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.
A mental image for your consideration: It is 11:36 at night. The room is dim, with the only light coming from out-of-season Christmas lights strung around the perimeter of the ceiling. On the desk is a half-empty bowl of Goldfish crackers and a bottle of strawberry-kiwi flavored water. Someone is sitting at the desk, shoulders hunched over the keyboard in front of her. She types for a few minutes, then snatches a handful of Goldfish crackers absently and stuffs them into her mouth. The typing resumes.
If you could picture that, you probably have a pretty good idea of how I’ve spent several of my nights over the past few weeks. But before I go into the details of what I’ve been working on lately, let’s do a quick recap of everything that’s led up to this point.
A fun fact about me: in my junior (third) year of high school, I was voted the “Best Writer” in our yearbook.
This is less impressive when you consider that it was probably less a comment on the quality of my writing and more on the fact that, as president of the creative writing club, I was just the first person people thought of when they thought of writing.
(Never mind the fact that my high school was relatively small and our yearbook was digitally created with Microsoft Publisher.)
But that aside, yearbook superlatives are fun! So today, as inspired by this post (which I learned about through Wanderer’s Pen), we’re going to discover where my characters might end up in their hypothetical high school yearbook. I decided to come up with my own list of categories, but shout out to those two blogs for giving me the inspiration!
Alright, I know last week I skimmed over my goals for 2020, and that included a handful of writing goals, but I promise this is different! I want to take a closer look at my “Quest” fantasy project and where I want to take it this year. I’ve spent a lot of time planning and plotting over the past month, and I feel like I’m ready to approach this project once again.
With the amount of writing that I’ve been doing over the past year, I probably would’ve murdered a whole forest with the amount of paper I would have used, and that would be a shame. Fortunately, we live in a digital age, and so my projects live on in Scrivener files and Evernote notes, and I can continue looking out my bedroom window at trees.
I don’t say that to sound all proud or anything. Yeah, I did write a lot this year, but if we’re being honest, a lot of that writing was experimental, nothing that actually went anywhere. A lot of it was also writing for this blog, so I’ll leave you to judge the quality of that (don’t tell me, I’d like to live in my ignorance on this one). Oh, and there was a lot of academic writing too, which… well, again, I guess it’s more for my professor to decide whether it was good or not.
All this to say, looking back over the past year, I think my writing and I have had a pretty great 2019! I can see the ways that I’ve grown as a writer, honing my voice and experimenting with new genres. I’ve expanded my influences too by discovering new favorite books, shows, and other stories in a lot of different mediums. In light of it being the end of the year, I wanted to look back through what I’ve done as a writer this year, and look ahead to what 2020 might have in store for me!
To make a long story short, I was on a student leadership retreat last weekend fighting mosquitos, so I didn’t have a chance to write a blog post as usual. Instead, I’m participating in the Language of Worlds linkup, hosted by Liv K. Fisher.
If you’re unfamiliar with the linkup (since I’ve only done it once before), Liv posts 10 questions every two months for bloggers to answer about their writing projects, characters, or writing life in general. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m excited to participate again and talk about my fantasy work in progress, codenamed “Quest.”
Happy May! This is arguably the best month of the year (not that I’m biased or anything… it is my birthday month after all), but April was also a great month! I’m excited to share just a little bit about what I did this month, but first, in case you missed anything I wrote about…
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!
Happy April, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the transition between seasons like I am – we finally started getting some warm weather here in the past few weeks, which is a relief after such a long winter.
I’ll tell you a little more about my month in a moment, but first, here’s what I blogged about this month in case you missed anything!
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.