Category: Nanowrimo

The end of NaNoWriMo and future plans

National Novel Writing Month 2011 is done. Really, it has been done for a few weeks. I’m coming off of the writer’s version of a runner’s high, barely touching a pen except for school or work. I’m ready to start up again, so here are my plans. Much of it starts in 2012, so I guess this also counts as my list of new year’s resolutions.

-Starting January 1, I will be taking part in the 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge. I’ve accumulated so many books over time that sit in drawers under my bed, untouched. I keep saying “I’ll read that book soon, it’s on my list, I just have to finish this one,” but that never happens. This challenge will knock a huge chunk of those unread books out of the way.

Camp NaNoWriMo will run in June and August this year, with a break in July. This is as much a blessing for me (and many other participants) as it likely is for the OLL staff. I’ll participate as an ordinary writer, not an ML. Whether I will consider another crack at the ML position is a question for a much later time.

Script Frenzy in April. I tried this last year for the first time, learned the basics of writing a graphic novel script, and had a lot of fun. I plan on participating again, though likely writing for another medium.

NaNo 2012. Don’t even ask what I’d be writing about. That plot likely doesn’t exist yet. The real question is whether I will continue as an ML or not. Considering I won’t be in school anymore by then, it’s a definite possibility.

Before any of that, it is to be noted that even through two NaNo events, my favorite novel project so far is still far from finished. I’d like to finish that rough draft before another WriMo pops up, to avoid the temptation. Poplar and Mint is in the process of being edited, and I’d like to get that polished and self-published by the end of the year.

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As summer camp comes to a close…

Recently The Office of Letters and Light rolled out their newest project, called Camp NaNoWriMo, which was basically a lighter form of the famous November event taking place during the summer. Completely camp themed, with the site decked out in blue tents and campfires, “cabins” in the form of scaled-down message boards, and pep talks with stories about shorts being run up the flagpole, it was delightfully nostalgic.

Unfortunately, my last experiences with summer camp were many years ago with my Girl Scout troop in northern Virginia. They were week-long experiences that I didn’t fully enjoy, due to the fact that the other girls in my troop and I just didn’t get along. I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t at least partly to blame for that, but it’s all firmly in the past now.

For this virtual camp, I was given a “cabin” to share with 4 other people, two of which weren’t active, and we were given one page with a message board to chat, give moral support, and occasionally procrastinate together. The unfortunate part is, that cabin is now closed and I can’t remember what usernames they’ve used.

Another positive part of the Camp is that it was essentially two events. The beta took place in July, so OLL could work out the kinks and roll out features slowly, and the full version took place in August. We were given two WriMo months with 31 days, and July had 5 weekends. It all added up with plenty of time to get some quality (more or less) writing done, even with class and work filling up much of my days.

It certainly worked. My novel in progress, Jasper City is 75,000 words strong, with close to 14 chapters and three appendices. Before someone reads this and thinks that wordcount isn’t something to get hung up on, I might never have made this much progress without the Camp NaNo event giving me the motivation. I have a lot to thank for the OLL.

In order to avoid using NaNo events as a crutch or the only reason why I write, I’m making a new effort. Armed with a shiny new blank notebook, I’ve started to push myself to write a little bit each day, at least one page’s worth. Writing longhand gives me time away from the internet and all of its lovely distractions, and writing at all helps me to keep that part of me well exercised, like a muscle. I’m continuing my process on Jasper City, just slowly. But it’s enough.

“There was one particular incident, one that he remembered fondly, with Cynthia. They snuck in to the City Guard offices in Robot Town, and this place was redecorated with torn shreds of fabric and fire when they left. Dex took part in this out of genuine outrage, which Cynthia perhaps wanted little more than to see something in this wretched town burn.”