Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo 2013So, in a previous post, I talked about how I was a finalist in this year’s Friends of the Merril short story contest. This means that I now have the opportunity to pitch a novel to ChiZine Publications, even though they’re currently closed to submissions. The problem is, I don’t have a novel ready to pitch, and I definitely don’t want to give up such a golden opportunity.

So, I’ve decided to spend April writing a novel from scratch.

Well, not really from scratch. But so close that it pretty much counts. I went over some past scraps of writing I saved on Scrivener to see if any of them were promising enough to expand into novel length. Happily enough, one of them was, so for the past few weeks, I’ve been expanding on that scrap and asking questions about the world it takes place in. I have a lock on a few characters, their motivations, and the plot. The settings and locations are still roiling around, but I think I’ll have enough of a foundation ready to start work in earnest on April 1st.

Which brings me to Camp NaNoWriMo. You didn’t think I’d be doing this without some source of external motivation, did you? I’ve found that having something else to keep me accountable – NaNoWriMo, a contest deadline, an assignment for my writing class – has been the best way to keep me writing consistently. So this time, I’m taking part in the Camp in the hopes that having a group of fellow writers poking me with a stick will be successful. And this time, I’m upping the goal significantly.

I aim to have 75,000 words written by April 30th. This means 2,500 words a day.

That high-pitched noise you hear in the distance is my writing brain whining in terror. The mechanical clicking accompanying it is my analytical planning brain doing all of the pre-writing necessary (see: plotting, characterization, and setting note above) to make this work. I noticed when I did NaNoWriMo in 2011 that I took a haphazard, nonlinear approach to writing the story down. Looking back, and knowing what I know about the mechanics of storytelling now, I think that was a mistake. So this attempt to write a novel is as much an experiment  – am I better off as a planner rather than a pantser? – as it is an attempt to get something ready for ChiZine.

Anyways, if you’re interested in my progress, I’ll put up a writing count meter on the sidebar. If you want to take part, sign up at www.campnanowrimo.org – you can use the same login credentials you use for the regular NaNo site. And if you want to cheer me along, you can find me under the user name “cvasilevski” on the Camp NaNo site.

Wish me luck!