions or sub-plots. Or, well, any of those things, really. It was missing all the connective tissue and the organs and the… Ok, I probably don’t need to continue that metaphor; you get it. This manuscript is growing into something that resembles a real book, and I am so incredibly thrilled with my progress on this draft. Go me!
In this coming week, I’m going to continue my lunchtime writing. I’m going to continue to hit word counts as a high as I can to maintain that buffer. I need to update my day-by-day notes for this book (which is to say, I need to update the notes that tell me how many days have passed in this novel so I don’t do anything too weird with time). I also need to make some notes on the Big Things that are about to happen so that I have a better idea of how and when those things happen.
For now, I guess I’m just going to keep writing, writing, writing!
How’s your Camp NaNoWriMo going?