Time for a Camp NaNoWriMo update!
Well, this is starting like many of my other NaNo events.
I write for a few days and then realize “This ain’t working”.
I think a lot of different things can contribute to the “This ain’t working”. Sometimes it’s me just being stuck early on. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing (yes, I used to be an extreme discovery writer. yes, this is very annoying.). Sometimes, it’s a problem with the story. The story is boring, too complex, it’s somehow in a genre i don’t like, it’s plot driven instead of character driven, etc, etc, etc.
This time, I think there are a lot of things contributing to “this ain’t working”. Very little of it is the story’s fault.
- This is an old story. This was my first NaNoWriMo story, in fact. And this is a story that I can’t let go of. Or rather, it’s characters I can’t let go of. But I think I’m putting too much pressure on myself in writing it. Because I want to get it right. I want it to be a good story.
- I’m scared. This was also the first story that ever got a real critique on it. I remember some of that critique. It’s not something I want to relive. I’m scared this story is just as messy as it was at first or that it will be. That it will scream that I haven’t learned as a writer.
- On the one hand, I have my mom loving this story to death, like I do, and wanting me to write it. On the other, I have my CP, who I have been lowkey hiding exactly what I’m writing because I feel slightly ashamed/embarrassed that I keep coming back to it instead of finding something new.
- This story may be too emotional for me right now. I’m tired. A couple different things are really stressing me out right now. I feel like I am being pursued by a bear, exit stage left, and can’t catch my breath. I’m not sure I want to write this level of emotions right now.
- I’m lazy. I see that this story might be hard so I get scared and back off. (Okay, not really. I hope. I’m worried that I actually am doing this.)
A lot of this boils down to “I care too much about what other people think”. And that’s a problem I’m not sure how to fix.
I’m sick of setting stories aside. But this has been part of my normal writing process for years. If I’m not feeling the story, I put it down.
But I wonder just how much of my concern for what other people think has leaked into my writing process. I write every day because I don’t want to look lazy. I see word counts go up, up, up at a rate of 10k a day and I look down at my own word count of 200. I see those people who write 10k do other things besides write and they are happy. I write 200 and feel like it took all day and feel like I am complaining too much or am asking for too much help.
When did writing become a “I have to do this” vs. “I want to do this”? When did I stop writing for the joy of writing and start writing to “have written”? When did my world become so fast paced around me and I felt the need to keep up and my stories aren’t keeping up?
Why do I care so much about story structure? I used to be a die-hard pantser and now I freak out if I don’t know what to do next. Like at all.
I don’t know. It’s entirely possible that I’m just freaking out because it’s a good week to do that.
I’ll be fine.
This story is not being thrown out. As I said, I can’t let go of it. But it might go on hold for a while longer. Or I might come back today/tomorrow/in a week/a month when things are calmer. Or I may work on it in bursts for the next five years, one scene at a time.
My CP suggested writing short stories for a while. I think I’m going to do that. Use up some plot bunnies. Finish some stories. Not feel like I’m failing someone. I want to get back to a point where writing stories is for fun and I’m not worried what other people think (well, not too worried). I want to write something crazy and weird and not care that it’s crazy and weird.
Hopefully your Camp or even just your writing is going better than mine. How is it going, btw? Let me know in the comments!
Who knows what happens in April?
And I am 100% insane for thinking I’m going to write a whole book in a month.
I’m really excited about this book. It’s actually an overhaul of a story very near and dear to me.
I’m not saying a thing about it, though. You know me. I keep my mouth shut about WIPs.
But if I actually get it written in a month, it won’t be long before you hear about it.
Now, as I’ve tried to make it a bit of a tradition for NaNo Events, I like to pick a movie character to channel during my writing (mostly just to use the gifs for posts). I’ve done Elsa and Jack Sparrow. This April, I’ve chosen…
Not so coincidentally, How to Train Your Dragon is a very apt book/movie for me writing this particular book. Though maybe How to Write Your Dragon Kid would be more accurate.
No, I didn’t say anything. 😉
It is April first. And that means many things.
It means April Fool’s Day. I beg you all to watch out for jokesters. As for my AFD’s joke, I will be doing nothing. I will not tell the hobbits that it is April Fool’s Day until they go to bed tonight. And then I’ll tell them, as it will then be too late for them to play any pranks. MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!
But more important than the holiday mentioned above, it is the first day of Camp NaNo.
Can I get an “Amen”!
Anyway. So today, I begin editing LASER. I’ll tell you more about that on Friday as part of The Editing Diaries.
But guess what.
It’s Wednesday. And that means…
This week is just one question. I was tagged by proverbs31teen for The 777 Writing Challenge. (Thank you!)
The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 lines in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 other bloggers to do the same with their work-in-progress.
This should be interesting.
Okay, so this snippet introduces one of my favorite characters (Alphas who have read this story, you are not permitted to freak out by my preference. I have my reasons.)
Here we go!
She and her brother would go to Shamira’s house. Their godmother would make tea and licorice chip cookies. And after homework, she could just talk to Shamira or read and relax.
“You okay, Izzy?”
Isabella grimaced at the name then looked up. Standing right beside her was Hunter Jackson. His dark hair was in a tousled style that most girls found attractive.
And there you have it. That’s it. That’s seven lines. Sorry it’s not a more complete thought.
Liam (please, Head Phil? It’ll be fun…)
And now, I’m off to edit. DFTBA!
Just a quick post to let you know that I’m alive and I haven’t forgotten about you. There will be awesomeness in the future, I promise.
My blogging friend Kendra E. Ardek is having a blog party. She’s blogging for five years and has been published for three! I will be participating in some character interviews (and maybe a game or two) here in the next week.
Truth is, I made a big mistake right at the beginning of Camp. I don’t think I have ever finished a NaNo anything with the same word count goal I started with. So when I lowered from 30k to 25k right at the beginning, I didn’t think it was a big deal. But it was. Yes, I was just trying to give myself some slack, but instead I created apathy toward Camp.
But not apathy toward the story. Shifting Sands is now almost 4k. Three chapters done. And they are some of the best chapters I’ve ever written (in my humble current opinion). I have learned a lot during the writes and rewrites of this one. I’m thinking about digging into writing mechanics here soon.
Also, I’m also thinking about starting a question day. One a week or every two weeks, I answer five questions. There’s a 55 book questions tag (five at a time = 11 posts) and I was just nominated for a blog award that, coincidently, also asks five questions.
I’m wondering about snippets… seriously considering it, in fact. What do you guys think?
(By the way, I can’t seem to get gifs or Pinterest pictures in my posts easily. Are there any WordPress users who could explain how to do this?)
Going Postal is amazing!
Writing is going well. I’m over 6k now and close to that infamous 30 pages.
I’ve also introduced a character who I did not expect to be so very talkative as she is. And I also seem to have created the equivalent of Scotland in my world. Just from the way the talkative girl talks… she sounds like she’s from Scotland to me.
Claire has been acting like some sort of combination of Vin from Mistborn and Elsa from Frozen. Just a bit though. (No, she does not want to build a sandcastle.)
There may be snippets posted here soon.
Um… made homemade eggrolls this afternoon. Delicious, but very time consuming.
That’s really about it. I need to be getting off to bed.
Good night/morning/platypus to you. DFTBA.
I’m just going to jump right into this.
1. I am past my insecurities of Shifting Sands! (Yay!)
2. I am about 2k behind in Camp. If I can write 1.5 k for the next two days or just 2k today, I’ll be back on track.
3. My solution to number 1 was in a way to start over. BUT not the way you think. I am still doing Camp in my notebook with the same draft that stinks. But I am rewriting it into Scrivener, fixing the problems I had (yes, both at the same time) (yes, I am crazy).
4. My other solution to number 1 is kind of strange. Basically, I don’t know what I did to fix my problems. It involved listening to some specific episodes of Writing Excuses about how competent, sympathetic, and proactive a character is and then restarting Shifting Sands accordingly and adjusting the micro-edit-y stuff so I was happy with it.
5. I may be a bit of a perfectionist…
6. I am seriously thinking about linking up with Beautiful People this month.
7. Which means you will be getting to hear about Shifting Sands and my MC, Claire.
8. This update is starting to look like a Liebster Award’s 11 facts…
9. I give you a new music link today (this is starting to become a thing, isn’t it?): CyberHymnal. You can listen to several different hymns on this site. (Update: This site is for some reason not working for me. I don’t know if the problem is throughout all of cyberspace or not. Sorry if it doesn’t work.)
10. I think I am obviously procrastinating at this point…
11. Time to go write.
No one likes looking at their first draft and thinking “This is junk.” (My sincerest apologies and WHAT?!?s to whoever does.) No one likes having to force out 1k in that mood, either. It’s junk. It’s a mess. You can maybe even tell what exactly is wrong with it. What’s the point of adding another 1k of sludge?
Guess what I’m going through.
That’s right. Shifting Sands is giving me trouble again. I’m not entirely sure why. I have a couple of theories.
1. It has been 2 1/2 years since I last started a first draft I would go on to complete. In other words, I may have forgotten how to write a first draft.
2. I’m attempting third-person limited POV and I think I’m killing it. Claire’s thoughts seem a bit much somehow and at the same time, not enough.
3. Plain old “this author is so much better than me” doubt.
4. Tying in with number 2, the emotions of this seem way off.
5. As the author, it is difficult to tell if the character is actually interesting or engaging, thus adding to my doubts.
They say that when writing a first draft, just get it down. It’s okay for it to be trash. And I don’t want to get caught in an eternal rewrite cycle, so I don’t really want to start over again to fix the mistakes I’m finding (though honestly, if I were going to start over, now would be better). Maybe I just need to force myself to keep writing and allow myself to write a “bad” first draft.
Or maybe I really should start over and fix my mistakes. They seem to be setting the tone for the rest of the book and that’s driving me a bit crazy.
I don’t know.
On a brighter note, Camp NaNo is going well (especially since the idea of NaNo is quantity not quality…). I have been keeping caught up on my word count (Yay!).
So, how are your writing projects going?