I’ve been considering whether to do Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I’m working on the second draft of the sequel to If Wishes Were Spaceships, and though Camp didn’t work out quite like I expected when I was redrafting last year, I thought that perhaps a semi-random cabin might work. But, no, I’ve decided not to do it. NaNo can be useful, but you’ve got to know yourself and your project, and use NaNo only when it’s a good fit. Right now it wouldn’t be a good fit. I have a sufficient amount of new words that I need to write to meet their minimum, but although I need “more”, I don’t need “faster”. Sometimes I’m annoyed that I’m not further along in getting this draft ready for beta readers, but I really do not need to be working fast; at this point I need to be writing well. Fast is what gave me this rough sloppy draft. Slow is what turns a rough draft into a real book manuscript. The story is complete in the sense that it goes all the way to the end, but it’s patchy with a lot of rough edges. In this draft I’m back-filling scenes and things that I left out, and carefully stitching the details together. Also, I’m cutting as well as writing. That doesn’t play well with hitting a word count goal. Camp has a formula for counting editing, but using it feels like cheating (see last year’s post-Camp post on my author blog). Right now, for this draft, writing fast with a word count goal is not the right thing to do. The NaNo thing is the exact opposite of what I need to be doing, and of what I am doing. It tempted me because I want to be finished with this draft so I can go back to my other project. But I don’t need the pressure of “fast”; I’m making good, steady, progress — and it’s possible that I’ll finish the draft by the end of April anyway, without any unnecessary pressure. (Especially since last year I actually worked less than when I wasn’t doing Camp!) Re-writing is less fun than writing; adding the pressure of word count and deadline would suck even more fun out of the process. I do think that Camp would be fun for the right project and the right time. This isn’t it. It’s important to evaluate projects, and your needs for a project, to match things up so that your working experience synchs with your needs for each project at each point in the project.
I’ve written a Post-Camp NaNo wrap-up on how it went. Thoughts on the experience and process. This was my first Camp and it was a very different sort of experience than regular NaNoWriMo. I won, but nothing was quite like I expected. Since this is a micro-blog, the longer post is on my author blog. I also have a new recipe on The Usual Suspects group food blog: Hazelnut Date Scones. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Today I cracked the 10 K mark for additional words in the book I’m editing and rewriting. I’ve passed the modest Camp goal I set, but it’s not over yet! I’ve still got two more chapters to rewrite, and there’s a couple of weeks left to Camp. After validating my word count, I’ll continue revisions. The new scenes need to be rewritten and tightened up. At this point, however, I don’t see any substantial probs. Should be ready for beta readers in May! 😀 I’ll eventually do a longer post about Camp on my author blog. (And this blog will continue to be an author’s microblog miscellany!)
Yesterday I passed the halfway mark: both the halfway point in revising and editing the book, and my word count goal for Camp NaNo! I’m at 5898 words as I sit down to work on the second half of the book today. I’m still in the lead for my cabin, too. Yesterday was my biggest word count day with over 1200 words. It’s so weird: that was a big day for Camp and revising, but it would be a bad day for regular NaNo. I’ve never paid any attention to daily word count when I’m revising before so looking at numbers as I’m doing this feels really odd. But good. Yes, good.
I am — very briefly — in the lead on the word count for people in my cabin with 3857 words. That’s less than a thousand words a day. I’m stunned at how few actual new words I’m writing as I revise the book. Part of it is the revision process, but part of it is that I’m doing less because I have a lower goal than regular NaNo. Still, I’m over a third of the way to my goal and it’s only Day 4. My only concern is whether I will actually need to add 10 K words to the book. I’m expanding some scenes that were originally very thinly written and I’m also adding some scenes that I realize I need, but it’s hard to gauge how many more words revising and editing will produce.
Because writing is solitary and not something most people can identify with, here’s a pic I took today of my dogs…and also some tea. 🙂 A picture’s worth a thousand words, as the saying goes…hey, can I add these to my word count??!! 😉
Today is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo. My fellow campers and I are bunked into my private cyber-cabin, which has all the comforts of home…because it is home! The imaginary woods surround us and draws us into our fictional adventures. Tonight we’ll sing songs of other worlds around a campfire, tell tales of danger and heroism, scary stories of weird things, or characters we love, and then we’ll dream of the things we will write tomorrow!
I’ll be posting little whimsical updates here periodically throughout the month, much like I did during NaNo last fall. I’m editing, revising, and expanding that draft for Camp this month.