You smile. Maybe cry a little, either from relief or joy, or maybe both. You don’t scream even though you want to, because it’s 1:00 in the morning and you don’t want your neighbors to think you’re getting murdered.
You tell the only other person who’s crazy enough to be awake at this hour on a Sunday night (Monday morning?).
You export your document and save it to the cloud because your laptop had a near-death experience twenty minutes ago as you were writing the last three lines and you nearly broke down in tears. (Thank goodness for autosave). You don’t want to repeat that.
Camp NaNoWriMo follows the same format, but it’s more flexible. It takes place twice each year, in April and July. Participants are able to choose their own goals, and they’re encouraged to try some “non-traditional” NaNo projects. For example, some writers use this time to edit an existing project, write poetry, or even work on things like a graduate thesis or non-fiction.
So as I was saying, I participated in the July 2020 Camp NaNoWriMo. If you remember my Writer’s Life post from a few months ago, I spent May and June of this year re-working my outline for Project Quest in hopes that I could start working on my third (!) draft in July.
I was able to reach my goal of completing the outline – with the understanding that it could change, of course. For July, I set a goal of writing 25,000 words with the hope that doing so would get me through the first act of the novel.
It’s every college student’s favorite time of the semester, and by favorite I mean that we have a week and a half of classes left before exams and it seems like everything is due all at once.
Anyway, in between working on research papers and rewriting the end of Jane Eyre, I’ve spent the past month starting the rewrite of my fantasy project. The working title for this project is Quest, though I have been playing with some more official ones… but I’ll save them for another day.
I set my goal to write 25,000 words by the end of April, or about 850 words a day, give or take. I knew that wouldn’t complete my story by any stretch, but I wanted to hit the ground running and get off to a good start before life got too busy. Fortunately, I did reach my goal on April 26, which has given me some breathing room to complete my other responsibilities.
Anyway, as part of my big writing push this month, I’ve been sharing my favorite lines on Twitter every day. I did it as a way of motivating me, because sometimes when you write a lot in a short period of time, you get frustrated with the quality of your work. And yes, I know that a lot of what I write will be cut and revised and altered in the future, but I wanted to appreciate the parts that I do like, as a reminder that there is still some good that comes out of this first draft (other than it being written, of course).
So as April is coming to a close, I thought I’d celebrate what I accomplished this month and share a few of those favorite lines here. Most of them don’t have context, but hey, that’s part of the fun!
I’ve got Camp NaNoWriMo on the brain lately, so I’ve decided to do something fun today to share the project I’ll be working on starting next month.
As you may recall, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time in November 2017 with a fantasy project I called “Quest,” mostly because it was inspired by other fantasy quest narratives I enjoy, like The Legend of Zelda series. Even though I completed that 50,000 word draft (and learned a lot from it), I’ve since decided to scrap it and start again from the beginning. Not the beginning beginning – I’ll be keeping the same world, characters, and much of the same ideas, but I’m reworking the plot and making it a better story.
One of my less-explicitly-stated goals for 2019 is to complete a draft of what I hope will be the first book in a series. Since November will probably be a crazy time for me – it’ll be my senior year, after all – I plan to use Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July as my intense writing sessions, but also allow myself to write in between.
All that to say, I recently rediscovered an older blog post of mine called “The Six Question Character Challenge,” where I shared a bit about the three main characters of my “Summertime” project. Since Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner, I thought I’d do it again with the three main characters from Quest! I’ve written posts about them in the past, so I’ll link those as well in the post.
I have a confession to make: I didn’t participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I set it as one of my goals earlier this year, but as November grew closer, I realized that it wasn’t going to work out this year. I had a lot going on in terms of school and my personal life, and adding 50,000 words on top of that looked more like torture than a fun challenge.
When November 1 came and I saw many of my friends announcing their intentions to participate in NaNoWriMo, I couldn’t help feeling a little guilty. After all, I had told myself I would do it, and I’d gone back on that commitment. As the month wore on though, I got over my self-deprecation and realized that I actually enjoyed not being a part of NaNoWriMo this year.
That might sound like heresy to the writing community, but it’s the truth. I’m thankful that Past Maggie made the decision to pass on NaNoWriMo 2018. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good things that can come out of NaNoWriMo – self-discipline, connections with other writers, and a completed draft, to name a few. Those things come with sacrifices, however, and I’m of the mind that sometimes those sacrifices aren’t worth it.
Continuing what I did last week, here’s another character questionnaire! Like I mentioned last week, I was inspired by Miranda Kulig at Miranda Writes to do these questionnaires, so be sure to visit her blog too! She gives awesome writing advice. And don’t forget, you can find all these questions for yourself here.
Today, I’m featuring Spencer Rose, the other main character from my Camp NaNo story, “The Show Must Go On.” Spencer is the newcomer in this story, having just met the band when she finds out they’re looking for a drummer. She fits in with the others pretty easily (well, most of them at least). But enough about that – on to the questions!