Thursday, July 3, 2014

{Day 1+2 Update} From Pantser to Plotter: Camp NaNoWriMo July 2014

Why hello all my lovely friends from the internet. Nope, that didn't sound creepy AT all. Anyways, I am here to tell you something, I have some very grave news to share. I'm participating in Camp NaNoWriMo! *throws confetti* 

If you follow me on twitter -which is definitely a good idea if you want to keep updated on everything (@sslluvsbooks)- you will know this for sure because I have not stopped for a single moment using the hashtag (#CampNaNoWriMo). I have been doing word sprints, interacting with all of you guys, and having the time of my life. 

Yup!! *gives thumbs up* That's me :)
Of course, this is the "honeymoon phase" [credit to @kat_tastic of Katytastic on BookTube] of Camp NaNoWriMo because it is still early in the month, and I am not regretting the decision to participate in Camp, nor am I hating my novel. But don't worry, there are still 29 more days left for me to do both of those (annoyingly necessary) things, and once I complete them, I will be a full initiate into your sacred NaNoWriMo circle. 

The 411 of How This *gestures toward post* is Going to Go: For the duration of July, I will be sporadically updating y'all on my progress, trials, and triumphs of Camp NaNoWriMo because (let's be honest) I have a hard time committing to things, and for some reason, telling my intentions to people on the internet somehow makes me think I will actually do those things I commit to. I am going to be at sleep away camp -what am I? Nine for saying "sleep away camp"- for seven days, and I do have a few social commitments during July which is why I am not promising an update post every single day. When I do update, updates will be up on the blog at 9:00 PST because I am presuming most updates will be like this -written past midnight- for the day before. Nevertheless, I hope to keep you posted on all of my adventures during this month.

Day One ~ The Evolution of a Pantser: So everybody knows that for Camp NaNoWriMo, I am turning my novella Fortitude unto a full 50,000 word novel. At least *whispers* that's the plan. Because we all know if I tried to go into this thing without some idea of what I was doing, I would spend half the month trying to decide what I was going to write about. I had planned to (oh, those famous words) to outline how the full-length novel was going to go BEFORE I started Camp. That, to no one's surprise, didn't happen. 

This is What DID Happen: I started writing at midnight like a good little NaNo-er. And that's all I'm going to say. *seals lips* What I wrote in those two 20 minute word sprints.... *gets woozy thinking about it* was absolute (excuse my language) crap. I know NaNoWriMo is all about getting a first draft done, no matter how messy. Yet, I couldn't even call those thousand or so words.... words. They were SO bad and went into the slush pile immediately. 

Fast-Forward Around 14 Hours to 16:00 PST: I decided to do something that Sofia has NEVER done before. I began to outline. The old Sofia cringes at what the new Sofia just wrote. It's not as if I didn't think outlines were necessary. I just thought they didn't "work" for me. I had always been a "let the story be free and figure out for itself (because it's totally an animate conscious being) what it wants to be" kind of person. Translation = I was always too freaking lazy to write one. But, I knew that if I wanted to have a novel by the end of July, I needed to dedicate some time to figuring out what the heck was going to happen. 

Pause For Back-Story: I didn't want to be like Marie Lu (This is the ONLY time I will ever say this) -if you're reading this Marie Lu (you're totally not) please don't be offended, the Legend Trilogy is one of my all-time favorite YA dystopians- and have to rewrite the entire half of my first draft. Of course, I will probably do the equivalent anyway in revisions, but Marie Lu had to literally think of ALL new things for her second draft, and I just didn't want to do that.

Resume So Point Can be Made: So I outlined. I'm not saying I know what will happen on page 106 of chapter 21 (totally random numbers by the way), but I at least know what will happen around chapter 21 now. I kind of used the Three Act structure, and then proceeded to totally butcher do my own thing -*takes of dark sunglasses* because I'm just such a rebel- with it by making Act Two take up around 75% of the story instead of 33%. Anyway, at least I know what events happen in each block of the story and how the hell Fortitude is going to end, which is 100x better than what I had had less than 14 hours earlier. Of course, none of this would have been possible with @kat_tastic of Katytastic on BookTube who has made some AMAZING -seriously like asdfghjkl level- videos on writing, outlining, characters, structure, revisions, and SO much more that will be a lifesaving resource if you are trying to write a novel.

My Word Count For the Day: I ended up making the painful decision to NOT count the slush I had written at the beginning of Day One of Camp, even though it made me behind on my WC goal. It was only by a little, and made me feel so much better that I had a quality mess of words (as opposed to an insane mess of words) when I clocked in at 1502.

Day Two ~ This Girl is On Fire: I'm going to start Day Two's update by asking - What is your definition of a "fast" writer? I discovered on Day One that I have the ability to write fast, but choose not to on most occasions because if I spend the extra 30 seconds, I can get a lot more quality words on paper. Yet, I completed (we won't be discussing the one I did not complete aka. "Those several times when Sofia's family just HAD to interrupt her") three word sprints against other people. Each time, I thought my pace had been slow, and they would surely beat me. I mean, I even got up to look for something in the middle of my second one, yet when we compared word count, mine were always higher -by a lot, I can add- then theirs. So I would consider this a win day for me, even though actual writing time totaled to only an hour, I managed to surpass my WC goal, not by a lot, but at least enough to get me in the green.

Word Sprint #1: This was a quickie (*smacks forehead* well duh they're supposed to be quick because they're "sprints") 15 minute sprint in the very beginning of the day (around 11:00 PST, which is the beginning considering it is summer time for yours truly) which got me to 312 words. This was the beginning of a chapter, which I guess is why the WC was lower than I expected it to be. I had to figure out a lot of logistics and how things were supposed to go.

Word Sprint #2: This was another quickie only five minutes after WS#1 -I am VERY proud of myself for this- and I wrote 520 words, a lot better than my first. This is the sprint where I got up to go look for something I hand wrote (I didn't find it, in case you were wondering), yet the words kept POURING out of me. I was in the middle of this intense scene between the protagonist writing an angry letter to her teacher (antagonist), and it was awesome, a bit angsty I must admit, but that can all be fixed during revisions.

Word Sprint #3: This was the last (completed) sprint of the day and a double the last two at half an hour. I sprinted with my good friend +Tina Chan and managed to write 796 words. While I was shooting for a higher overall goal, I got a ton of groundwork laid down, and am happy with what the particular scene could be with a little polishing.

My Word Count For the Day: I ended the day with a total of 3,456 words, which I just find really funny because the numbers are all in order. "Thank you self for making footsteps into two words." I am a first time NaNoWriMo-er and to be above my word count goal for the day -even if by only a little- makes me feel very happy and hopeful for the rest of Camp.

Goals For Future Days: I am going to sleep away camp for seven days next week, so my goals for days three to six are lofty. I want to be able to have 15,000 words before I leave for camp. I know this is a very high goal which I probably won't even get close to, but I know I won't be able to write or have access to the computer during camp. I know where the story is going, and because it is divided into semi-unrelated blocks, I know that if I have a lot of good writing days, that I should be able to attain to that lofty goal.

I know this is a long update, and they won't usually be like this (it will probably just be "I'm alive." by week three). but this was my first ever update. No I want to know from you - Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? If so - How are you progressing? What is your Word Count? What is your novel about? If you are not (and even if you are) - Do you like to write? Tell me all of this and more in the comments below or catch me on twitter @sslluvsbooks

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