Ahhhhh If I could only write like this all the time!
Nothing like a deadline to spark creativity! So today I wanted to talk about how I became a proud…
I wrote 28.4K words in 30 days!
I added about 15K words to book 1 of my trilogy, 8K words to book 2 and 5.4K to book 3 and I got my certificate!
I don’t know why but I was always a little intimidated by the entire NaNoWriMo thing. I guess it was because I never had the time to find and read the answers to all the million questions I had. So I never did it. But this spring I caught a spark of inspiration and joined Camp NaNoWriMo, which is not technically the same as NaNoWriMo but is one step closer.
I set my goal to add 20K words to my WIP and started writing away. Even if I didn’t achieve this goal, just participating was a great experience. You connect with other writers and learn from all the wonderful resources on their site. This is just an example of the great posts they have…
Well… I do have to say it wasn’t all a “spur of the moment” success. I did do some planning and came up with a Machiavellian plan to conquer Camp NaNoWriMo.
2. Plot outline – which is this mess of wrinkled sticky notes. This is how a plot board looks like after spending SIX MONTHS in my writer’s bag. 🙂
In that muddle of paper you can see…
- Three 25″ x 30.5″ white pads. Each one represents the story arc of each book in my trilogy.
- A bunch of yellow sticky notes with character arcs and plot devices.
- Numbered green dots that connect the different characters and subplots.
3. Writing schedule – I wrote for three hours a day. Two hours every night day 9:30 – 11:30 and one hour every morning 5:20 – 6:20. According to my math, which is not always an exact science, I wrote at least THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY words and hour! eighty
4. Avoid distractions – such as blogging and social media and a cluttered desk. During those three hours a day there was only the “plot muddle”, my laptop and a coffee mug on my desk.
I do need to listen to music when I write, though. But I did go “lyricless” with something dark, nostalgic, gothic and atmospheric, like my dark urban fantasy. I created a “Moonlight Sonata” Pandora station that was very inspiring.
Despite all this preparation it wasn’t easy! Writing is never easy! At least for me.
The first day I wrote 837 words but then there were days when I couldn’t write anything. ZERO! NADA!
When I hit that writer’s block I had to put my boards away and go in a “write everything” frenzy. That’s how DRAGONS invaded my no-dragons-allowed world
BUT that is what Camp NaNoWrimo is about. It’s writing.
Slow learner, my little padawan is, huh?
You may say
I DID know that I had to write, but what I learned is that Camp NaNoWrimo is about writing and writing and writing. And never stop writing. It is about writing EVERYTHING! Including dragons.
Dragons are actually pretty cool creatures. So no offense whatsoever to dragon writing people! I actually think you are AWESOME for creating those high fantasy worlds! But I get lost in those worlds. I can only do High Fantasy movies or TV shows [e.g. I LOOOOOVE Daenerys Targaryen Mother of Dragons and her babies]
But NO ZOMBIES. [I’d write ALMOST about everything. NO ZOMBIES. NO ZOMBIES. NEVER ZOMBIES]
So, YES, I would have loved those 20K words to be a best-seller but that is not how it works! Not even for J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. They wrote crap, and then edited and wrote again [less crap hopefully], and edited, and rewrote, and I’m sure that went on and on for a while.
I may have even written a “she let out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding”? but that’s ok! clichés count as EVERYTHING. Clichés are usually the first darlings to die in editland anyways.
My novel may have sounded like a paranormal romance in one paragraph and like horror in the next and then like an urban fantasy the next? That’s OK. #JUSTWRITE
I guess that’s how my writer’s brain works: a little ADDish, like me 🙂 .
Settings, scenes an dialogues just popped in my mind like in a wonderful chaos and, if I didn’t write them as they came, they would have been forgotten. And I learned that’s OK. Because of the magic of “copy and paste”. With two clicks of my mouse I could place those scattered gems in the precise section of the jewelry box where they belong.
So as “pantsed” my 28K words, more than dragons happened. AND IT DOESN’T MATTER.