I’m doing Camp Nanowrimo!

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Happy Sunday! I’ve decided to join in on Camp Nanowrimo this year. I’ve been doing the regular November Nanowrimo every year since about 2008 or so, but I’ve never done camp. And because the past two years I’ve actually developed stories during Nano that I liked, I figured I’d participate in Camp to edit them.

To those unfamiliar: Camp Nanowrimo is an event that happens every April and July. Unlike its main counterpart, Nanowrimo, which occurs every November with the goal of writing 50000 words in a month, Camp Nanowrimo allows you to select your own goal. You can choose to write something new and set a word count goal, or you can choose to edit and set a time or page count goal! This year I’m editing.

Camp Nanowrimo 2020 Project:

  • Create a second draft of Basil, my 2018 Nanowrimo project that has been sitting in the dark for a year and a half
  • Rename Basil to an actual title. ‘Basil’ is just the name of the main character and has been acting as a place-holder title until I come up with one
  • Revise for a total of 30 hours, hopefully completing a second draft in the process, but if I hit the 30 hours, I’ll consider it a success.

 

Some things to note, if you’re new or just returning to Camp Nano:

  • The Camp Nanowrimo site has been taken down and now all Camp projects are hosted on the main Nanowrimo site
  • Cabins have been replaced with ‘groups’
  • ‘Editing’ is currently not a functional option when creating your Camp Nano goal. They currently only have ‘writing’ goals implemented
  • Because of this, I chose 30,000 words as my goal, with the intent that 1000 words will represent 1 hour of editing
  • This is nitpicky and me arm-chair coding but: As a software developer myself, editing goals – counting hours/etc instead of words – could be implemented and running within a week. I know it could. They’ve had months to do this and why they didn’t is beyond me. But that’s not my business, I guess

Can you tell I’m a little salty.


Regardless of my not-so-positive feelings towards the new Nano site’s functionality and lack thereof, I’m really looking forward to this project. I’ve never actually had a fully finished draft to edit before, so this will be a new experience for me!

If you’re participating in Camp Nanowrimo, do let me know! Hell, add me! Happy writing!

I won Nanowrimo!

Blogmas 2019

Happy December and happy End of Nanowrimo!

This year, I won! I hit 50,000 words back on November 23rd, so this last week I’ve been coasting, pre-writing blogmas posts, etc. It’s been a nice relaxer.

Is my draft any good? No! It’s awful! But it exists, and that’s the important part.

Here are my stats:

Obviously for the last week I just chilled. Once I hit the 50k, I went ‘this is heinous’ and stopped. When I start up again, I’m actually going to dive right into draft two instead of finishing draft one because man, it’s really bad.

Otherwise, you’ll see spikes in daily word count – those are weekends, mostly. My buddy Ashley and I had write-ins every weekend, it wasn’t unusual for me to get out 5 or 6k during once session. It was really helpful (and she ended up winning too, for the first time!)

So, Nano is done. I’m going to give myself a bit more of a break, then I’ll pick it up and try fixing it to be like… a comprehensive narrative.

Winner 2019- Twitter Banner

And that’s it! Until tomorrow!

Nanowrimo Week 2!

Happy half way point! Yesterday was November 15th, meaning the mark was 25000 words. Well, as of yesterday, I was at 26577! So I’m ahead, but barely. Today, I’m going to my friend’s house, and we’re going to have an all-day write-in! If you see, last Saturday I wrote almost 5k words, and I’m hoping to do that again today. My weekends make up for my weeks. If you notice, my words per day definitely taper out during the work week. It’s hard, man.

Weekdays are the bane of my existence. Wish me luck on another 5k day!

If you’re doing Nanowrimo, lemme know how you’re doing! Happy reading!

Nanowrimo Week 1!

Happy Saturday! We are nine days into Nanowrimo, and this is my progress. Note, I’m writing this post before I’ve written any words towards Nano today, so all of today’s numbers will be 0. They’ll obviously reflect what I am able to write later today next week during the next update. 😛

As of writing this, I’m sitting at 16284 words. Even if I wrote nothing today, I’d still be on track, as today’s on-track count is 15000. But! I am going to two write-ins today, so I’m hoping to get a good 4k written, which will be a nice cushion for the work week to come.

I’ve already deviated from my outline. I added a talking cat on a whim, and he’s now a main protagonist. It’s fine, it’s all fine.

If you’re doing nano this year, how are you doing? Happy writing!

Nanowrimo 2019! Tag, Prep, and Survival Kit!

Hiiii Nanowrimo starts in two days and I’m not ready! So instead of prepping like I should be, I’m gonna do this post. This will contain the Nanowrimo Tag, my prep final update, and my survival kit!

The Nanowrimo Tag!

  • How many times have you participated in Nanowrimo?

This’ll be my 11th year. At this point I feel like I just can’t break the streak, man.

  • Are you a pantser or a planner?

Typically a pantser, but last year I did a bit of planning and it ended up going really well. So, this year I’m attempting a bit of planning again.

  • What are the titles of the projects that you have attempted/completed for past Nanos?
    • 2008-2010, I don’t remember, because hey, the website didn’t record it.
    • 2011: Terminus
    • 2012: Basil
    • 2013: Animal Research
    • 2014: Gambit
    • 2015: Untitled
    • 2016: Basil (version 2)
    • 2017: Vial of Earth (which… is basically Basil version 3)
    • 2018 Basil (version 3) (…version 4)
    • 2019: Lackluster
  • What are you working on for this year?

A brand new project!!! I’ve written and rewritten Basil so many damn times and last year I finally was able to make something I liked. That means I can do something new this year and I’m so excited!

  • What is one tip you’d give to someone else participating in Nano?

Same thing I said last year: a good temperature. If you’re in a cold room, put on a blanket. Or if you’re in a hot room, run around in your skivvies. Be comfortable before you try to concentrate.

  • What was the inspiration for this novel? Do you remember when inspiration hit?

Honestly I don’t remember. It was a random conversation with coworkers and I thought to myself ‘what if…’ about what we were talking about. And voila.

  • Read us the first sentence from your Nano novel last year?

“When the juggler dropped the planet, everyone felt it. ”

  • What do you plan to do with your manuscript after Nano?

Assuming it does crash and burn, edit it. But I said that last year too and it’s still in draft 1, sooo.

  • Are you prepared for Nano? Are you nervous?

Not nervous. Also probably not as prepared as I should be, but I kinda like it that way to be honest.


Prep

 

  • Complete an outline
    • Deciding on act structure – Done
    • Fleshing out major plot points – In progress
    • Deciding ending ahead of time – Not done
  • Develop characters
    • Main characters – Done
    • Side characters – Not done
  • Do some world building
    • Develop magic system – In progress
    • Country history – Done
    • Culture – In progress
  • Do some planning every day, even if it’s just a sentence or a bullet point – In progress
  • Read some comedy fantasy to get an idea of how different authors incorporate comedy into their fiction
    • Kings of the Wyld – Done
    • Color of Magic – Not done
  • Do biweekly (at least!) planning sessions with buddy(ies) who are also doing nanowrimo this year – Done

The above… is basically what it’s going to be going into November 1st, and I’m ok with that. I’ve prepped enough that I can definitely pound out several thousand words, and hopefully doing that will inspire the rest of my plot.


Survival Kit

My current set up:

IMG_20181123_204642_950

Note: All my Christmas lights have burnt out, so… this, but less glowy.

Other things in the kit:

  • Caramel pecan candle

I used this last year and I bought two more for this year. I only burn it while I write, so the scent gets me into the zone big time.

  • NanoWordSprints twitter account

I found this last year as well! Man, this twitter account helped me win nano for sure. It’s so motivating, and I highly recommend checking it out. It hosts word sprints (duh) basically 24/7 for the whole month and it’s fantastic.

  • Goldfish and pretzels

The little cheddar goldfish/pretzels combo bag. It’s perfecto.

  • Coffee/tea/beer/hot chocolate

obviously.

  • Fluffy blankets and socks

I mentioned finding the right temperature above. Well, my ideal is a cold room and then warm stuff on me. So blankets and socks are essential.

  • Epic instrumental playlist

This is the playlist! It’s perfect for writing. It melds basically with whatever you’re on, particularly if it’s fantasy. It’s just so great. And it’s huge, so it can play for hours.

  • Story binder

This is where I store all my research and character stuff and world building. And by binder I mean.. part of it is in an actual binder, part of it is in Google Docs and just hasn’t all been printed out yet, because I have no printer (pbtbt). Either way, this is basically all my prep work.


And that’s it! Today is today, tomorrow is Halloween, and then the next day, it begins.

PUMPED.

 

Nanoplanmo/Preptober Check-in #2!

At the beginning of the month, I made an announcement that I’d be participating in Nanowrimo again this year (11th year running!) and would be doing Nanoplanmo this month in preparation. Since, I’ve done one previous check-in going over my progress.

This is the last weekend before Nanowrimo begins! Friday November 1st is go-time. My planmo buddy will come over to my house and we’re gonna try to pound out as many words as we can on day 1. Wish. Us. Luck.

So far, this is what I’ve done in preparation:

  • Complete an outline
    • Deciding on act structure – Done
    • Fleshing out major plot points – In progress
    • Deciding ending ahead of time – Not done
  • Develop characters
    • Main characters – Done
    • Side characters – Not done
  • Do some world building
    • Develop magic system – In progress
    • Country history – Done
    • Culture – In progress
  • Do some planning every day, even if it’s just a sentence or a bullet point – In progress
  • Read some comedy fantasy to get an idea of how different authors incorporate comedy into their fiction
    • Kings of the Wyld – In progress
    • Color of Magic – Not done
  • Do biweekly (at least!) planning sessions with buddy(ies) who are also doing nanowrimo this year – Done

And that is it. I have what I have, and I can only add whatever I complete in the next three days, then I’m heading straight into nanowrimo. I’m really excited but I’m really nervous, too.

If you’re doing nano this year, lemme know! Happy writing!

Nanoplanmo/Preptober Check-in #1!

At the beginning of the month, I made an announcement that I’d be participating in Nanowrimo again this year (11th year running!) and would be doing Nanoplanmo this month in preparation. Today I’m going to check on the progress of those goals. I figured it’d be good to do this a couple times during the month, just to make sure I’m doing what I want to be doing.

My goals were as follows:

  • Complete an outline

This included deciding on my act structure (Done), fleshing out major plot points (Not done), and deciding my ending ahead of time (Not done). When I created this bullet point, I hadn’t any idea what my plot would be to begin with, but since then I’ve actually developed an idea for a plot, so that’s a step. Within the next week or so, I should be able to complete this whole bullet point because of it.

  • Develop characters

This bullet point inlcuded main and side characters, and since I just came up with my plot, my characters are slow-going. I do have a definitive main character though, named and everything, so I’m going to count this one as in progress.

  • Do some world building

Here I wanted to develop the magic system (in progress), country history (done) and cultures (in progress). As you might or might not know, in the past, I’ve written the same plotline over and over again for nano, and this is the first new one for a while. Well, for the old one, I developed a whole world, and then I only used part of it for the story. I’ve decided to make this story in that same world, so that means I have a full country history already, partial magic system, and partial cultures developed. So while I didn’t ‘do’ much of it this past week, it’s already been done, which is nice

  • Do some planning every day, even if it’s just a sentence or a bullet point

This is in progress. Not much more to say.

  • Read some comedy fantasy to get an idea of how different authors incorporate comedy into their fiction

Also in progress. I’m currently reading Kings of the Wyld. Some of the humor in it definitely does not jive with me, but other bits I’m laughing my butt off, so it’s interesting to see how humor that would make one person laugh obviously doesn’t make another laugh. I’ll have to keep that in mind when writing.

  • Do biweekly (at least!) planning sessions with buddy(ies) who are also doing nanowrimo this year

In progress! I’ve already had one, and I have another one planned for next weekend. And between the first and that one, it’ll be biweekly, and then it’s time to start nanowrimo. So… this one is on its way to completion!


Until next update: I plan to develop the plot more, fill out my world building more, and actually start my outline. By the end of the month, I won’t beat myself up if everything’s not pristine – as I said, I tend to be a pantser – but I want to have a rough idea of what I’m going to write and know what all characters are involved and when.

If you’re doing Nanowrimo this year, are you doing nanoplanmo? Lemme know! And add me on the site! They redid everything and everyone lost all their friends and it’s annoying…. so I would like a friend please. ;~;

Nanoplanmo/Preptober! | Goals and TBR

The time has come!

Today begins Nanoplanmo, or Preptober as some people call it. This month, hundreds of thousands of people will begin to brainstorm, outline, and develop their characters. I am no different. Once again, I plan on participating in Nanowrimo – this will be my eleventh year in a row doing this, and if I win, my fifth time winning.

This year is particularly special for me: This will be the first year I’m starting a brand new story from scratch in about five years. Before this, the same story in my head would be written and rewritten every year, and I was never happy with how it turned out. But last year in 2018, I finished a draft, and I liked it.

Therefore, it’s time to start something new. I won’t go into too much detail because honestly I haven’t fleshed it out yet (that’s what this month is for!) but the idea bopping around in my head is a comedy fantasy. Therefore, I’ll be doing a bit of prep to get me used to writing in the subgenre.

Nanoplano Goals

  • Complete an outline
    • Decide what act structure to use
    • Flesh out major plot points
    • Decide ahead of time what my ending will be (with wiggle room)
  • Develop characters
    • Main and side characters
  • Do some worldbuilding
    • Develop the magic system
    • Develop the country(ies) history
    • Develop the culture
  • Do some planning every day, even if it’s just a sentence or a bullet point
  • Read some comedy fantasy to get an idea of how different authors incorporate comedy into their fiction
  • Do biweekly (at least!) planning sessions with buddy(ies) who are also doing nanowrimo this year

Normally, I am a pantser, but last year I did a hybrid between pantsing and planning, and it turned out pretty well. This year, I think I want to try even more planning, just because the story is brand new (though honestly I think I might make it happen in the same world as last year’s story).

As mentioned, I plan on reading some comedy fantasy to inspire me to write my own:

TBR

Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1)

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames – I picked this book up in September specifically so I could read it now. I’ve heard wonderful things about this book, and I’m hoping it’s both inspiring and enjoyable.

The Colour of Magic (Discworld, #1)

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett – How can I claim to want to read comedy fantasy and not pick up Pratchett? He’s the king! And somehow, I haven’t read anything by him yet! I figure between this book and Kings of the Wyld, I’ll get a wide range of comedic fiction, and I hope again, that this is both inspiring and entertaining.


In addition to those two books, I also plan on reading other books this month that don’t particularly have to do with Nano, but hopefully they’ll still be just as entertaining. These two though, along with my buddy read, will be my main focus. Everything else, as you’ll see in tomorrow’s Currently Reading post, will be thrown on the backburner.

Sacrifices must be made!

If you are planning on trying Nanowrimo this year, let me know! Add me as a buddy!

Happy writing, and happy reading!

I won NaNoWriMo!

Blogmas 2018

Winner 2018 - Web Banner

Hello! I won Nanowrimo!
(Also happy first day of Blogmas!)

winner 2018

I ended up hitting my 50k word goal on November 25th, so the past five days I’ve been schmoozing. The 25th, a Sunday, I wrote over 9000 words. My original goal for that day was 45k, but I got to that point and decided I was on a roll, so I just… kept going!

BOOM

I was a bit of a Nano Rebel this year – I rewrote a plot idea instead of starting fresh. All the words were new, though. Also, this is the first year where I tried any sort of outlining and prep. And I must say, it did help.

I almost must say that I very much enjoy improvising. I ended up throwing all sorts of things in that weren’t in the original outline, and I ended up reaching the end of the outline around 40k words. Sooo the last 10k words were all improvised, but it ended up working out well.

My Writing Process

This year, as mentioned, I outlined. But, the way I would get in 1000 or 2000 (or 9000) words in a day was by doing word sprints, both with friends and by following along on the NanoWordSprints twitter account. Two fifteen minute sprints would have me spouting out 2000 words. They were my life line. I also sprinted with a buddy, Sarah @WindsorWrites! She and I zoomed through some words during my lunch break at work, which was kind of a surreal thing to be knee-deep in computer code, pop into a fantasy world of my own creation, and then fall back into the reality of if statements and for loops. It was fun though! I had a good time.

Unexpected (Happy) Surprises

Something else happened this Nano which totally made my entire month. As I mentioned earlier, I’m rewriting a plot that I’ve used before. This plot I actually thought up the fantasy world for back when I was 18ish, so a decade ago now – at the time, I drew maps for it, came up with countries and politics and religions and character sketches, so on and so forth. I did a lot of world building for this thing.

And then.

And then I lost it all. I lost the notebook I wrote everything in during a move. I haven’t seen it in years.  So I’ve been rewriting this plot based on a world that only existed in my memory. I never rewrote any of the world building, in hopes of finding the notebook, because I remembered really liking what I had made.

And then, maybe 35 or 40k into the book, a memory popped into my head.

Past me had at one point, joined a world building writing contest. I found the website where I joined, and logged into my account, and… there it all was. All of my worldbuilding was there. All my maps, all my sketches, all my religion diagrams. All of it.

I about peed.

I was in the middle of a writing sprint, so I used the word count post for that sprint to share my blathering joy at finding my worldbuilding. Seriously, I was about ready to cry, I was so happy.

The Aftermath

img_20181130_053538.jpg

After I won, I bought myself a Nanowrimo Winners shirt, which I’ve never done before, despite winning Nanowrimo a total of four times now. Why? Because this is the first time, the first time I’ve ever finished a draft. I finished. a. draft. And I actually like how it turned out! So I splurged on a shirt, not only because I won, but because I actually wrote a book. It’s currently a shitty book that needs a buttload of editing, but it’s a book, dammit. I wrote a book!

During all my prep, I bought a story binder among other things. During December and January, I plan on updating the binder with all the worldbuilding that I’ve now regained, and add new character sheets, yada yada. I want to make the binder an actual source of information for the story.

Another plan, which is weirdly related to my job, is to finished draft two by Nanowrimo next year. I want to start a fresh story next year, and I won’t be able to let myself unless I have another draft of this done first. And it’s tied to my job because I had a meeting with my supervisor the other day, and he asked what personal goals I had, and I mentioned writing a second draft. Soo he helped me detail out a bit of a game plan for it. So yay, now my boss knows I’m a nerd, woo.

So! This has been my most successful Nanowrimo ever. I won, I finished a draft, I have a decent amount of worldbuilding and reference, I have plot outlined for the second book, I actually liked what I wrote, and I finished early, which I have never, ever done.

I. Had. So. Much. Fun!

If you participated in Nanowrimo this year, how did you do? Did you get to 50k? Did you get to a different goal instead? Let me know!

Three Quotes Challenge – Day 3 | Nanowrimo edition

Book Tag

Hello – welcome to the third day of the three quotes challenge! Today is a day earlier than my normal Saturday post, because tomorrow will be my tentative blogmas posting schedule (which I am super excited for).

I was tagged by The Orangutan Librarian!

Continuing my theme of ‘quotes that inspire me for Nanowrimo’, today is going to be another song. I get really, really inspired by songs. Themes, lyrics, stories, all of it is lovely.

Today’s song has inspired me to include a nation that was until recently at uneasy peace. Its west side and east side are no longer able to remain civil after the discovery of something very plot-heavy (and therefore spoilerly) shows that one side has caused the other side strife – death, plague, yada yada. So today’s song/quote/thing is Battlefield sung by Blind Guardian, the tale of one soldier’s experience in a battle that he’s not sure he wants to be in.

If you decided to give it a listen, I hope you liked it!

Today I tag Allboutthembooksandstuff, MetalPhantasmReads and CaptainsQuarters!

And that’s it! Happy reading!