So, I know I’ve slowed down on the Rendezvous with Rama re-read, but other things have intervened. I am continuing with it, though. Hopefully, the next installment will be posted tomorrow.
But today I thought I would write about Camp Nanowrimo.
Nanowrimo (or National Novel Writing Month) is in November each year. The premise is that you promise to write a 50 000 word novel in a month. That’s it. It’s essentially a huge accountability group. Obviously, it’s not for everyone, but I’ve done it for many years now and find it a great way of getting out a first draft quickly. (It’s also a great way of practising writing first drafts! Mine have certainly improved dramatically over time.)
Camp Nanowrimo is slightly different. It takes place in April and July and participants are sorted into cabins (either randomly or you can set up/join a specific one). Your cabinmates form your direct accountability group. And the content of camp is more flexible. It can be a first draft or editing or a series of stories or anything really. You set your goal in words or hours or lines or pages, depending on what you’re doing.
Anyway. I have, in the past, used Camp Nanowrimo to do editing or write backstory pieces (to insert at a later date) or write short stories. I have had more mixed results than with Nanowrimo, largely because I have found it challenging at times to find a way of measuring my work (particularly when editing) that allows me to set meaningful goals.
This April I’m working on the novel that I began this past November. I have just over 51 000 words and a good framework for the plot, although it is missing depth on the subplots (that’s where most of the additional words will come from).
I’ve been working on developing the subplots and fine-tuning things for the last couple of months, on and off. I’ve been working on a chapter by chapter outline that takes into account what I have written already, as well as what needs to be added. The outline covers the first seven chapters and I’m debating whether to do more before Monday or to do the first seven and see what needs to be adjusted. Either is probably fine.
My goal is a chapter a day, as I have details of what to add and what ‘new’ writing needs to be done will be, I think, less than 2000 words a day (which is what I tend to write in November and find doable for a month). I’ll re-assess after the first week, regardless.
Some new-to-me books and tools I’ve been using lately as I work on this novel:
- Story Genius (this book helped a lot with developing my current story)
- One Stop for Writers (monthly subscription website, tools for writers like thesauri of aspects of character and worksheets and story maps and other cool stuff)
- Plottr (software, basically a visual timeline program. I have Aeon Timeline, which is more robust in most ways, but Plottr works differently and is pretty close to exactly what I was looking for with my current project.)